‘Rebel’ Rod’s Reviews – Ray Manzarek/Roy Rogers – Translucent Blues
By ‘Rebel’ Rod Ames
Co-founder of The Doors, Ray Manzarek and slide-guitarist extraordinaire Roy Rogers have collaborated on projects before and have been very successful at it. However, with their latest project, “Translucent Blues”, they have exceeded their past endeavors and set the proverbial bar at a new height. I literally fell in love with every single tune on the record.
I always knew that Mr. Manzarek had a distinct style as a keyboardist, but I guess I just never realized how distinct until listening to “Translucent Blues”. His piano/keyboard playing stands out and adds an entire extra layer to nearly each song. Mr. Roger’s slide-guitar is appropriately layered in, creating a sound that goes beyond blues or rock. It is unique and refreshing all the way through.
The two artists are true masters of their craft and they are at their absolute best here. To bind them together they have added Elvin Bishop’s bass player, Steve Evans, and Kevin Hayes of Robert Cray’s Band on drums.
If the talent were not already impressive enough, artists such as Warren Zevon, Jim Carroll, and poet, Michael McClure, have graciously contributed lyrics. In a word – Incredible! The lyrics from these very special lyricists add texture to the tunes that compliment each song and give them depth. No! They, the lyrics, completely take each song into another sonically pleasurable dimension.
These two musical masterminds share the vocal duties but I have to say, after listening to this record many times; why didn’t Mr. Manzarek sing more of the lead vocals with The Doors? Oh yeah, two words, Jim Morrison! However, I truly believe Ray Manzarek’s vocals are in some ways as good here as Mr. Morrison’s vocals were a long time ago.
I’m not sure how they decided who would do the lead vocals on each song but who ever made the decision on who was going to sing what, got it right here! Each tune left me hungry for more up to the end of the record, which left me completely longing for Ray Manzrek’s and Roy Roger’s next collaboration.
Take your time boys. As I said, you have set the bar extremely high on this one. So, taking your time and getting it right the next time is going to be even more difficult.
These two pros should be able to handle that undertaking quite easily.
The record released on May 24th on Blind Pig Records.