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Rockin’ psychedelic blues

DILLON – Lee Rogers grew up in what many consider to be the live music capital of the world – Austin, Texas. After spending about a year gigging around Summit County, Rogers returned home in May to make his mark in the competitive Austin music scene.

The Lee Rogers Band has been playing its smoking Texas blues throughout Summit County and the Front Range in the last year, but it hasn’t been without a few roadblocks.

The band, originally made up of bassist Craig Urban, drummer Brad Huff and Rogers, planned to release its debut album, “Thrills from the Road” in summer 2002. When Huff left the band last year, Urban and Rogers continued to record with Denver session player Mario Edwards. But then Urban moved to Chicago in May, putting the project on hold again.



“It was a struggle to find players to capture the sound we had,” Rogers said.

But, it only took a month or two.



Rogers returned to the recording studio at the beginning of the summer with Edwards, a drummer originally from New Orleans who adds a Big Easy beat to the mix of rock and blues. He also added Andy Irvine, a bassist from New York who tours with jazz-fusion band Carlos Washington and the Giant People, and Leftover Salmon keyboardist Bill McKay. Rogers hopes to release his six-tune demo album by the end of the year.

He’s currently commuting between Austin and Summit County to play gigs and finish the album. As soon as he finishes his first album, he plans to record another with Off Da Hook records in Eagle.

“It’s been a drought of recording, and now it’s going to be a deluge of recording,” he said. “I’m psyched. I couldn’t be happier with the people I’m playing with now.”

He has preserved his rockin’ sound, backed by a solid blues influence and a little gospel thrown into the album.

His explosive power trio (Rogers is between drummers, but tonight Andy Sweetser will fill in) fuses rock and blues into no-nonsense, good-old American rock.

Rogers describes his music as psychedelic blues, influenced by Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan and ZZ Top.

“I grew up on a solid dosage of blues and heavy metal in Austin, Texas,” Rogers said. “It’s a lively little town. It’s like Hollywood in Texas. It’s a live music scene.”

He moved to Summit County because “it was too hot in Austin,” both temperaturewise and musically.

“(Summit County) has been a great building ground for getting things fine-tuned,” he said. “I’ve run into some great musicians.”

The Lee Rogers Band has shared the stage with such legends as Buddy Cage, Bobby Dixon and W.C. Clark and opened up for Unified Theory (Pearl Jam and Blind Melon), Sister Hazel and Big Bill Morganfield (Muddy Waters’ son).

You can find his new CD on http://www.leerogersband.com in a couple of months.

Kimberly Nicoletti can be reached at 970-668-3998, ext. 245, or by e-mail at knicoletti@summitdaily.com.


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