Roy Rogers is one of the finest slide guitarists around today. Always in demand, he has a number of credits to his name, most notably as a member of John Lee Hookers Coast To Coast Blues Band and you will have heard his talents if you have ever seen the film One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest as he features on the soundtrack. His sixth solo album begins with Calm Before The Storm, a grinding, shuffling opener with Rogers’ signature slide. Patron Saint Of Pain features his swinging, laconic delivery and Little Queen Bee is a bouncy boogie. Bitter Rain is another shuffling blues based rocker and confirms that Rogers improves with age. Someone Like You shows more of a country influence but is a little weak. The jazzy Rite Of Passage has an excellent sax input from George Brooks but the follow up Rivers Of Tears is a bit nondescript. Your Sweet Embrace is a gentle acoustic instrumental whilst Requiem For A Heavyweight is just bog standard by Rogers’ standards. I Would Undo Anything is unashamedly country and won’t offend anyone but he’s back to what he does best on Holy Ghost Moan. This electric slide boogie is played in a CCR style. It’s good fun and it’s the highlight of the album. Rogers closes out the album with the grinding rock of Walkin’ The Levee. Brooks’ sax and Rogers’ guitar vie for top billing but there can be only one winner. Many take on the slide guitar but only a few become masters. Roy Rogers is most certainly in the latter group.
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