Roy Rogers Thanksgiving Update

Hello Slide Zone Fans! 

Good news!  Roy is going in to the studio to create his first record with the band and special guests in 5 years. An exciting and demanding process - he's preparting for the sessions at Studio D in Sausalito for the first two weeks of December.   Once the 'baby is in the bath water' - ha ha - we will let you know when the release is coming out in 2015.  Wish him well on his Facebook page! 

Wishing You and Yours a very Happy Thanksgiving - travel safe!  Gobble Gobble :)  

Roy Rogers November Update

This week - end don't miss RR & DRK with our special guest Carlos Reyes at the Red, White and Blues Festival at the Feather Falls Casino in Oroville.

Later this month see RR & DRK with Carlos as well at The Mystic in Petaluma on November 29th - a rare once a year occasion! 

This week-end Roy will be shooting some new footage with director/producer Billy Smith who is making a long form documentary on Roy and Ray Manzarek's artistic collaborations - that film should be out next year. 

More news and links to the launch of the public yelevision music series for 2015 - (you can see the sizzle reels there!) -  directed and produced by our good friend Peter Berkow and some new recording news coming soon!

Bring your dancing shoes!! :) 

Back from Australia - Off to Arkansas!

Talk about a turn-around!! 

Roy and DRK just returned from Australia today and they have a two day break before turning around and jumping over to Helena, Arkansas for the King Biscuit Blues Festival where they will surely sizzle with Sonny Landreth as their very special guest headlining at the festival on Thursday October 9th. 

Don't miss the King Biscuit Festival if you are anywhere near that part of the country!!

Fall is in the air!

Roy Rogers Music Available on Rifftime

Roy Rogers is now on Rifftime

Rhythm Royalty / Guitarist Roy Rogers and the Delta Rhythm Kings celebrate 25 years of the blues


Jeff Kaliss, Special to The SF Chronicle, Published March 2005

Gaynell Toler couldn't believe her eyes when she first laid them on Roy Rogers at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco. "My first reaction was, 'Wow, he's white,' " the New Orleans native now called Gaynell Rogersremembers of that first sighting in 1980 when the Vallejo-reared slide guitarist was celebrating the release of his bluesy album with harmonica player David Burgin.

"I'd heard the record on the radio, it was a great record, and when I saw Roy I thought, 'How is this guy playing guitar like that? He's not Southern, and he's not Afro-American.' "

And he's not that Roy Rogers, although he was named after the singing cowboy to please his older brother Billy, a cowboy wannabe.

This year Gaynell and Roy celebrate the 25th anniversary of that introduction, and the 21st of their marriage. It's a silver anniversary also for the Delta Rhythm Kings, the trio fronted by Roy and in significant part promoted and publicized by Gaynell.

"We've been working the world, so to speak, for over two decades," says Gaynell, and it's clear that the couple, now based in Novato, is not about to slow down. First, there's the release of Roy's first live album, "Live! At the Sierra Nevada Brewery Big Room." He was the first musician featured in the PBS series "Sierra Center Stage," which features performers at the brewery's Big Room, a 350-seat live music venue in Chico; there's his Saturday-morning radio show on KRSH-FM in Santa Rosa; he's working on a new project with legendary cowboy songster Ramblin' Jack Elliott; and he's hosting a Slide Guitar Summit at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival next month. There are also the imminent tour dates with the Delta Rhythm Kings to Italy, Switzerland and Norway.

Roy's molten mastery of the guitar, though it's based in blues, transcends racial and national boundaries. For four years, he toured with the late blues veteran John Lee Hooker, and he's been featured on albums with Bonnie Raitt and Italian superstar Zucchero, who goes by one name.

"I'm fortunate in that I have a unique style that nobody plays like," Roy says. "You have to take all your influences, and I listened to all kinds of stuff, but it's that raw emotion that always carries the day."

Some of his earliest influences came from his mother, Luverne Rogers. "She was the kind of person -- and I probably got it from her -- if she was cleaning house and felt like playing, she'd stop and go down to the piano and just play," Roy remembers. "She played these old standards from the '30s and '40s, and she had a great ear, so I'm blessed with a great ear."

Married to William Rogers, a veteran captain of the Liberty Ships, Luverne gave birth to Roy in Redding. The family moved to Martinez and then Vallejo, close to William's post as a supervisor of the Suisun Bay mothball fleet.

A vintage photo on the back of Roy's new "Live!" album pictures Roy as something of a rock prodigy in 1963, when he was a student at Vallejo Junior High: a short kid in a gold lamé jacket recruited into a high school dance band. In fact, he was already straying beyond rock, "taking lessons from a very influential teacher, Joe Wagner, who put me in that whole direction of Johnny 'Guitar' Watson, B.B. KingChuck Berry and all that stuff," Roy says.

A few years later, Roy was busing down to the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco, not so much for the rock as for blues giants John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf, whom Bill Graham integrated into his bookings.

"I never liked psychedelic music, it wasn't emotionally connected," Roy says. "The thing that did impress me was, here were these middle-aged black blues guys who were pouring their hearts and souls out on stage, no holds barred, not trying to be cool, just raw stuff. I said, 'I wanna do that.' "

In the mid '60s, the teenage bluesman started focusing on the older, rawer Mississippi Delta style of blues. This style demanded sonorous "open" tunings and the use of a bottleneck, or metal cylinder, to slide up and down the guitar's fretboard. Roy's placement of the bottleneck on the pinkie of his left hand freed him to play rhythm and baseline elements of a song, while making melody with the slide, a kind of one-man band.

Roy earned a history degree from Cal State Hayward and briefly considered the life of a club musician but decided he "didn't want to play the flavor of the month." Instead, he pursued the music closer to his heart in the company of harmonica player David Burgin, and worked day jobs to stay solvent. A comment by a Midwest critic, to distinguish the slide guitarist from his namesake, led to the naming of Roy's song publishing and record company: Chops Not Chaps.

During this same period, on the opposite coast, Gaynell Toler generated her own future career by programming and promoting talent at the University of South Florida. She continued this activity after graduation, founding a booking agency in Atlanta. When her illustrator boyfriend's contract with Levi's brought him out to San Francisco, Gaynell tagged along, ultimately making her own way in the West Coast advertising and music scene and encountering Roy at the Great American.

About three years after that first meeting, "I had parted ways with my significant other, and Roy had gone through a separation from his first wife," Gaynell recalls. The pair reconnected at one of Roy's gigs in North Beach, and began dating, despite Gaynell's conviction that "I did not want to go out with a musician, because I knew the lifestyle and I didn't think I wanted any part of it because I wanted a family and some normalcy."

Setting up housekeeping with him, Gaynell discovered that "Roy is in fact one of the most grounded human beings I've ever met, and unlike any other artist I had come across. He's kind of like an old Southern gentleman, in a way."

Gaynell assumed marketing responsibility for Roy's newly formed Delta Rhythm Kings band, recognizing that "he wanted to stick to his roots of blues and rock, and to do it in a very grassroots way." She also shared parenting of Sam, Roy's young son by his first wife.

In 1982, by a connection through his bassist, Steve Ehrman, Roy was tapped to join the touring band of one of his blues idols, John Lee Hooker. The gig lasted four years, and led to Rogers serving as producer on Hooker's Grammy-winning albums "Chill Out" and "The Healer," for which Rogers co-wrote one track with Hooker and Carlos Santana. Rogers was later recruited by Hooker for the soundtrack to Dennis Hopper's film "The Hot Spot," on which they jammed with jazz trumpeter Miles Davis. "I don't think it could get any higher than that," Roy says with a sigh about that Grammy-nominated project. "It was intense. And people I don't know will come up to me and say, 'Oh, that's my favorite soundtrack.' It's dark, and it's deep."

Hooker, in a 1991 interview with this writer, summarized his admiration for his producer and fellow bluesman. "Roy is a beautiful person," he said. "He'll tell you what he thinks, but if you don't like it, he'll let you do it your way."

In 1984, Roy and Gaynell married, and two years later, after Roy had returned to his own home and band, Gaynell gave birth to their daughter, Jessica. On subsequent tours with the Delta Rhythm Kings, "We took our kids along whenever we could," says Gaynell. "We had friends in the music business that also had young kids, and we kind of parented together."

"And we had also decided to move from the city to Novato because we wanted a family community that we could fit into," Gaynell says. "And lo and behold, we ended up in a place where a lot of musicians were doing the same thing. The kids had their rhythm in the school system, with sports and arts and theater and music."

Marin County and the wider Bay Area also provided Roy with world-class musicians for gigs and albums. Aside from current Kings Steve Ehrmann (bass) and Billy Lee Lewis(drums), they've included Norton Buffalo, Tom Rigney, and vocalist Shana Morrison, (Van Morrison's daughter), with whom Roy waxed the charming "Everybody's Angel" in 1999.

Roy recorded steadily while raising his family, releasing his first all- instrumental album of original material, "Slideways," in 2003. Several albums scored Grammy or W.C. Handy awards or nominations. Despite his success, Roy says, "I always told my kids, music should just be a part of your daily life, not a special thing." His son Sam, now a Forest Knolls resident, is an a cappella vocal artist billing himself as One Mouth Band. Daughter Jessica is studying theater at Colorado State.

Gaynell is compiling a cookbook, to be called "Gaynell's Kitchen: Natural Southern Cooking From a Down-Home Girl." It combines her roots in Southern cuisine with her activism as a breast cancer survivor. Celebrating his wife's five years clear of the disease, and following up on her earlier training as a cook in Italy, Roy financed her study at the Bauman School of Holistic Nutrition and Culinary Arts in Sonoma.

"When I was first diagnosed, I was volunteer communications director for the Marin Breast Cancer Watch for a couple of years," Gaynell says. "I met some of the most amazing women who are dealing with an epidemic of sorts, because Marin has the highest rate of breast cancer in the country.

"And when you hear you have cancer, it's pretty earth-shattering. So I've been coaching newly diagnosed breast cancer patients for a couple of years, and teaching their loved ones how to cook for them during radiation and chemotherapy so they can boost their immune system and regain clarity quicker. " Although she jokes that Southern cooking with organic foods is an oxymoron, she's tested her recipes back in Mississippi and found them accepted by bona fide Southerners.

Though Gaynell is still subject to Southern homesickness, Roy is devoted to his own home base, recently contributing a rare Roy Rogers solo gig as a fund-raiser for Rohnert Park radio station KRCB (it sold in 20 minutes, for $1, 000).

"Maybe at some point I'll make a record for a major label to get broader distribution," Roy says, "but at this point I don't really need to do that. I'm a niche player, and I can carry my niche all over the world. I'm as busy as I want to be."

Let it slide

Roy Rogers & The Delta Rhythm Kings appear with Jackie Greene at 8 p.m. March 26 at the Mystic Theatre in Petaluma. Tickets cost $20. For more information or to buy tickets, call (707) 765-2121 or visit

The Sierra Center Stage series, which featured Roy and the Kings in its debut run last year, is due out this fall in DVD format. Records by Roy Rogers & The Delta Rhythm Kings are available through Roy's Web site ( and the CD Baby Web site, an online record store that sells CDs by independent musicians.


With Charlie and Henri Musselwhite

At the Winthrop Rhythm and Blues Festival. Nice photo-good friends! 

Mid-July Newsletter from the Slide Zone


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ SUMMER TOUR SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT THE SLIDE ZONE NEWSLETTER: July 17th, 2014
 Photo by Bob Hakins~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ July 18, 2014 The Triple Door Seattle, WA July 19, 2014 Winthrop Rhythm & Blues Festival Blues Ranch on the Methow River Winthrop, WA July 20, 2014 Uncle Sam's Bar and Grill Spanaway, WA See more on Roy's website! Facebook Downloads Merch Fan Sites Electronic Press Kit ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Hello Fans, Friends and Family Across the Globe! Roy Rogers and DRK gave a rip-roaring performance at the Vancouver Island Musicfest last weekend, with an added surprise - Roy sitting in with Bonnie Raitt on their song 'G'Nawin on It'. This song, which they co-wrote, won a Grammy nomination for Ms. Raitt under Best Female Rock Vocal Performance in 2003. Carlos Reyes also sat in with Bonnie on 'Angel From Montgomery' - sweet! Roy and DRK are now off to get down with fans around the Pacific Northwest, with stops in Seattle, Winthrop and Spanaway, Washington. Bring those dancing shoes people - it's summer! :) Please note some of our terrific partners' logos at the bottom of this email with live links-The Blues Foundation, The Center for the Arts Grass Valley, Zero Breast Cancer Watch, The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and The Americana Music Association-all have been in our lives for many years and are well worth your support! Share this newsletter with fellow fans to make sure no one misses out on Slide Zone announcements and be sure to follow us on Facebook. Mr. Rogers has a birthday on July 28th! :) Our Best, The Slide Zone Family ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Throwback Thursday Historic Photo from the Slide Zone Archives Stevie Ray Vaughan and Roy Rogers on tour, Everett, Washington.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ MANAGEMENT, PRIVATE EVENTS & CORPORATE: GAYNELL@ROY-ROGERS.COM BOOKING: STEPHEN@SAVOYMUSICINTERNATIONAL.COM ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


July 18, 2014

Seattle, WA 

July 19, 2014
Blues Ranch on the Methow River
Winthrop, WA

July 20, 2014
Spanaway, WA

See more on

Roy's website!



Roy Rogers July News 2014

Hello Fans, Friends and Family Across the Globe!

Roy Rogers & DRK's summer performances continue including stops at the Vancouver Island Music Festival, Edmonton Music Festival, The Triple Door in Seattle, Winthrop Blues Festival and an unusual stop at  Uncle Sam's in Spanway, all in Washington State - as well as hopping out to the Madison Indiana Ribberfest!  You won't want to miss these electric performances.  And of course don't forget to bring your dancin' shoes!

Check out the Roy Rogers Slide Zone website often for news, You Tube videos and more.
Also, don't be shy about stopping by the Facebook pages and weigh in! :)

"Roy Rogers is't a blues purist, just a spirit sent here to define the ancient language of the Mississippi Delta and forge a modern link to rock and roll" - Houston Chronicle 

We thank you for your continued support of live music and invite you to spread the
word about the Slide Zone newsletter, which you can subscribe to here on the home page.

Happy July 4th and have a safe and wonderful holiday!  Hope to see you soon!

Best, The Slide Zone Family
Roy Rogers June Update!

Thanks to all of our fans who made it to New Orleans Jazz Festival and Memphis in May - WOW!

Five standing ovations in the Blues Tent in New Orleans and packed to the gills.  "(One fan says Who Cares about Bruce Springsteen when Roy Rogers is in town?") 

Look at the summer dates, share with your friends and we will be updating the site as we go along.


Jazz Fest Focus - Roy Rogers
Slide-guitar wizard Roy Rogers has racked up a great history of Jazz Fest performances over the years and should add to that list in his set at this year’s event. [Read More...]