Jamiah Rogers – Blues Superman
CD: 10 Songs, 35:55 Minutes
Styles: Contemporary Electric Blues Rock, Jazz-and-Soul Influenced Blues, All Original Songs
“I want something short and fun,” this reviewer told herself as she searched for a CD to consider. “Something that encapsulates summer.” Enter Jamiah Rogers, a Blues Superman from Chicago. He’s one part soul crooner (as on the title track), one part guitar hero (as on “Blues Mama” and “Gone Too Long”) and one part dance-track master (as on “Bourbon Street Bounce”). Vocally, he wavers between one of two extremes: beautiful and blasé. When he’s not going all out to emulate the examples of soul and blues masters, his tone resembles a tired teenager’s. That doesn’t mean he’s not good. In fact, he’s great on both drums and the “ax” he holds on the cover of his latest album. If you’re going to make it in the Windy City music scene, absolute proficiency in one or more instrumental areas is required. Rogers knows this very well. On ten original songs, he brings out the best of his blues abilities and those of his co-musicians.
According to a website known as “Brotherhood of the Guitar,” “Jamiah grew up in a household of musicians. The first hands-on experience with music came at the age of three. Jamiah’s father and guitarist, Tony Rogers, had a band that rehearsed every now and then in the basement of [their] home. You could tell [he] was listening, because he would come and sit on the stairs and sneak peeks of the bands’ rehearsal…At age 7, Jamiah recorded his first CD, In the Pocket, which opened doors for him…As the years passed, Jamiah became one of the top drummers in his age group but Tony thought it was time for Jamiah to pick up a new instrument, the guitar.” As they say, the rest is history, and our subject even got to be a closer for the Jimi Hendrix “Experience” tour.
Accompanying Jamiah (guitar, vocals, drums and bass) is his father Tony Rogers on bass.
On which three songs is our protagonist at his most heroic?
Track 01: “Blues Superman” – Up, up and away! Genre purists will be proud, and so will soul lovers. Jamiah’s guitar is smooth and melodic, needing no fret tricks or fancy overdubbing. As for his voice, one might wish that he’d put the same amount of inflection into the remaining songs. “Call me when you need some blues – I’ll be there at the drop of a dime. I’m your Blues Superman; gonna spread these blues all over this land.”
Track 04: “Blues Mama” – Time for a funky ‘70’s/‘80’s SRV groove, both on the beat and on your feet. It’s dancing time. “Hey there, bad, bad boy; I love how you play the guitar just like a toy,” says the love interest of our narrator. Truer words were never spoken, although this ‘toy’ is at its best in Rogers’ skillful hands. If one listens closely, one can also hear Tony Rogers’ cool and understated bassline providing stability to this wild number.
Track 08: “Let the Tears Fall” – Just when we listeners have been lulled into a sense of sunny security, Rogers “hits us right in the feels,” as Millennials say. Sometimes we all need a good cry, especially when loved ones aren’t near. Channeling Bob Marley, Jamiah jams: “[My friend’s] son left for college today. His daughter’s married, since moved away. Needed someone to talk to – ‘Hope you don’t mind, didn’t mean to bother you.’ Let the tears fall down like rain…” Indeed.
Take a dose of summer invincibility with this Blues Superman!