JAM 66 Radio: Robin Rogers

 

 

Guitarist, singer, and harmonica ace Robin Rogers‘ life was full of hard
knocks and sad turns, along with a few delightful coincidences, and she
earned the right to sing the blues the tough, old-fashioned way, but
sadly, she lived for only a short time after gaining her widest
recognition as a solo artist. As a runaway teen in the late ’60s she
scratched out an existence however she could, sometimes sleeping in
parks and abandoned cars as she bummed around the country to places like
Richmond, Virginia; Atlanta, Georgia; Ann Arbor, Michigan; and Coconut
Grove, Florida. Eventually she was picked up by the authorities and
placed in reform school. When she was released at the age of 15, she
went back to her nomadic ways, and soon had developed serious addictions
to drugs and alcohol. She also started singing, taught herself guitar,
and began performing at house parties, on street corners, and in
coffeehouses. In 1979 Rogers relocated to South Florida and recorded for
the Sal Soul imprint, settling in Ft. Lauderdale for ten years and
eventually kicking her addictions in 1989. A year later in 1990 she
moved to North Carolina, where she met her husband, guitarist Tony Rogers.
The two began performing as an acoustic blues duo with Rogers turning
more and more attention to her harp playing. Producer and drummer Jim Brock
heard the duo and recorded a debut album, 2001’s Time for Myself, with
them. Now working with a full band, which included her husband on
guitar, Rogers signed with the 95 North label and released 2004’s Crazy Cryin’ Blues, which was again produced by Brock. She signed with Blind Pig Records in 2008. Her first album for the label, Treat Me Right, appeared later that year. Back in the Fire
followed in 2010, debuting at number three on the Billboard blues album
charts, but Rogers learned she had inoperable liver cancer just before
the album was released. She died from the cancer on December 17, 2010 at
the age of 55.


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