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Blues, Charity

Robin Rogers – In Our Collective Thoughts and Prayers

© Joseph A. Rosen

As a writer, or a documenter of events, one never knows where the next inspiration will come from. Such is the case with what we have here on this page. I had decided to start my own Blues Blog, came up with a neat name (Blues411.com) and was going to move ahead slowly and get all my eggs in one basket and then launch it upon the unsuspecting world. Well that lasted just long enough for me to post that I was intending to do so. Serendipity, fate, karma, mojo whatever you call it stepped in – it was in the form of the reigning Queen of the Blues, Janiva Magness, who sent me a message saying that she was thrilled that I was doing this blog and I should write about Robin Rogers. What could I say ? How could I not do such a thing ?
This project became a living thing, with it’s own plan and agenda. Through Janiva and Scott Cable they set me up with some contacts, and like a virus of  love and caring, it quickly spread thru the Blues Community. What you read here has touched me deeply.  I did not want to tred where I was not welcomed or be viewed as an interloper of any sort. Everyone was more than willing to assist in this project, and with the
blessings of Tony & Robin Rogers, and through the efforts of everyone mentioned here and more, I give you this piece of love from the Blues Community to celebrate Robin and let her know we all love her and
carry her in our hearts.
 
 
Debbie Davies, Artist, Collaborator:
Robin Rogers is probably the most natural, soulful, real blues singer I have ever known. She is such a force of nature with her big voice, big, fun loving personality, and true soulfulness. She loves every minute of being on stage and really “Brings it” every night. I felt an immediate musical and sisterly connect with her from the moment we met. I feel truly blessed to have gotten to work with her on tour as much as I did this year. I think her voice and stage presence is what people think of most when you talk of Robin Rogers, but Robin is truly a very cool harp player. She’s got chops and taste…and is so deeply bluesy with
everything she does musically. As player, she added a lot to our shows, and I hope folks are aware of this.  Also, when an artist has as big of a presence as Robin does, it is easy to over look the song writing. I know her goal for a long time has been to develop her craft as a writer, and she so has reached that goal! She and her husband Tony have crafted some of the best stuff out there in the blues world. In the music biz we call this kind of artist a “triple threat”! Sings, plays, and writes.
Mostly, of course, I love Robin personally for her fun loving and funny personality. She brightens up every room she walks into, and has given so many so much comfort with her healing tunes. One can’t help but feel her sweetness and kindness when she is in their presence.
 

Scott Cable, Musician:
I first heard of Robin through my friend Carey Bell and she had a stint with her band as the house band every Monday or Tuesday at the Double Door in Charlotte…Carey mentioned that a woman in Charlotte wanted harp lessons….He said she sang good and was “a hot mamma”,  he really liked her. Next time I stayed with Carey he didnt feel up to going out so I went to the Double Door to check her out. I thought she had a great voice and was very nice….I stayed in touch and we became friends…She always asked about Carey and was concerned when both he and Nappy (Brown) were sick…Over the years Robin has really grown into an incredible performer pretty much owning any stage she gets on. When I produced Kenny Neal’s “Let Life Flow” record I called her to come in and sing background on two tunes….as she was warming up and working n the songs Kenny stood there watching and he said”man she’s ready to cut loose…she can sing!” Robin is a special talent. 

Bill Wax, Proprietor of Low-Fi’s Bar and Pool Hall in the heart of Bluesville:
I first became aware of Robin and Tony’s music around 2005 shortly after they had released a self produced disc titled ‘Crazy, Cryin’ Blues’.  I was knocked out by the quality of the music and the singing.  I added it as “Pick To Click” to our play list and got great response from our audience.  I also had one of those ‘ah ha’ moments with Robin’s talent realizing that there are probably artists like herself in towns all over America.  Really good musicians who have been laboring out there playing music and at best making something of a regional name for themselves.  The response from the national audience and Robin’s talent and personality pushed them to much higher visibility and of course her fine first Blind Pig disc helped a lot too.  It is heartbreaking to know how ill she is now, but I think at least she knows how much we, meaning the blues audience, love her music and recognize her and Tony’s talent.  Thanks Robin and Tony for all the great hours of high quality music.”

Janiva Magness, Artist:
I first heard Robin in 2004 at the International Blues Competition in Memphis, TN. I was down there serving as a Judge for the Blues Foundation and that evening was strolling Beale and was drawn into The Blues Hall where Robin and her Hot Band were competing. I was immediately taken by how confident and graceful she was. Here was a woman, in all her glory, and she was testifyin’ with everything she had. I felt a huge relief… ah… here was a truth teller!
Her voice was simply magnificent and she used it really, really well. Focused and passionate. Her song selection, band dynamics and overall performance was simply grand. I was captivated along with the rest of the crowd!
There was a huge line of folks wanting to buy her CD and I just waited in line and bought one, introduced myself to her, took that disc and went on down Beale Street to soak in some more talent, but one thing was very clear to me. I had just witnessed a rare and true talent. I was pretty sure it was gonna be hard to beat what I had just seen and heard. (This is one of the many reasons I continue to attend the I.B.C. every year.) I told everyone I knew about Robin Rogers. It was several months later when Robin and I began to correspond and became friends. She later sent me Crazy Cryin’ Blues – her next CD and I LOVED it! That disc won the Best Self Produced Disc in 2005 I.B.C. Excellent! I just ordered her newest recording Back In The Fire from Blind Pig. I am waiting anxious by the mailbox!
To me, one of the most pronounced things about Robin is she remains so very humble, which I believe is the mark of a true talent – a certain sense of true humility about what you are doing and the road you travel as a touring Musician. Robin has great talent and humility in spades. She writes and sings songs that are true to the heart and has that whole sense of the human struggle, and victory. That makes her all the more rare and that much more of a precious gem. Robin can take any song, from any genre, and make it her own. The mark of a true Artist.

I only hope she is able to hear the outpouring of love from her friends and fans as she makes this journey. It is a privilege to have worked with Robin and an honor to know her as a human being. God speed my friend. Love – Janiva

“Put a candle in the window. Cause I feel I’ve got to move. Well I’m going, going – I’ll be coming home soon. As long as I can see the light. Long as I can see the light.”John Fogerty

Edward Chmelewski, President, Blind Pig Records:
We’ve all been devastated by the news about Robin, especially since she’s such a kind, caring, warm, and outgoing person.    Her artistry and genuine enthusiasm for the blues are above reproach.   I just saw her several weeks ago in San Francisco at the end of the tour she was doing with Debbie Davies.  She was in great spirits,  happy to be playing with Debbie, and really excited about the release of her new record ‘Back In The Fire’ .  Her upbeat, positive attitude, and love for what she was doing were inspiring.  It’s been very gratifying to see the blues community rally and come out in support of this wonderful artist during this very sad and difficult time.
 
 
Joseph A. Rosen, Photographer:
I do not know Robin Rogers personally. I only saw her perform once at the Blues Music Awards in 2009 and she floored me. It was like, “Wow, this gal has got it going on!!!” I didn’t know where she came from, but I knew she had definitely arrived. Plus, she sang a Big Maybelle song with real authority. That is a very good thing in my book. She HAS intensity, talent, presence and soul. I hope that my photo conveys some of that. 
 

 

Jake Haldenwang, Artist:
The night I met Robin & Tony Rogers was on Fathers Day, June 15, 2008 at Midtown Sundries, Lake Norman NC at Rick Ballews Smokin’ Bluz Cruise with Tommy Castro & Robin Rogers. As we were leaving Midtown Sundries, Tony Rogers just handed me his Dobro.  So a busted out my slide and just started playin’ then Robin just belted out a tune and we ended up doing this impromtu spontaneous little jam thing outside Midtown in the middle of the night…lol…Great big Robin hug afterwards. Wow…I will never forget how warm and welcomed Robin & Tony Rogers made me feel…truly two of the nicest most gracious people I have ever met. Thank you so much Robin & Tony for giving this nobody little kid with a guitar such a great memory. It was a real classic moment with two class act people which I will always remember.

Rick Booth, Intrepid Artists International, Inc.: 
Robin seems like a great person to me. I mainly know her from seeing her out in clubs and had thrown a few gigs her way over the years. She has always been so nice and appreciative. She really was moving up the ranks in the blues world. Many other women such as Debbie Davies and Janiva Magness had seen Robin and wanted to help her climb the blues ladder. I had just booked Robin with Janiva Magness over in Norway at the Notodden Blues Festival. I like talking with her about the business when I see her out. She always has a great smile and seems to love the music. I wish she and Tony all the best! They are both in my thoughts at this time. 
 
Jim Brock, Producer, drummer:
Robin is one of my favorite subjects to talk about. Not only is she the hardest working artist that I’ve ever known, but a truly loving individual. Seems like no matter how hectic things get, she always finds time for you. She leaves the “Robin touch” everywhere she goes.
I remember the first time I ever heard her sing. She had never made a solo record before, so I took her in the studio and we made ” Time For Myself “. We have made 4 records total.  Robin’s rule of thumb has always been; You must show respect to gain respect. She has always lived this way, on stage and throughout her personal life. She is truly a person to aspire to.
.

 

Due to the self-imposed time restraints of this story I could only touch base with so many people in such short time. If any of you reading this have stories, asides, anecdotes, nuggets please feel free to post them up here  for all of us to share.  Fair warning I do not have the permission blocked but will be monitoring the site, so be kind, sweet and respectful of the spirtit contained within.

Love, Peace & Chicken Grease 
chefjimi

——————————————
Not too long ago Robin was to undergo TIPS surgery to keep blood from further entering her belly and breaking down into unsafe elements. The surgery would also have kept the swelling from threatening the integrity of the banding operation previously done to relieve esophageal verices(enlarged veins). Robin has had Hepatitis Type C and this condition has attacked her liver and has caused multiple complications. A CT scan prior to the procedure revealed a cancerous tumor on her liver. The tumor is untreatable given the condition of her liver. She is also not a candidate for a transplant as the drugs required to help the body accept a transplant would be ineffective and dangerous.

Robin is at home now and hospice has been called in. Tony and their family respectfully ask that despite the best of intentions, you do not stop by or call. They need their private time to be their own. At this point basic living expenses are the most pressing need. Robin will not be able to return to the stage and Tony will be out of work for the foreseeable future.
Expenses for medicine are extremely high. Their medical fund does not cover any of these expenditures.

There are several Benefit Events happening in Auburn Hills Michigan (Callahan’s), Asheville North Carolina (Tressa’s Downtown Jazz & Blues) and Charlotte North Carolina (Amos’s Southend)  for Robin and Family. They are accepting charitable donations to be auctioned off to raise cash for them because at this point the basic living expenses are the most pressing need. For the 411 on these and updates you can check the link on the left hand side of the page (picture of Robin).  Also Robin Rogers Benefit Central on FaceBook, and Robin Rogers.com.

One last thing we might consider is to pre-order Robins’ newest CD release on Blind Pig Records, ‘In The Fire’  and help it debut at #1 in the Blues category. Go here to do it,  http://www.blindpigrecords.com/index.cfm?section=album&catalognum=BPCD5138.  I know you can do this, and thank you from me.

Donations can be made directly to Robin at:
Robin Rogers
c/o Piedmont Talent
PO Box 680006
Charlotte NC 28216
——————————-

Main photo: Joseph A. Rosen.
Other photos: Scott Cable, Leslie K. Joseph, Terence L. Slagle, Jake Haldenwang, Rick Booth, Jim Brock, Blind Pig Records.
©Blues411, 2010

12 Comments

  1. chefjimi January 9, 2011 2:35 pm

    Please view this short video and join if you have not done so.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buxTQ5ITzn8

    thank you from all involved . . .

  2. chefjimi December 17, 2010 8:23 pm

    Robin Rogers has passed. This is just a few days after Robin was nominated for Contemporary Blues Female Artist for the 2011 Blues Music Awards.
    Our thoughts go out to her husband, Tony, and all friends and family.

    Bill Wax will be doing a 1 hour special on Robin Rogers, Monday at 3pm ET, on Sirius/XM74 Bluesville.

  3. chefjimi November 5, 2010 10:37 am

    If you are in Lincolnton, N.C. on Sunday Nov.7 please drop by the Lincoln House for the benefit for Robin and Tony Rogers which begins at 7 pm.

  4. Hockey October 20, 2010 7:12 pm

    This is an excellent post and may be one that needs to be followed up to see what happens

    A colleague e-mailed this link the other day and I will be eagerly anticipating your next write-up. Keep on on the exceptional work.

  5. Robin & Tony September 23, 2010 9:15 am

    Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!
    To everyone who bought ‘Back In the Fire. We can never thank you enough. “Back In The Fire” debuted on the Billboard Blues Chart at #3, behind only Cyndi Lauper and Etta James!
    Robin & Tony

  6. Thornetta Davis September 23, 2010 9:00 am

    FORGIVE ME FOR MISSPELLED WORDS IN THE COMMENT FOR ROBIN. ROBIN YOU ARE AN ANGEL. TD

  7. Thornetta Davis September 23, 2010 8:52 am

    I WAS BLESSED TO HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO MEET AND PERFORM WITH ROBIN ONLY A MONTH AND A HALF AGO. IT WAS WHILE WE WERE IN NOTODDEN NORWAY WITH JANIVA MAGNESS. ROBIN IS A LOVING SPIRIT ON EARTH. WHEN I MET HER IT WAS AS IF WE’VE KNOWN EACH OTHER FOR YEARS. SHE MAKES YOU FEEL THAT WAY. IT HURTS MY HEART TO KNOW THAT SOMEONE SO LOVING AND TALENTED IS GOING THROUGH WHAT SHE IS GOING THROUGH. I KNOW THAT GOD PUTS ANGLES ON EARTH FOR SHORT TIME AND THEN HE CALLS THEM HOME. ROBIN HAVE A WONDERFUL JOURNEY MY SISTER. I WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER OUR SMILE, YOUR FIRE ON STAGE WHEN SING AND WHEN YOU PLAY “THAT THANG GIRL” . PEACE AND BLESSINGS TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY ALWAYS.
    THORNETTA DAVIS

  8. Bob Crosier September 21, 2010 3:31 pm

    I remember one Tuesday night at The Double Door Inn I was with my date and Robin was singing. My date loved her so much. After her set was finished Robin was so kind and caring. Wow I thought what a great lady. She had a way to make everyone feel so good. Tony also is a great man. I was shocked to hear the news about Robin and tears began to flow down my cheeks. That’s all I can say for now. Tony and Robin are loved by us all.

  9. chefjimi September 15, 2010 9:33 am

    Robin posted this note on her FaceBook Page, I have taken the liberty of re-posting it here:
    Robin Rogers but it has taken me quite some time to gain back some of my strength and mobility after being in the Intensive Care off and mostly on for 3 wks. and undergoing four endoscopies and 2 drainings of fluid from my stomach over that period of time. The last few days I’ve been so happy to get some energy back..and some relief from the loss of the 40 lbs of fluid my body was holding onto. It feels incredibly wonderful to be home and under the constant care of Nurse Tony 🙂 Hospice health care has been called into play and we’re currently working on getting my meds straightened out.

    I feel like screaming from the highest mountain “THANK YOU EVERY BODY FOR THE ALL THE LOVE AND THE HEALING POWER OF PRAYER…” I’m completely stunned and overjoyed with the response that has been sent my way. It’s been an emotional rollercoaster as you can well imagine. My diagnosis is not very hopeful but I do have the luxury of being around for possibly a year or maybe a little longer. No one really knows for sure; it’s just an educated guess from within some of the best minds familiar with this sort of situation. I have much to be grateful for and I want you all to know how special you’ve made me feel. Please know how deeply touched I am by the generosity and support of each and every one of you.

    I love and cherish you,
    Robin

  10. Mike "BEAR" Garvin September 14, 2010 8:48 pm

    Robin and Tony …. I am so glad I got to share some time with you in Asheville at the Biltmore Park Gig and thank you for letting my daughter sing. My only regret is I did not sing one with you too. Peace and Love to You. You all are in our thoughts and prayers. BEAR

  11. E.G. Kight September 13, 2010 8:58 am

    I had the opportunity to work with Robin a few years back in Wilmington, NC. at the Women in Blues Festival. I called her up on stage and we had a natural ball. I’ve been a huge Robin Rogers fan ever since. She’s such a sweetie and is busting open with talent. I just love her.

    EG

  12. Cee Cee James September 12, 2010 10:18 am

    When I first heard about Robin’s sickness I was confused as I had not heard of her being sick. It blew me away that she has Hep C and that it was so advanced or that her liver was so comprimised. My Sister had Hep C and so it all came flooding back. I was horrified and extremely saddened for Robin. I mean she is so young and is in the midst of her wonderful career. I watched my 2nd husband slip away from cancer at home on hospice and I just couldn’t imagine Robin having to let go and go home so young. This entire thing opened up the well of compassion in my heart and I cried and prayed for Robin all day the day I found out. Prayers for a miracle or a safe comfortable passage home are still coming. Robin’s situation has once again shown that the blues community bonds together hard and fast in love and understanding when sudden hardships hit in life – and brings an entire bounty of love to the table. It is something that is amazing and unheard of in many families and communities. From my life experiences, I can speak to this. I’ve never witnessed such support so close to home, in all of my life except when a fellow blues musician hits hards times.

    I don’t know Robin. I only know of her music and I suppose that through that I know her. Words have weight compared to what I feel in my heart … they just cannot support what I would want to say. But regardless, “Robin, I wish you the best whether by some turn of the cards you come through this or whether you head on home with the Angels… I wish you a safe and loving journey. And I wish your family endless love, support and strength as they also go through this with you. Your life has blessed so many in such short time. I know your music will live on for eons and your message of love and kindness will never never end. Sweet love to your heart and every cell in your body.” Cee Cee

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