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Translucent Blues

Ray Manzarek & Roy Rogers Audio CD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

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Translucent Blues + Twisted Tales + Carmina Burana
Price for all three: $44.93

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 24, 2011)
  • Original Release Date: 2011
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Blind Pig
  • ASIN: B004USRLN2
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #111,741 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Hurricane
2. River of Madness
3. Game of Skill
4. Fives and Ones
5. Kick
6. Tension
7. Blues In My Shoes
8. New Dodge City Blues
9. Greenhouse Blues
10. Those Hits Just Keep On Comin'
11. As You Leave
12. An Organ, a Guitar and a Chicken Wing

Editorial Reviews

A brilliant collaboration from Ray Manzarek, co-founder and keyboardist of The Doors, and Roy Rogers, world renowned slide guitar master and Grammy winning producer. Translucent Blues is a hard driving, blues, rock and jazz inflected effort; a fresh, contemporary recording bristling with soul, intensity and creative energy. The album features songs with multi-layered arrangements, solid driving grooves and stylistic depth. They are energetic and strong - with music and lyric collaborations from Manzarek and Rogers, and lyric contributions from the likes of Warren Zevon and Jim Carroll.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
(23)
3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At The Crossroads of Rock and The Blues May 24, 2011
Format:Audio CD
Jim Morrison used to talk about the crossroads, a place in southern mythology where magic happened, Ray Manzarek and Roy Rogers Translucent Blues is at the crossroads where the blues meets rock `n' roll.

Ray Manzarek has always been attracted to literate minded lyrics and Translucent Blues is no different, having songs contributed by Jim Carroll, Warren Zevon (both of whom worked with Manzarek before their deaths) Michael C Ford, and beat poet Michael McClure. It's not only Manzarek at the crossroads, one of the Warren Zevon songs has the music attributed to Rogers.

Manzarek seems to have musical references to The Doors, New Dodge City Blues has undercurrents of Love Her Madly. Is Fives and Ones a reference to The Doors 5 to1? Maybe, what it is, is a blues song with a traditional subject of having a roll of bills in your pocket. And the musical references aren't limited to The Doors, if you're familiar with Manzarek's post Doors albums from the 70's you'll also hear some musical references to that period of Manzarek's career as well. Some of these blues touch on jazz too. Kick, lyrics by Michael McClure, has a tinges of jazz in it, plus some of the most consciously poetic lyrics on the CD.

Neither Rogers nor Manzarek are going to be noted for their dulcet tones or mellifluous singing, sometimes Manzarek pushes his vocal abilities a little too far such as on Game of Skill. However, both have rough-hewn voices of the old blues men, and that's where Manzarek and Rogers might be. They're now the old blues men they admired in their youth. Translucent Blues despite the somewhat cool title for the CD is mostly uptempo, goodtime blues in the vein of Roadhouse Blues.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
By `Rebel' Rod Ames

Co-founder of The Doors, Ray Manzarek and slide-guitarist extraordinaire Roy Rogers have collaborated on projects before and have been very successful at it. However, with their latest project, "Translucent Blues", they have exceeded their past endeavors and set the proverbial bar at a new height. I literally fell in love with every single tune on the record.

I always knew that Mr. Manzarek had a distinct style as a keyboardist, but I guess I just never realized how distinct until listening to "Translucent Blues". His piano/keyboard playing stands out and adds an entire extra layer to nearly each song. Mr. Roger's slide-guitar is appropriately layered in, creating a sound that goes beyond blues or rock. It is unique and refreshing all the way through.

The two artists are true masters of their craft and they are at their absolute best here. To bind them together they have added Elvin Bishop's bass player, Steve Evans, and Kevin Hayes of Robert Cray's Band on drums.

If the talent were not already impressive enough, artists such as Warren Zevon, Jim Carroll, and poet, Michael McClure, have graciously contributed lyrics. In a word - Incredible! The lyrics from these very special lyricists add texture to the tunes that compliment each song and give them depth. No! They, the lyrics, completely take each song into another sonically pleasurable dimension.

These two musical masterminds share the vocal duties but I have to say, after listening to this record many times; why didn't Mr. Manzarek sing more of the lead vocals with The Doors? Oh yeah, two words, Jim Morrison! However, I truly believe Ray Manzarek's vocals are in some ways as good here as Mr. Morrison's vocals were a long time ago.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Transparent Blues May 25, 2011
Format:Audio CD
This album builds solidly on the 4 pillars of blues (Lousy Money, Crappy Dope, Bad Booze and Worse Women)and adds a few extras like natural disasters and sad walks down a very lonely path...one song in particular would be a good soundtrack for scattering the ashes of a loved one, but overall your blues will be turned into something like watching the collapse of the Twin Towers in reverse...in my opinion, it's a Masterpiece! A couple of the songs conjure up the possibility that Jim Morrison rose from the dead just for these sessions, who knows!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I have no new insight for you, but... June 25, 2011
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
this is the most exciting album I've heard since Kenny Wayne Shepherd's 'Ten Days Out'. Can't really comment on the lyrics, I haven't paid 'em much mind yet. I recognize The Doors' legacy in some of it. Roy Rogers is new to me, but I really enjoy 'Split Decision'.

This is just a great kick back and relax listen. Blues, rock, and roots rock maybe, with pinches of other styles? Talented artists and good recordings have me toe-tapping right along.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Pleasant Surprise December 31, 2012
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Having missed the last collaboration between Ray Manzarek and Roy Rogers, I am pleasantly surprised to hear how good this one is. Reviews are all over the board, but if you give this an honest listen and are not expecting some blues revival, you should find a lot to enjoy too.
Is there are touch of the Doors? Well, yes there are a couple pieces that wouldn't have sounded out of place on Morrison Hotel or LA Woman. But no way is Translucent Blues a Doors redux. The recording starts out enjoyably enough, maybe even a little commercial in places, until it starts to gain traction on Kick. From there on to the finish, it's mostly great stuff. My favorites are Kick, Tension, New Dodge City Blues, Greenhouse Blues, and a pair of instrumentals: the suave, jazzy As You Leave and the rollicking An Organ, A Guitar, and a Chicken Wing. The duo's sidemen put in some great performances, particularly George Brooks on tenor saxophone.
The CD comes packaged in a standard plastic jewel case and is accompanied by an attractive insert containing all pertinent album info, a few pics, and the lyrics. If you haven't heard anything from Manzarek for a while, check this out. Though in his 70s, he shows he still has the mojo!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Not what id hoped for
Published 3 months ago by Raymond W. Butcher
3.0 out of 5 stars needs more roy rogers
this is cool needs more Roy Rogers sound I like the blues and this is half with to the blues
Published 8 months ago by john vukojevich
4.0 out of 5 stars The Jazz end of Blues
I bought this because I LOVE Roy Rogers and I wanted to see how he would mesh with Ray Manzarek. I felt Roy was obscured to a degree in this disc, but I have to say the songs are... Read more
Published 16 months ago by eclecticwhyzas
5.0 out of 5 stars Great album
I have been a fan of Ray Manzarek since the Doors were in their prtme. He hasn't lost his touch and teaming with Roy Rodgers made a good match.
Published 19 months ago by Joseph Allen, Jr.
3.0 out of 5 stars Doors Updated---Sort of... OK
This one's.... OK. Some catchy tunes but overall kind of .... OK. The recording is ...OK as well. I'm not sure how to classify this one, not rock or jazz but kind of pop, which... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Pat
2.0 out of 5 stars Sorry guys but this misses
Big Doors fan here. I always wanted more from Ray then he has delivered. Music is better than good, but Ray on the vocals makes this a one time listen.
Published 21 months ago by James A. Woronow
5.0 out of 5 stars Pumpin
Roy Rogers has been a long time dependable blues man and this collab with Manzarek, who i didn't know, shows the power of each of them and the drive they produce together.
Published 22 months ago by Jay B. Fineman
1.0 out of 5 stars Forgot more than you'll ever know.
With rock music no longer in popular ascendancy, it is easy to forget its history, including the fact that many of its greatest practitioners drew inspiration from the blues and... Read more
Published on June 4, 2012 by J. Ramsey
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Musicians -- Great Music
The music here is a masterful and lively 5 star production, a beautiful synthesis of keyboards and slide guitar. Read more
Published on March 30, 2012 by applewood
4.0 out of 5 stars Keyboard/Slide Guitar Magic Men
I've been a fan of Ray, both with The Doors, and with his earlier solo work, The Golden Scarab and The Whole Thing Started With Rock and Roll Now It's Out of Control (wow, what a... Read more
Published on October 30, 2011 by JM in OKC
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