Split Decision

Split Decision

by Roy Rogers
     
 

Blues man Roy Rogers released breakthrough recordings Slidewinder and Blues on the Range in his early days for the Blind Pig label, and returns to their stable of artists with his first studio date in seven years, his latest since 2004, and his twelfth album overall. Like any evolving artist, Rogers has taken into…  See more details below

Overview

Blues man Roy Rogers released breakthrough recordings Slidewinder and Blues on the Range in his early days for the Blind Pig label, and returns to their stable of artists with his first studio date in seven years, his latest since 2004, and his twelfth album overall. Like any evolving artist, Rogers has taken into consideration diversifying his sound while not adopting the trendiness that has crept into more commercialized blues. It seems he's taken cues from the great Charlie Musselwhite in modernizing his music with voodoo economics, teaming up with the Delta Rhythm Kings, European contemporary keyboardist Philip Aaberg, and multi-faceted saxophonist George Brooks. The songwriting of Rogers is more observant than conciliatory, scolding and at times brow beating, putting shame to no-gooders while offering a helping hand and wise advice, but not a free pass. His slide guitar sports a finely honed edge, more attuned to overheated and sweat dripping environs than the cooler temperature of the Northern California bay area where this was recorded. Rogers does favor beats over surreality, as "Patron Saint of Pain" is straight out of the bag of Elmore James, a choogling blues similar to "Take Out Some Insurance." The shuffling "Requiem for a Heavyweight" features his "do anything for you" slide guitar, and the rockin' good time "Holy Ghost Man" is a liberated, epiphany blues buoyed by Aaberg's organ accents. In the Southern swamp boogie tradition, "Calm Before the Storm" is a blues of conceit and being taken for granted. the spookier, cerebral elements of Musselwhite come to play on the post-Hurricane Katrina storyboard song "Bitter Rain," and the slow "I Would Undo Anything" features the shimmering slide guitar of Rogers. There are three instrumentals as well; the short and heartfelt "Your Sweet Embrace" with new age guitarist Ottmar Liebert, the cool, jazzy funky strutting "Rite of Passage" featuring Brooks up front, and "Walkin' the Levee" with blues berimbau from Sam Rogers in a walkin' and stompin' framework. All of these original tunes were either completely written or co-written by Rogers, admirable considering the trend to cover classics of the masters, or tacking on overt commercialized rhythm & blues dance beats. He's clearly got his own style, difficult to retain while avoiding a sell-out in contemporary times. If you are still not hip to the value of Roy Rogers, get aboard the train via this fine, somewhat overdue effort that should reestablish his estimable street cred.

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Product Details

Release Date:
04/21/2009
Label:
Blind Pig
UPC:
0019148513020
catalogNumber:
5130
Rank:
96643

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Roy Rogers   Primary Artist
Roy Rogers   Guitar,Percussion,Piano,Vocals
Ottmar Liebert   Guitar
Philip Aaberg   Piano,Keyboards
George Brooks   Saxophone,Alto Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Steve Ehrmann   Bass,Bass Guitar
Billy Lewis & The Rockin' Hearts   Percussion,Drums
Sam Rogers   Percussion,Bass (Vocal),Berimbau
Sam Rogers   Percussion,Bass Guitar,Vocals,Berimbau
Billy Lewis   Percussion,Drums

Technical Credits

Roy Rogers   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Steve Gordon   Composer
Joel Jaffe   Engineer
Gaynell Toler Rogers   Executive Producer
David Gionfriddo   Composer
Terry Turrell   Cover Art
Donna Johnston   Composer

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