Roy Rogers: Into The Wild Blue

Slide maestro’s first solo outing since 2009.

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Californian slide guitarist Roy Rogers is one of those artists as happy with his own company as he is in others’, and this new solo set’s eclectic nature suggests the various approaches he’s worked with, from John Lee Hooker to Ray Manzarek to Bonnie Raitt, have rubbed off on his own material.

Last Go-Round opens proceedings in a pretty familiar style, as an upbeat boogie is criss-crossed with Rogers’ hyperactive slide licks. But Don’t You Let Them Win is decorated with urgent jangling timpani, giving a whiff of extra ethnic flavour to it all.

And while Got To Believe’s string section and cooing backing vocals are more redolent of an 80s major-label blues record, Dackin’s showcase of some vintage Rogers fretwork is dressed in groovy jazz-funk clothing.

Finally, the gorgeous, harp-laced instrumental reverie of Song For Robert (A Brother’s Lament), dedicated to his late sibling, floats us off into the sunset at the end, fading out one of Rogers’ most varied and inventive releases to date.

Johnny Sharp

Johnny is a regular contributor to Prog and Classic Rock magazines, both online and in print. Johnny is a highly experienced and versatile music writer whose tastes range from prog and hard rock to R’n’B, funk, folk and blues. He has written about music professionally for 30 years, surviving the Britpop wars at the NME in the 90s (under the hard-to-shake teenage nickname Johnny Cigarettes) before branching out to newspapers such as The Guardian and The Independent and magazines such as Uncut, Record Collector and, of course, Prog and Classic Rock