Jimmy Rogers
@ Orrie's, February 14-15, 1997

Jimmy Rogers & Jimmy D. Lane
Orrie's - 2/14/97
Photo © 1997 by Ray Stiles
All rights reserved
Local blues band Inside Straight opened for Jimmy Rogers providing some solid jump/swing blues that was made for dancing. The group featured Paul Strickland on sax, Lance Colmer on drums, Greg Beach on bass, Frank Bakke on guitar and Kurt Koehler on second guitar and very strong lead vocals. You definitely want to catch their show when they are playing around town.

The Jimmy Rogers band took the stage for the next two sets starting off each with several songs before bringing Jimmy up. Jimmy Rogers is one of the remaining legends of post-war Chicago electric blues. His guitar playing was an integral part of the development of the Chicago blues sound in the late 40's and 50's. He played in the original Muddy Water's bands along with Little Walter and went on to record some classic blues songs on his own. He was born James A. Lane on June 3, 1924 in Mississippi (Rogers comes from his stepfather's name). He started out playing harmonica and picked up on guitar later. He moved to Chicago in the late 30's. In fact Rogers originally played harmonica along with Blue Smitty and Muddy Waters on guitars in the late 40's version of their band. When Little Walter came to town with Sunnyland Slim, Jimmy went back to guitar and the rest is Chicago blues history.

Prior to performing, Jimmy was holding court in the corner booth at Orrie's. He was visiting with old friends and new fans, signing autographs and having his picture taken...and thoroughly enjoying all the attention. The band had the classic Muddy Waters band make-up of two guitars, bass, drums, harmonica and piano. Jimmy's band included some fine musicians with long time Hound Dog Taylor drummer Ted Harvey (and his annoying whistle which he blew when Jimmy came on stage), Freddie Crawford on bass, David Krull on piano, Keith Dodder on harmonica and son Jimmy D. Lane on lead guitar. Jimmy Lane is carrying on the family business -- playing great electric Chicago blues guitar. He is an outstanding guitar player in his own right playing anything from hot licks to tasteful slow blues. He was burning the place up!

Jimmy Rogers
Photo © 1997 by Chuck Winans
All rights reserved
Rogers performed many of his land mark hits from the early days of electric blues including That's All Right, Walking By Myself, Ludella and Chicago Bound as well as many blues classics including Got My Mojo Working, Hide Away (outstanding version done very fast) and Everyday I Have The Blues. Other than Willie Dixon, Jimmy is also regarded as one of Chicago's best blues song writers. It's always a real treat to see Jimmy Rogers perform and he was sounding good tonight. His voice was as strong and sweet as ever. He was also showing some of his old form on guitar - playing some nice rhythm and bass lines that was very enjoyable to watch.

If you are looking for a good starting place for some Jimmy Rogers albums you should start with what is recognized as one of the essential Chicago blues albums of all time, Chicago Bound featuring Little Walter, Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, Otis Spann and Fred Below. Other good ones include the 1995 Capital Chicago Blues Masters series, Vol. 2: Jimmy Rogers featuring Freddie King, the 1994 Blue Bird album featuring Carey Bell, Johnnie Johnson and son Jimmy Lane, the 1990 Antone's release Ludella featuring Pinertop Perkins, Kim Wilson and Hubert Sumlin, or Feelin' Good recorded in 1983-84 with Rod Piazza. You can't go wrong with any of these. He also has a new album scheduled for release this month on the same label that put out the Blue Bird CD.

Mailbox E-mail Ray Stiles at: mnblues@aol.com

Table of Contents:
Return To Home Page | Calendar | Spotlight | Live Reviews | New Reviews | Photo Gallery
CD Reviews | New CD Releases | Blues Links | Blues Bios | Blues Artists | Blues Clubs | Blues Jams

Free web pages from GeoCities

Copyright © 1997 by Ray M. Stiles
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, or any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the author.