Roy Rogers and the Delta Rhythm Kings will perform their unique brand of Mississippi Delta blues at the Genesee Center for the Arts' Stuart Steiner Theatre on Saturday, October 22 at 8:00 p.m. Rogers is renowned as one of the great innovators of modern slide guitar.
A native Californian, Rogers was born in 1950, grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, and started playing guitar at the age of 12. He was exposed to a wealth of musical styles at an early age, most notably the blues which became his passion. Roy's molten mastery of the guitar, though it's based in blues, transcends racial and national boundaries.
"I'm fortunate in that I have a unique style that nobody plays like," Roy says. "You have to take all your influences, and I listened to all kinds of stuff, but it's that raw emotion that always carries the day." Rogers was influenced by his mother, Luverne Rogers. "She was the kind of person - and I probably got it from her - if she was cleaning the house and felt like playing, she'd stop and go down to the piano and just play," Roy remembers. "I always tell my own kids that music should just be a part of your daily life, not a special thing."
Since his debut recording in 1976, when a Midwest critic distinguished him from the television cowboy with the same name by saying, "This Roy Rogers has chops not chaps", he has been nominated for two Grammy Awards, received eight Grammy credits for production and performance work, and was nominated for three W.C. Handy Awards, most recently as Best Blues Guitarist in the Instrumentalist category for 2005.
Rogers is also a weight contributor to the Blues community. His latest release, Live! From the Big Room at the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, has received four-star reviews and features special guest performances by pianist Phil Aaberg, harmonica wizard Norton Buffalo, vocalist Shana Morrison (Van Morrison's daughter) and fiddler Tom Rigney. Rogers, who is no stranger to celebrity collaborators, has also worked with Carlos Santana, Keith Richards, Bonnie Raitt, and Los Lobos.
"We are delighted to be able to bring one of the world's greatest slide guitarists to the stage of Genesee Community Colleges this fall," Frank Mayo, a member of the College's Fine Arts Committee, and a professor in the Humanities department said. "This event continues the growing interest of hosting excellent blues musicians here in Batavia in the Stuart Steiner Theatre. Which, by the way, is becoming quite renowned in its own right for providing a superlative performance space with excellent acoustics and a very intimate, audience-artist setting."
Tickets for Roy Rogers and the Delta Rhythm Kings are on sale now and can be purchased by calling the Arts Center Office at 585-345-6802. Tickets are $6.00 for adults, $3.00 for children under 18 and senior citizens, and $2.00 for Genesee Community College students with a current ID.
Editor's Note: If you are interested in a press photo of Roy Rogers, please contact the Marketing Communications Office of Genesee Community College at 585-343-0055 x 6616 or 6116. Thank you.