Interview:10 Questions with Roy Rogers
by Don Dawson
Attention aspiring Slide Guitar Players - looking to get to that next skill level? Look no further than the video guitar lessons we posted this past summer featuring Roy Rogers. His style, tone, and masterful technique are touchstones for any slide guitarist. Roy was kind enough to give us some of the basics regarding his playing. You can learn more about Roy and playing at www.roy-rogers.com.
Roy has just released his first ever live recording. It's called "Live! At the Big Room!" It's an exceptional recording and one that captures Roy's energy and playing style, true to form. We caught up with Roy for a quick 10 Questions.
Guitar.com: What recording would you say, changed your life?
Roy Rogers: First and foremost, "King of the Delta Blues Singers", Robert Johnson (COLUMBIA); opened up the whole world of slide guitar, open tunings and delta blues in general to me.
Guitar.com: What is your favorite recording where you were either performing or producing?
Roy Rogers: As a producer, most certainly "The Healer" for John Lee Hooker back in 1990. On that record, I got to work with so many great artists, including Carlos Santana, Bonnie Raitt, Los Lobos, Robert Cray, and many others. That was a very special record.
As far as my own recordings, at the top of my list would be my latest CD "Live! At the Big Room." It's the first live recording that I've ever done. And it really captured the energy of my live performance.
Guitar.com: You must have a rather impressive collection of guitars - what are your top three favorites? (if you can supply pics of these, that would be great)
Roy Rogers: 1970 Martin 0-16NY (NEW YORKER) - Early '60'S Dobro 12-String w/Blonde body - 1958 Gibson ES-125 3/4
Guitar.com: Do you have any exercises that you use to warm up for slide?
Roy Rogers: I do yoga, Tai Chi, Kung Fu and 100 sit-ups before every show ... Just kidding! Seriously, aside from loosening up both of my hands and wrists before I play, I don't have any specific exercises.
Guitar.com: Here's a little word association for you. We'll give you a name, you give us the first thing that comes to mind. Don't over think this....
Guitar.com: Bukka White
Roy Rogers: Mississippi Delta
Guitar.com: Elmore James
Roy Rogers: Dust My Broom
Guitar.com: Sonny Landreth
Roy Rogers: Louisana Slide
Guitar.com: Duane Allman
Roy Rogers: Coricidin Bottle Slide
Guitar.com: Derek Truck
Roy Rogers: New approach to slide
Guitar.com: Son House
Roy Rogers: Gut wrenching vocal delivery and slide playing
Guitar.com: Blind Boy Fuller
Roy Rogers: Precise picking, melodically and rhythmically
Guitar.com: Blind Willie Johnson
Roy Rogers: Great!!! He'll scare you to death!!!
Guitar.com: Lowell George
Roy Rogers: Little Feat; great band, great production
Guitar.com: Ry Cooder
Roy Rogers: Great Slide tone and impeccable taste
Guitar.com: You've mentioned in other interviews that hearing Robert Johnson really held a great deal of allure for you- pulling you closer to the blues. Beside Robert, who would you say holds the most influence on your playing?
Roy Rogers: Muddy Waters.
Guitar.com: You've spent many a moon out on the road with many of the finest musicians around. This might be hard to pin down but what would you say was your finest moment on tour/stage? Anything or any one come to mind?
Roy Rogers: Playing a duet with John Lee Hooker at the San Francisco Blues Festival in the early 1990's
Guitar.com: How bout the worst?
Roy Rogers: Some years ago, I played a club where the PA howled with feedback the entire night. I blocked out where that was at.
Guitar.com: Any artist that you haven't worked with, that you'd really like to get into the studio with or go out on the road with?
Roy Rogers: There are many artists I would love to work with, too numerous to name.
Guitar.com: Many guitarists have names for their guitars - you named your top three fav's earlier - do you name your guitars, and if so, what are they?
Roy Rogers: Well, I don't call any of my guitars "Trigger," that's for sure. I have no Lucille stories regarding any of my guitars
Guitar.com: (an extra, just in case) - When will we see you live on the road again?
Roy Rogers: I'm touring all the time. Just check my website for the latest dates.
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