The Death Whisperer Series

The Death Whisperer Series
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Monday, February 7, 2011

Slide guitarist Roy Rogers and Chateau de Sancerre

Just returned from a science meeting in Marco Island, FL where I was forced to trade -25 degree temps, inches of ice, and feet of snow for 80 degree temps with wind chills of 83 degrees. It’s a tough job, but someone had to do it. There’s nothing quite like sitting on a hotel room balcony with a glass of wine watching the waves roll in off the Gulf accompanied by some good guitar music. I’ve been in a blues/slide guitar mood lately, so tonight I’ve got an exceptional practitioner of the genre.

Roy Rogers has been widely recognized as one of the finest practitioners and innovators of modern slide guitar. Guitar Player said, “Many guitarists dabble in slide guitar, but the number of modern masters can probably be counted on one hand. Roy Rogers is surely one of them.” Rolling Stone offered, “Rogers is an exceptionally articulate slide guitarist… one of the rare guitar heroes who values feeling over flash,” while USA Today commented, “Pundits who bemoan the scarcity of guitar gods haven’t laid ears on Roy Rogers, whose slide riffs could peel a crawfish.”

He was born in Redding, California in 1950, and began playing guitar at twelve. He joined his first band at the age of 13. True to the fashion of the times, the band wore gold lame jackets and played covers of the music by Little Richard and Chuck Berry. Early on he discovered the blues, and was especially affected by the music of Robert Johnson whose guitar playing convinced him to take up the slide. He’s developed a distinctive style that is immediately recognizable. ..and yes, he’s named after the King of the Cowboys. If you like blues and slide, you’re going to like him.

Walkin Blues:

The Sky is Cryin:

Devil Got My Woman:

Terraplane Blues:

King Bisket:

Down Home Girl:

Baby Please Don’t Go:

Bad Situation:


Black Cat Bone:

White Lies with Sammy Hagar:

On Robert Johnson:

The warm breezes off the Gulf call for a refreshing white like a 2008 Château de Sancerre ($20.00). Château de Sancerre was built in the 10th century by the Count of Champagne and is both the most prestigious property in Sancerre and the only one that can use the Château de Sancerre name. The wine is golden colored with a typical nose of Sauvignon Blanc from which it’s made. It begins with aromas of flowers, fresh fruit, and citrus but it’s quite different than a New Zealand Sauvignon. It’s light, crisp, and lively in the mouth with flavors of green apples, lemon, and a touch of butter and a long finish. Goes down smooth, but leaves me wanting more, just like the music of Roy Rogers. Enjoy!