What sets Lee Rogers apart is the the emotional resonance and authentic feel of his vocals. His voice is full of storytelling character and it stands out, once again, on ‘Barefoot in the Basement’. To give this song an even greater emotional pull, Rogers is joined by another fine vocalist in Foy Vance. Together, they deliver a textured, soulful performance and typically thoughtful, sensitive lyrics: “Well it’s a lot less brighter in the world today, // makes a lot less sense now your colours are gone. // Everywhere they go you’ve already been, // and every single tear means they want you home.” Whether humming a plaintive tune or singing with their richly warm voices, the pair complement one another well. The song is accompanied by a beautifully shot video, in which we see a potter’s wheel used to make multiple perfect new creations; it’s calming, peaceful and atmospheric.
The song is taken from Lee Rogers’ brand new album ‘Gameblood’, his first full-length release since his 2006 critically-acclaimed debut album. This long gap between albums was the result of issues with his record label, Zenith Café, being caught up in the HBOS banking crisis. Despite the record’s successes, which included airplay on BBC Radio 2 and songs being used on television and in films, Rogers walked away from his music career. After years working as an award-winning tattoo artist, he and Zenith Café are back.
Rogers explains the inspiration for the title of the new album: “My dad was as hard as the road he walked on but had the softest heart for us and my mother, who he loved unconditionally. He had a fighting spirit, and that’s what I believe ‘Gameblood’ means and is where the album title comes from.” He says the new songs represent: “A visit to those hard places that most people put to the back of their psyche and build a wall around. This album is a truer reflection of myself, my stories, where I’ve been and where I hope I am now. It’s music for the travelled soul, those folk who have seen a lot of life and can relate to the sentiments of the songs.” Indeed, it’s intimate, honest and authentic. But most of all, it’s full of well-crafted songs that feature engaging melodies blending a range of musical styles. Check it out – it’s absorbing stuff. If you want to experience Rogers’ excellent voice live, then head over to the Green Note in Camden on Wednesday 29th June where he’ll be supporting The Sam Chase Trio, another outstanding performer with a superb, characterful vocal. Tickets are available here. Also, the recent date at St Pancras Old Church has been postponed to 20th October – get your tickets here. Enjoy.