RAY MANZAREK / ROY ROGERS: TRANSLUCENT BLUES
This album is a brilliant collaboration from Ray Manzarek, co-founder and keyboardist of The Doors, and Roy Rogers, world renowned slide guitar master and Grammy winning producer.
Finding inspiration at the crossroads where the blues meets rock `n' roll, Translucent Blues is a hard driving, blues, rock and jazz inflected effort.
This record bristles with soul, intensity and creative energy, featuring multi-layered arrangements, solid driving grooves and stylistic depth. Literate minded lyric contributions from the likes of Warren Zevon and Jim Carroll does not hurt, either.
Manzarek seems to make musical references to The Doors (on songs like New Dodge City Blues and Fives and Ones, a blues song with a traditional subject of having a roll of bills in your pocket) and Manzarek's post Doors career as well. There's even a touch of jazz in there.
Neither Rogers nor Manzarek are going to be noted for having the voice of an angel, and sometimes Manzarek pushes his vocal abilities a little too far, but both have the rough-hewn voices of old blues men.
Despite the title, this CD is mostly uptempo, goodtime blues with Manzarek taking lead role on the more rock oriented songs and Rogers with the more traditional blues songs.
Rogers' guitar strikes a balance between being out in front and delivering a counterpoint to Manzarek's distinctive keyboard style.
Both men are accomplished musicians, and the album sets the proverbial bar at a new height.