Roy Rogers & the Delta Rhythm Kings

Live! (Chops Not Chaps)

Roy Rogers Wilbert's Friday, October 21
"Chops Not Chaps" is the slogan Bay Area guitarist Roy Rogers uses to distinguish himself from celluloid cow-babe Dale Evans' main squeeze. Yes, both Roys took on the six-string, but the surviving Rogers has made a name for himself as a world-class slide player, alongside such peers as Ry Cooder and Sonny Landreth.

One of Rogers' primary influences is New Orleans music. Whether picking country-style through a one-time Crescent City gem like the Alvin Robinson hit "Down Home Girl," lending a sassy strut to the Willie Dixon/Howlin' Wolf classic "Built for Comfort," or working up Robert Johnson's "Terraplane Blues" with a spirited second-line rhythm, Rogers never strays too far from the town. This goes for his originals as well. While it's impossible not to twinge at any good-timey references to the Big Easy these days, Rogers' stuff can endure the hit. The Kings' trio sound is well crafted: Underneath their leader's phenomenal work lurks extroverted drumming from Jim Sanchez and smart, economical bass from Steve Ehrmann. In Rogers' hands, the blues becomes a party -- and a wild one at that.

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