Blues ring true for Elvin Bishop, Marcia Ball and Roy Rogers


by Tim Parsons - Tahoe OnStage

Hey, that was fun!

Elvin Bishop’s Big Fun Trio, Roy Rogers & The Delta Rhythm Kings and Marcia Ball had everyone smiling, singing and dancing Saturday night in Lake Tahoe’s largest indoor music venue. The onstage setup was informal, with Bishop and his pals seated and improvising songs.

It might seem hard to fathom, but when Ball and Rogers played with Bishop’s trio, the tunes were unrehearsed. Then again, they are some of the best musicians in the land.

Percussionist and singer Willy Jordan and guitarist/keyboard player Bob Welsh are Bishop’s partners in the Big Fun Trio. Welsh and Bishop’s synchronized electric guitar harmonies were magnificent. Jordan, who Bishop calls a “soulful dude,” often sang high falsettos as he sat atop his cajon drum box. READ MORE

StringShot feat Roy Rogers, Badi Assad & Carlos Reyes

Just announced! StringShot will release their first album (self-titled) August 17th, 2018! Get ready for a brand new sound from three world class artists that is all their own. With Latin, Jazz, Roots, Rock, R & B, Blues and World components, prepare to be blown away! An exciting new musical realm awaits you with slide master Roy Rogers on vocals and guitar, Brazilian guitar goddess Badi Assad on vocals, guitar and vocal percussion, and stringed harp and violin virtuoso - Carlos Reyes. 


SS_logo_white (1).jpg

Roy Rogers, Badi Assad & Carlos Reyes are Stringshot!

Badi Roy Carlos.JPG

Have to seen the new website for Stringshot? Badi Assad, Roy Rogers & Carlos Reyes at!  These three artists have joined together to form a musical “tour-de-force”, blending their artistry and talents to create a new synthesis of Blues and Latin music.  This unique combination of musicians – all virtuosos in their own right – features an amazing interplay and repertoire that will to dazzle audiences!

Roy Rogers is one of the world’s great slide guitarists – an 8 time Grammy-nominated producer and recording artist – renowned for his live performances around the world as well as his collaborations with John Lee Hooker, Bonnie Raitt and Ray Manzarek, among others.

Badi Assad (from Brazil) was ranked by Rolling Stone Magazine as one of the world’s great guitarists. Classically trained, she has received numerous international awards in her prolific career. As a vocalist and percussionist, she is a true innovator, not only in technique but in performance. She has appeared in a variety of musical settings – from classical concerts with The Assad Brothers to jazz festivals with Pat Metheny and Larry Coryell.

Carlos Reyes is well known for his supreme virtuosity, not only on the violin but on the Paraguayan stringed harp. Classically trained as well, he has performed in many diverse genres of music worldwide – with his own band, in symphonies and featured with such artists as Steve Miller and Arturo Sandoval. 

“StringShot – Blues and Latin” features three highly acclaimed artists whose solo careers have garnered accolades around the world. This unique collaboration promises to create an exciting new musical realm. Stay tuned!

Mill Valley Film Festival turns 40 with Butterfield, Huey, Satriani

By Paul Liberatore, Marin Independent Journal

On Oct. 12, slide guitar maestro Roy Rogers fronts a band that once backed him and the late Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek. That show comes after a screening of “Third Mind Blues,” a behind-the-scenes look at the creative partnership between Rogers and Manzarek, the keyboardist’s last musical project before his death in 2013. MORE ...

California's Most Whimsical Holiday Festival Recreates an Alice in Wonderland Experience that is Magical & Enchanting to All Who Make Their Way Down The Rabbit Hole to The City of Vallejo

Mad Hatter.jpg

The Mad Hatter Holiday Festival attracts thousands to the historic downtown district with its Mad Hatter Parade and fire-shooting Wonderland recreations that turns the city into a fantasy world for children and adults alike!

VALLEJO, CA, August 30, 2017 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Every year there are acclaimed Burning Man sculptures surrounding the Festival as well as participating in the Mad Hatter Holiday Parade as SOMA, which was created for the 2009 Burning Man event, an interactive stainless steel sculpture with 97 LED Lights by the Flaming Lotus Girls and Mahtusa, a Giant Mechanical Squid by Nevada sculptor, Barry Crawford (a hand crafted lighted robotic giant that flexes its mechanical tentacles and movements).

This year's Grand Marshal is Roy Rogers, one of the premiere slide guitar players in the world with over 20 recordings to his credit and eight Grammy nominations for producing, recording and as a songwriter. He has collaborated with many renowned artists including John Lee Hooker, Bonnie Raitt, Carlos Santana and Sammy Hagar among many others. He is known world-wide for his talent and continues to tour with his band The Delta Rhythm Kings. The Hatter's honorary community grand marshal organization is S.O.C.K. supporting our cancer kids: Amanda Ferron's son diagnosed with Leukemia said that she was touched by all S.O.C.K. does for their little cancer warriors.

The Mad Hatter Holiday Parade also offers romantic classical moments as well with the fully uniformed CAL Maritime Cadets and their beautifully dressed partners waltzing in the parade. Award winning high school marching bands and Color Guard each year wow the spectators with their outstanding choreographed holiday performance. Vallejo's schools shine brightly as they march down the tree lighted streets of Wonderland in Vallejo's historic district.
There are iconic characters that appear out of the rabbit hole to be in the parade and festival from Star Wars as well as from the Hatter's Tea Party including the celebrated Mad Hatter, White Rabbit, Cheshire Cat, Lion King and other famed movie and comic book heroes that come out of the rabbit hole to Vallejo's Wonderland.

The Mad Hatter Holiday Festival, Parade & Tree Lighting is held Saturday, December 2, 2017.

Sand City’s 16th annual West End Celebration doubles as Summer of Love’s last hurrah

west end.jpg

By Adam Joseph - Monterey County Weekly

Otis brought an infectious brand of Memphis soul. Janis wrenched hearts with raw vocals. And the gods made love when Jimi formally introduced himself to mainstream America.

Over that three-day period in 1967, Monterey Pop became a symbol for the Summer of Love and everything it came to represent, including freedom.

Before the summer of 2017 officially ends Sept. 21, Sand City’s 16th Annual West End Celebration will host a final tribute to the Summer of Love’s 50th anniversary, beginning with its annual Guitar Not Guns Fundraiser Kick Off Party. Friday headliner It’s A Beautiful Day, featuring founding member David LaFlamme and his wife, Linda, emerged from the Monterey Pop era. Their opening harmonization on “White Bird (In A Golden Cage)” embodies a wispy, free-floating spirit that leads into David’s melody on violin, weightlessly reuniting listeners with what was right and wrong with the world then – before the tune suddenly opens up into a full-blown, all-inclusive electrified jam that runs up to 10 minutes live. Original drummer Val Fuentes will be on hand as the band delivers material spanning their expansive career, intertwined with personal stories about living in San Francisco during the seminal Summer of Love. Local acoustic singer-songwriter Amy Warren and Monterey rock supergroup Wild Card open for It’s a Beautiful Day.

Saturday and Sunday at West End deliver two days of non-stop music, all free and open to the public. The band that accompanied Janis Joplin, Big Brother & The Holding Company, closes the deep and diverse weekend of live music on the Independent Stage 4pm Sunday. Two original bandmembers remain (drummer Dave Getz and guitarist Peter Albin), as does a lasting connection to Monterey.

“[The Pop Festival] was a turning point for Big Brother,” Getz says. “It really marked the beginning of Janis becoming a star.”

Joplin’s one-of-a-kind croons, backed by Big Brother’s electrified technicolor blues, conjured a lightning-in-a-bottle moment best uncorked with their song “Ball and Chain,” which D.A. Pennebaker captured with his Monterey Pop documentary. As far as magical musical moments, slide guitar extraordinaire Roy Rogers – appearing on the Independent Stage 4pm Saturday – recalls a 1990 recording session in particular: Rogers performed in the same room with blues greats John Lee Hooker and Taj Mahal and jazz legend Miles Davis for the soundtrack to the film The Hot Spot, which earned a Grammy nod.

“Every time Taj and I see each other we refer back to that time, because it was so special,” says Rogers, whose blues band Roy Rogers & The Delta Rhythm Kings will make their West End debut.

Rogers’ slide style, which employs open-tuning and blues roots, has made him one of the recording industry’s most in-demand slide guitarists since the mid-’70s, when he was tapped to perform on the One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest soundtrack. Eventually, Rogers’ professional path led him to join John Lee Hooker’s Coast to Coast Blues Band and produce four of Hooker’s albums: The Healer, Mr. Lucky, Boom Boom and Chill Out. “Our relationship went beyond making music,” Rogers says. “John and I were family.” Rogers recalls one of many nuggets of advice he received from the legendary bluesman: “Your music must connect and communicate something to people.”

Hooker’s advice led Rogers to some unlikely collaborations throughout the years. The Manzarek-Rogers Band, a duet featuring The Doors’ late organist/songwriter Ray Manzarek, ranks at the top of the list. The pair recorded three records together; BBC is in the midst of making a documentary about their partnership.

Currently, Rogers spends most days working on an atypical new collaboration with renowned Brazilian flamenco guitarist Badi Assad and longtime buddy and stringed harpist/violinist Carlos Reyes. Rogers describes the String Shot trio as a Latin-blues-jazz combo. “It’s a real interesting confluence of musical forces that I’m very excited about,” he adds.


The Real Deal | Blues guitarist Roy Rogers


By Sean McAlindin June 21, 2017
Roy Rogers, named after the famous Western singer and movie star whom his parents adored, was born in Redding and raised in Vallejo. His mother’s piano playing influenced his decision to pursue a career in music from an early age.

“I started playing guitar at age 12 and was in my first band by 13,” Rogers says. “I was a little rock ‘n’ roller back in 1963.”

June 27 | 6 p.m. | Village at Squaw | Olympic Valley

His first band was called The Newports. They played classic tunes by Chuck Berry, Little Richard and bands of the British Invasion. On stage they wore matching gold lamé jackets.

“I was in junior high, but playing in bands with older guys,” says Rogers. “I learned the rock ‘n’ roll song book, as they say.”

By the time he was old enough to take the bus into Oakland and San Francisco on his own, Rogers was attending concerts by blues legends such as Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, B.B. King and John Lee Hooker.

“It’s people being absolutely real. They’re playing something that has meaning to both you and them.” -Roy Rogers

“I saw most of the great ones,” Rogers says. “Those were the days. It was the transition period when things were shifting culturally and musically, but I was never really a fan of the psychedelic music that was happening at the time. Years later I would open for Jerry Garcia Band, but I didn’t go to a lot of those kinds of concerts. I was more so into Robert Johnson and the roots stuff. I wanted to see all the R&B greats.”

As opposed to the imaginary trips worshiped by psychedelic rockers, Rogers saw the blues as a way to connect with visceral truth.

“It’s people being absolutely real,” says Rogers. “They’re playing something that has meaning to both you and them. I always loved looking at someone up on stage who’s wailing away because they just have to. They don’t care if you like it or not. They’re not trying to be something they’re not. It’s not to be arrogant, but just because that’s the way it is.”

Thanks to a confluence of inspirations, Rogers gravitated toward his now signature style of slide guitar.

“Underground FM radio was playing a lot of blues at the time,” he says. “I had an older brother who was already playing in bands and bringing home a lot of records. ‘The King of the Delta Blues Singers’ by Robert Johnson on Columbia Records blew my mind. He was playing in open chords with a slide. I believe it’s one of the most direct and emotional ways you can play the guitar because it’s like you are mimicking the human voice. You can get all those in-between tones. There’s an old story that the reason B.B. King developed his style of trilling was because he couldn’t get the hang of slide guitar.”

In the 1980s, Rogers became a member of John Lee Hooker‘s Coast to Coast Blues Band. He has produced more than 20 albums for a variety of artists including Linda Ronstadt, Ray Manzarek, Bonnie Raitt, Steve Miller, Carlos Santana, Emmylou Harris, John Prine and Van Morrison. In 1989, he worked on “The Healer” with Hooker, which won a Grammy for Best Traditional Blues Album.

“I love collaborating,” he says. “I’m always looking for something I’ve never done. Sometimes it’s going to work and sometimes it won’t, but I’m always trying to put the elements together in a new way. Like the saying goes, our reach must always extend our grasp.”

Despite the advent of MP3s and digital streaming, Rogers still believes in the full-length LP as a viable art form

“I make records that are albums,” he says. “I want to make an artistic statement on how I do my songs, not just singles. I’m glad to see younger people going back to vinyl and listening in a different way. We’ve gone full circle. Pop music is about branding yourself as opposed to letting it all hang out. People get that this is the real deal.”

Rogers will be performing in the Village at Squaw Valley with drummer Kevin Hayes and bassist Steve Ehrmann, renowned musicians themselves who have played with Etta James, Coco Montoya and the Robert Cray Band.

“Steve is the reason that I met John Lee Hooker,” says Rogers. “We’re like brothers. These guys have been around so it’s not just two guys backing me up. It’s a great band and we love to interact, which is very important for a live show.”

For the full lineup of this summer’s Tuesdays Bluesdays, visit

GUITAR GODS: Roy Rogers | Skinny Devil Magazine

The blues is a stunningly diverse musical form that began some time post-Civil War in the southern US. The earliest blues was an acoustic form (electric blues came later) and often was performed by solo musicians. When performed this way, it requires great skill to "fill the space", and legends like Robert Johnson, Son House, Blind Willie Johnson, and others - with their distinct vocal styles, slide guitar skills, and rhythmic prowess - set the bar very high for those who dared follow.

Roy Rogers is one of the few living guitarists to dare and to meet that bar.

Born in 1950 in Redding, California, he was playing guitar by his teens. Soon after he was playing in bands and his skills helped him find early success as solo performer, band member, producer, and more.

He is a Grammy winning (John Lee Hooker's "The Healer") producer and also has multiple Grammy nominations. He also has several other award wins & nominations under his belt, including a Blues Music Award nomination for Best Blues Guitar Instrumental.

His work has been heard on movies like "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest", he was a featured performer at Robert Johnson's 1986 induction into the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame (other performers included Chris Whitley, Warren Haynes, Rory Block, Keb Mo', Honeyboy Edwards, Johnson's stepson Robert Lockwood, Jr, and more), played as a member of John Lee Hooker's Coast to Coast Blues Band, been on national TV multiple times (including sitting in with Conan O'Brian's band), graced magazine covers, toured the world, and more....and racked up even more Grammy nominations along the way.

Learn more about Roy at his WEB-SITE, where you'll find tour dates, music release info, videos, photos, bio, and much more!

I had a chance to chat with Roy recently. Check it out!

1) What are your current projects? 

My newest project is called "StringShot". I have already recorded some tracks with the great Brazilian guitarist Badi Assad (ed. note: read Badi Assad's "Guitar Gods" interview here at SD Magazine) and renowned stringed-harp/violinist Carlos Reyes. We will start to release some of the tracks very soon (we also have 2 videos done) - with a full CD to be released later this year or early in 2018. Touring of the band will not begin until next year.

2) How does this (do these) differ from your past work? 

"StringShot" is VERY different than anything that I have done before. I describe it as a 'new' blend of blues/Latin with some jazz elements....envision slide guitar with classical/bossa nova guitar and stringed harp/jazz violin--an interesting combination, to say the least! There are some vocals on the recording as well.

3) Do you have one project that you are most proud of as a guitarist? 

They are all different and reflect how you felt at a particular time in your life - so they are all important to me for different reasons. With that said, I would say that I 'stretched the music' the most on my recording "Slideways"- an instrumental CD (all slide guitar) recorded some years ago.

4) Can you give our readers a run-down of your basic gear (live and/or studio), and do you have a favorite piece of gear? 

Gear: I usually use 3 guitars onstage - a Martin 0-16 NY with DeArmond 220 pickup ( which is really my signature sound); a 12-String Dobro electric; and a Custom Double-neck (both 6-string necks) made for me by Sean Chappell. Amplification is a 1979 Boogie Mk II and a MotionSound 'leslie'. I use only 2 pedals - an Arion SCH-Z Stereo chorus and a DurhamEletronics 'Sex Drive' gain boost, both of which are great.

In the studio I am able to use all kinds of setups (guitars and amps) to get the sounds for whatever the track needs - too numerous to all mention here.

5) Who would you cite as early influences, and who are you favorite new players? 

Early musical influences for me, I've got to start with the Big 3: Chuck Berry, Little Richard, and Bo Diddley (I wore out all of their records as a kid!). 

From there, more into blues: BB King, Muddy Waters, Elmore James, Howlin' Wolf, John Lee Hooker, and Jimmy Reed. From there, all the Delta blues musicians you can think of, but especially Robert Johnson, who will always be the king of the Delta Blues, hands down! 

Finally, when the British bands came on the scene, for me it was the Rolling Stones and the Animals that were influential, in large part from the R&B and blues songs that they covered early on, which helped me find a lot of music that I did not know about then. It's all been part of a great journey really, and continues to be so, I am happy to say.

6) Can you give a few tips to aspiring players? 

Listen to everything (all types of music, regardless of your preferences) - it will all go into the mix. But, remember it all starts with the blues. So go back to the sources, and then back to 'their' sources, wherever you find them! There is still so much music for all of us to discover, old or new!

7) What are your future plans? 

I am considering a recording of standards and maybe a few jazz tunes with slide guitar. Or possibly recording/covering of some of my all-time favorite songs.

8) Thanx for talking to us, Roy!

All the best. Thanks!