Adam Rogers’ DICE@The Blue Whale 09.19.17

Guitarist Adam Rogers, better known for his work alongside artists ranging from Norah Jones to Chris Potter, stepped out in front with his DICE trio of Nate Smith/dr and Fima Ephron/b to deliver sounds and styles the displayed his own strong personality and roots.

Instead of the usual cooled, pencil thin lines, Rogers stepped up to the  plate with his Strat and a series of pedals to bring a fuller and bluesier groove than he’s usually associated with. Performing material form his bands eponymous debut album, Rogers created thick and dark shadows akin to a Sam Spade film over Smith’s and Ephron’s thick groove on the swampy “Chronics.” Hints of Rogers’ inner Hendrix came out as he mixed wild wah wah and riveting strums to Smith’s relentless beat and Epron’s funky pulse on “Seam Minor” while “L the Bruce” had Rogers slithering through space as he picked and poked his strings to the rhythm team’s thunderous support.

Rogers then took the packed house to the rural back porches of the South as he picked and grinned to the two step beat of a bluesy “The Mystic” that melded tradition, but in a modern suit. The band continued the journey as Rogers then made you feel like it was Saturday night at the Moose Lodge with a tear in the bear twang on the classic “Crazy.”

Closing up with the deep rivulet of the title track “Dice,” Rogers, by mixing visceral Strat gut grindings with a dash of Space Cadet, showed how in one hour an artist can go from Willie Nelson to  Jimi Hendrix without dropping a stitch, and making it work in a blues plate special. For Rogers, his Dice rolled a 7.

Upcoming shows at the Blue Whale include Joshua White’s Coltrane celebration 09/23, Peter Bernstein 09/26-27, Josh Nelson 09/28 and Billy Childs’ Jazz Chamber Ensemble 09/30

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