“I am here to settle all rumors,” slide guitar master Roy Rogers declared. “The Newports are not making a comeback.”
The Newports were a gold-jacket wearing band Rogers played with when he was in middle school. He said the group played in Squaw Valley in 1964 or ’65 at the Truckee High School senior prom. Instead, Rogers will perform on the final Bluesdays show of the season at The Village at Palisades Tahoe on Tuesday, Aug. 30, with his newer band, The Delta Rhythm Kings. The free show starts at 6 p.m.
The legend of Roy Rogers — the one with chops, not chaps – is well known to blues lovers across the globe. He performed with and produced for John Lee Hooker on a Grammy Award-winning album. He played for years in a duo with the great harmonica player and vocalist Norton Buffalo. He loves to absorb himself in projects, such as collaborations with Ray Manzarek and his latest, StringShot, a Latin-blues trio with violinist and stringed harp player Carlos Reyes and Brazilian singer and guitarist Badi Assad.
And about that newer band, The Delta Rhythm Kings. That’s the rhythm section of drummer Kevin Hayes (a longtime member of Robert Cray’s band) and bassist Steve Ehrmann, who played with Lightnin’ Hopkins and was the person who introduced Rogers to John Lee Hooker.
“It’s such a joy to play with musicians like that,” Rogers said. “It’s really a communication. It’s unwritten. It’s wonderful to play with guys who know the grooves like the back of their hands.
“We’re not looking for perfection. We’re looking for it to feel as good as it possibly can.“