Roy Rogers is a playing man, and in relation to music, his bets usually repay.
A searing slide guitarist and veteran producer identified for his work with John Lee Hooker, Norton Buffalo and The Doorways’ Ray Manzarek, Rogers has usually collaborated with musicians far exterior the blues style.
His new ensemble could be his longest shot but, however judging from the outcomes on StringShot’s debut album “Blues & Latin,” the singular band has scored a trifecta. Rogers launched the challenge as a crucible for forging three singular skills into one ensemble, combining his swooping, legato guitar strains with Paraguayan-born Carlos Reyes’ violin and harp and São Paulo-based Badi Assad’s Brazilian guitar and vocals.
“Making a band like that is sort of like flipping a coin, and you actually don’t know the way it’s going to come back out,” says Rogers, who performs with StringShot on the group’s Bay Space debut Nov. 9 at Freight & Salvage and Nov. 12 at Kuumbwa Jazz Heart. “That’s what I like. That danger has an attract to it.”
In reality, Rogers already knew that he and his longtime good friend Reyes had been musically suitable. He’s usually featured the East Bay resident as a particular visitor along with his band the Delta Rhythm Kings, and he showcased Reyes on the 1998 album “Pleasure and Ache” (Pointblank). “That put the seed in my thoughts to do a challenge combining Latin music and blues,” Rogers says. “It’s a special mixture of musical elements, and Carlos’ Paraguayan harp is such an enchanting sound.”
The wild card was Badi (pronounced bah-GEE) Assad, who hails from a Brazilian musical dynasty. The youthful sister of Sergio and Odair Assad, classical music’s most acclaimed guitar duo, she’s carved out her personal path by drawing on added percussive flamenco prospers and fingerstyle approach to the melodically verdant Brazilian guitar custom.
She got here into Rogers’ orbit by his spouse Gaynell Rogers, who represents Assad as a supervisor in North America (and co-produced the album). Considering he’d discovered a great artist to hitch his Latin/blues convergence, “Roy got here with the concept to create our personal songs collectively,” Assad says. “I believed, OK, let’s go for the journey. We began exchanging emails, working all by the web. We’ve got very totally different backgrounds. I believe we sort of morphed and located a strategy to create house for all of us.”
After sketching out songs collectively on-line, they bought collectively within the Bay Space with a veteran solid of studio gamers, together with drummers Kevin Hayes and Joel Jaffe and keyboardist Jim Pugh. From the primary piece they recorded, Rogers’ instrumental “Blues for Brazil,” he figured he’d received his wager.
“I used to be so impressed by the folks and tradition and music of Brazil, I simply needed the vibe,” he says. “And after we all bought collectively within the studio, it simply clicked. We had a good time. All of us bought alongside. On a few of the items, we layered voices. A few of it harkens again to Sergio Mendes. Badi offers it a modern-day sound. She’s bought a Sade factor.”
Crafting the tracks within the studio is one sort of magic. Translating these songs to allow them to be performed on stage in actual time is a complete totally different problem. For the California gigs, the triumvirate is joined by percussionist Jeff Campitelli, who’s labored extensively with guitarist Joe Satriani.
As a multi-instrumentalist, Reyes covers a variety of musical floor. He places his harp on a stand “so I can attain over and play with one hand. I’m additionally triggering the pc to play the bass elements.”
Reyes has an extended historical past of bringing the Paraguayan harp into musical settings the place it’s by no means been. He’s performed with symphony orchestras and rock combos, jazz ensembles and blues bands. With StringShot, he’s using hard-won knowledge as he explores a brand new pan-American sound.
“Every time I play with nylon string guitar or piano, I attempt to play someplace out of their vary,” he says. “For Badi’s tunes, we let her take the lead, and keep out of her means. Loads of the idea is the constructing off the Latin vibe, incorporating the harp and nylon string guitar. It’s open for all the things. Roy and I’ve been enjoying for years, so whether or not it’s his stuff or mine, there’s a construction, and we prefer to open it up and check out one thing new on the fly.”
Contact Andrew Gilbert at [email protected]
When & the place: eight p.m. Nov. 9 at Freight & Salvage, 2020 Addison St., Berkeley; $30-$34; 510-644-2020, www.thefreight.org; 7 p.m. Nov. 12 at Kuumbwa Jazz Heart, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz, $36.75-$42; 831-427-2227, www.kuumbwajazz.org