Ray Manzarek/Roy Rogers: Translucent Blues (Blind Pig)

 |   |  1 min read

Ray Manzarek/Roy Rogers: River of Madness
Ray Manzarek/Roy Rogers: Translucent Blues (Blind Pig)

Given his organ playing was such an integral part of the Doors' sound, it's surprising Ray Manzarek's subsequent four decade career has garnered so little attention, although to be fair it has thrown up few decent albums.

I recall trading in his Carmina Burana within a week of getting it in the early Eighties and just last month I paid $5 for a vinyl copy of his '73 Golden Scarab and on playing it felt a little over-charged. 

Here however, again with singer/writer/slide guitarist Rogers and a small band, he reaches towards some late peak in blues-rock material which has a sense of urgency and includes co-writes with the poets Michael McClure and the late Jim Carroll, and the late Warren Zevon (on the bitter-sweet River of Madness about Los Angeles, with a beautifully weird Middle Eastern passage between the grit-rock).

Doors fans won't be disappointed (Game of Skill and New Dodge City Blues shave off a little of Love Her Madly and others are akin to their roadhouse blues) but the real meat here lies in Rogers razor-edge playing, the blues grooves (the Booker T-like An Organ, A Guitar and a Chicken Wing), the drugged darkness of Kick (the McClure co-write which is cocaine-induced jazz-noir) and the cinematic, 2am instrumental As You Leave.

Some of this (Blues in My Shoes, Greenhouse Blues which is silly but in Mose Allison's mould) is only elevated by the playing because vocally neither of them would get past the elimination round of American Idol.

So not the most essential album, but if you saw them at a club gig you'd happily pick up a copy afterwards.

Interested in more along these lines? Then try this.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Bonny Light Horseman: Bonny Light Horseman (37d03d/Southbound)

Bonny Light Horseman: Bonny Light Horseman (37d03d/Southbound)

You'd have to be well embedded in the genre to know that this trio of songwriter/playwright Anais Mitchell, Eric D Johnson (of Fruit Bats) and Josh Kaufman are an American “folk... > Read more

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: Fleet Foxes: Fleet Foxes (SubPop/Rhythmethod)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: Fleet Foxes: Fleet Foxes (SubPop/Rhythmethod)

With its references to late 60s folk-rock, baroque pop flourishes, close harmonies, art-rock progressions and the jigsaw-puzzle of arrangements for voices and a small array of instruments (all... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Elvis' Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwiches

Elvis' Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwiches

Nobody in their right mind would want to follow Elvis' eating regime, but every once in a while maybe you should live like a King. This was one of his favourite recipes and I got it off an oven... > Read more

Various Artists: The Rough Guide to Indian Classical Music (2014)

Various Artists: The Rough Guide to Indian Classical Music (2014)

Elsewhere makes judiciously considered entries under its Essential Elsewhere albums, and we avoid the obvious (no compilations, greatest hits and so on). Those are easy options and anyone with a... > Read more