Edward Rogers premieres his track Bright Star on RockShot Magazine. A wonderful folk psychedelia poem echoing Clifford T Ward, Al Stewart and the early Canterbury sound.
Born in Birmingham and based in NYC, and a former drummer on the NY punk/garage and psychedelic scene, Edward Rogers used to hang out at CBGBs and Max’s Kansas City with artists such as Joey Ramone and the musicians in the Patti Smith group.
An incident in the mid-80s left him without the use of the right arm and leg, leading him to start writing songs, which became his absolute passion. Glass Marbles is his sixth solo album and it includes 19 tracks mixing rock, folk, blues and psychedelia.
It will be released by Zip Records in the UK on 2nd September. One year’s body of work consisting of over 50 songs, was collected by Rogers, along with his producer, Don Piper, selected the best songs, the right recording venues and musicians to fit each of the 18 songs on Glass Marbles.
The concept of this album is to present the listener a cohesive piece of work, while offering a diversity in style and sound. In addition to the core musicians, Don Piper, James Mastro, Sal Maida and Dennis Diken, guest players include Geoff Blythe, John Ford, Matthew Horn, Ivan Julian, Pete Kennedy, Joe McGinty, Konrad Meissner, Dave Schramm, Gaz Thomas, Tish & Snooky and JF Vergel.
RockShot Magazine had the chance to speak to Edward and he answered our questions below.
Which bands did you play with as a drummer?
Local New York City-based bands, Nico’s Toys and Route 66.
What were the most memorable gigs?
As a drummer with Route 66, opening for The Troggs at a tiny NYC club called Dr. B’s in the Soho area in the late ’70s. We were such a ‘young’ band that opening for ‘superstars’ was mind-blowing. Each member of The Troggs got $1,000; our payment, after The Troggs used our equipment no less, was to meet them and a towel to wipe off our sweat after the show! Welcome to showbiz!
As a singer-songwriter, there are so many highlights: opening for my heroes Colin Blunstone, Ian Hunter, Dave Davies and Terry Reid, just to name a few. It always amazes me when the artists whose music you admire, live up to and even exceed your expectations, both musically and also as people. What a thrill.
When did you move to New York City and why?
When I was 12 years old, my parents planned a holiday in the sun, then suddenly decided to move to the States instead! We spent a summer in Rhode Island and then moved to New York City. Immigration in the ’60s and ’70s from Birmingham, was the ‘thing to do.’ It was either Australia or America and America got stuck with me!
A difficult question to ask but how did you lose your arm and leg?
I was on my way to work on the subway (tube) in New York. I didn’t feel well, passed out and fell between the train cars. Thankfully, another passenger saw it happen and pulled the emergency break, probably saving my life. I woke up five days later to find out I had lost my arm and leg (below the knee). It was a life-affirming second chance and believe me, I’ve made the most of it. Breath the air everyday!
How did your musical relationship start with Zip records?
As an indie artist, I was pitching various labels and while a few showed interest, Arthur Herman, head of Zip Records, enthusiastically got back to me. That was five albums ago! The first one Zip Records released was You Haven’t Been Where I’ve Been, which was a collaboration with songwriter, George Usher. Glass Marbles is the fifth album I’ve released with the label, which continues to be extremely supportive.
What defines you are a songwriter?
Hmm, difficult question. I try to write every day and benefit from the many generations of songwriters who have inspired and influenced me. There’s so much great talent out there, and I feel privileged to be in their company. It truly is a great experience to be able to write lyrics and melodies on subjects that you believe in. It’s a wonderful feeling to finish off a song. I recommend everyone give it a go and see what happens!
You can find a little more about Edward here: Edward Rogers Music