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

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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

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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!

Roy Rogers is back in Vallejo

Saturday April 1st at The Empress in Vallejo 

Saturday April 1st at The Empress in Vallejo 

By Richard Freedman, Vallejo Times-Herald

Victorville was once noted for more than its place in the Top 10 of “California’s Most Dangerous Cities, a tag compliments of a Southern California law firm in 2016.

The San Bernardino city of about 120,000 residents was the thriving headquarters of the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Museum.

And if there’s any Vallejo native who knew that, it was Rogers’ slide guitar-playing namesake.

“It was one of my favorite steps,” said Rogers, describing the shrine to the late country music star and actor “like a fort you used to see in the westerns.”

In 2003, however, the entire museum relocated to Branson, Mo., where it lived a quiet life until shutting down for good six years later.

Everything went up for auction — $2.9 million worth — including the eye-opening 2003 Roy Rogers-Dale Evans Bonneville, a car decorated with rifles, silver dollars, and, naturally, a cattle-horn hood ornament.

“In Victorville, it (the car) was just a part of the whole package of memorabilia that was there, really,” Rogers said. “You must understand, virtually everything was on display from his career — Trigger (his horse), Bullet (his dog), Nellybelle (the jeep), RR guns, awards, photos ... plus all of the toys made that he licensed his name to, a fair amount of which I have collected myself over the years. So, I remember seeing the Bonneville in the overall ‘museum context.’”

That car found a home at Buck Kamphausen’s USA World Classics Event Center in downtown Vallejo which, as fate would have it, is some two blocks from where Rogers the musician will perform April 1 at the Empress Theatre.

Understandably, Rogers always had a connection with the country singer, who died in 1998 at 86, though he said he was only “partially” named after Roy Rogers.

“My mother had a distant uncle named ‘Roy,’ but he wasn’t a Rogers. They did say it would be ‘very cute’ to name me after the cowboy,” Rogers said.

Cute, maybe, but the Vallejo native now living in the Nevada foothills took a verbal beating.

“I got teased to death when I was a kid,” Rogers said. “In first or second grade, I remember wearing cowboy boots to school. It would be, ‘Oh that’s Roy Rogers in his cowboy boots.’”

While other students were called out by first name only, “with me it was always ‘Roy Rogers.’ They’d say my full name,” Rogers said.

Rogers attended three Vallejo elementary schools — Highland, Beverly Hills, and Stefan Manor. He went on to Vallejo Junior High School, graduating from Vallejo High School in 1968.

Academically, “I was pretty good. A solid ‘B’ student I would say,” Rogers remembered, recalling his passion for history “from the very beginning.”

“I would go into the closet and read the encyclopedia,” Rogers said.

Music was always around with his mother, Luverne, playing classical tunes from the 1930s and ’40s on the piano, he said. Rogers’ dad, William, was the West Coast Superintendent, overseeing the Mothball Fleet in the Suisun Bay.

Both, obviously, were country star Roy Rogers fans. And did their best to make sure their son met the legend.

Actually, Rogers said, “I met Roy three times.”

Seems the country singer was Grand Marshal of the Grand National Rodeo at the Cow Palace in Daly City. Vallejo’s Rogers was about 5 at the time.

“He was in a big car — probably a Cadillac — and I distinctly remember my mother or father holding me up at the entrance and saying ‘My son’s name is Roy Rogers, too’ and he (the country singer) was shaking my little hand,” Rogers said.

The second meeting was “many years later” in the early 1980s, Rogers said. This time, Roy Rogers the superstar sat in with the country band, “Sons of the Pioneers.”

“He’s walking through the gauntlet of people on each side of him and my friend says, ‘Hey, this is Roy Rogers.” Again, the older Roy shakes the younger Roy’s hand.

Ah, but the third and final time. A memory to last a lifetime.

Little Roy has become an established blues musician, singer, songwriter and producer. It was 1991 and he was nominated for a Grammy for “Song for Jessica,” which he produced and performed with the late harmonica great, Norton Buffalo.

As it turned out, the original Roy Rogers was also nominated for a Grammy in 1991 for “Hold On Partner,” which he performed with Clint Black.

Neither Rogers won. No matter.

“We had an extensive conversation and pictures,” Rogers said happily. “He talked about meeting a bunch of people in his life named Roy Rogers. I have this great picture with his arm around me and I’m grinning ear to ear.”

Thanks to his idol, Vallejo’s Rogers got a free limo ride the night after the Grammys from the New York Hilton to the airport. Seems the limo driver was to pick up the other Roy Rogers, but got the blues singer instead. And he didn’t mind one bit.

“He says, ‘I’m a big fan of yours. I love the slide guitar’ and starts naming my old records,” Rogers said. “What are the odds? He was a fan of mine.”

And if, some day, a kid came up to Rogers and said, “I was named after you.”

“That would be weird,” Rogers said.

Roy Rogers and the Delta Rhythm Kings with guest Jimmy Pugh are at the Empress Theatre, 330 Virginia St., Vallejo, Saturday, April 1, 8 p.m. Tickets $25-$75. For more, visit or call (707) 552-2400.

Roy Rogers & The Delta Rhythm Kings at Ferndale’s Old Steeple

By The Redwood Times
POSTED: 03/20/17, 3:11 PM PDT 

Virtuoso slide guitarist and Grammy winner Roy Rogers and his trio, the Delta Rhythm Kings, bring their unique sound to The Old Steeple for a night of high-energy blues on Saturday, March 25.

Rogers is one of the world’s premier slide guitarists and a master of the Mississippi Delta Blues. In addition to racking up accolades for his electrifying live performances, Rogers has also gained fame as a record producer who has worked for some of the biggest names in the industry, including John Lee Hooker, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Bonnie Raitt, and Ray Manzarek, the late keyboardist for The Doors. Rogers took home two Grammy Awards for his production work with Hooker, and has received eight Grammy nominations both as a producer and performer.

Rolling Stone calls Roy Rogers “an exceptionally articulate slide guitarist, whether he’s scorching Robert Johnson’s ‘Ramblin’ Blues’ or taking a lovely, lyrical journey ... or rockin’ it out. One of the rare guitar heroes who values feeling over flash.”

Ferndale Music Company and The Old Steeple are located at 246 Berding Street (next to the cemetery) and are open from noon to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

For more info, call 707-786-7030 or visit

Show at 7:30 p.m. / Doors at 6:30 p.m.

All ages, $25 in advance / $30 at the door

Tickets available at Ferndale Music Company and Mind’s Eye Coffee Lounge in Ferndale and online at

Roy Rogers & The Delta Rhythm Kings in Willits, CA on Feb 11th

From Willits News
Cosmic Pickle Productions is proud to present Roy Rogers, known as one of the world’s finest slide guitarists with eight Grammy nominations. He will be honoring Willits on Feb. 11, bringing his Delta Rhythm Kings to the Little Lake Grange in Willits.

Doors open at 6 and music starts at 7:30. Tickets for the show will be sold at the door. A Valentine’s feast offering prime rib, salmon or veggie will be served before the show to those who purchased dinner tickets.

So come on out to 291 School St. to celebrate what Rolling Stone calls “one of the rare guitar heroes who values feeling over flash.”

Click here for TICKETS 

News from The Slidezone - Roy Rogers Slide Guitarist

NEWS:  On January 12th Roy Rogers performed in honor of his long time friend and collaborator, Norton Buffalo. The concert and dedication ceremony took place at Norton Buffalo Hall in Paradise, CA. The years of friendship enjoyed by Rogers & Buffalo combined with their creativity and incredible musicianship produced unforgettable Americana recordings and performances. It was a tremendous honor for Roy to pay tribute to Norton Buffalo in this way as his music is fondly remembered and continues to live on. 

It's official! The Roots Agency now represents Roy Rogers for concert and tour booking. The 22-year old company has offices in New Jersey and California, with company founder and agent Tim Drake in charge of booking East Coast dates for Roy, and agent David Lloyd covering the West Coast and Midwest. "I've known Roy for many years and we are very excited to now be representing a musician of his caliber. He's a perfect fit for the agency", says Lloyd. Representing many other fine artists such as Arlo Guthrie, Graham Parker and UB40, The Roots Agency was just nominated as Independent Booking Agency of the Year by the 2017 Pollstar Awards. We welcome The Roots Agency with great enthusiasm and look forward to the year ahead, we are in good hands!

David Lloyd