Music has been Robin Rogers' consuming passion ever since her days as a teenaged street singer. Possessing a deeply expressive and soulful voice and an infectious enthusiasm for the blues, her Blind Pig debut, "Treat Me Right", opened a lot of eyes and ears to Robin's expansive talents. Among other accolades, Robin was the recipient of the Blues Blast Award for "Best Female Artist" of 2009. With "Back In The Fire." she fulfills the promise of that first Blind Pig release, revealing herself as an accomplished artist of rare polish and originality.
Robin opens "Back in the Fire" with a song she co-wrote with her husband and guitarist Tony Rogers. "Baby Bye-Bye" is a barn burning vocal tour de force that sets the standard for all that follows. Varying mood and tempo, Robin and her band effortlessly move from the soulful balladry of "Need Your Love So Bad" (featuring a tasty solo by special guest Bob Margolin), through the bouncy, Louisiana feeling of "I Know I Done Wrong" to the heartfelt and hard won wisdom of the concluding "What We Are Worth." Robin's journey hasn't always been an easy one, but her resiliency informs her raw talent with rare power and emotional maturity.
In the late sixties when America's youth was "rediscovering the Blues," Robin Rogers was "living the Blues." As a runaway teen trying to escape a troubled home, she made her way to cities like Richmond, Virginia; Ann Arbor, Michigan; Atlanta, Georgia; and Coconut Grove, Florida. Robin lived the hippie lifestyle of the times, even sharing residence in a commune in Love Valley, North Carolina for one summer, sometimes sleeping in parks, under picnic tables and in abandoned cars. After serving time as a juvenile in reform school for truancy and being out of parental control, she was released at age 15 to begin life on her own. It was a hard life for a young girl, and it wasn't long until Robin was addicted to drugs and alcohol and, thank goodness, to singing!
She eventually learned to play guitar and began accompanying herself. Robin performed on the streets, at parties and coffee houses for food and tips, setting the stage for the emergence of an independent, strong-willed spirit and charismatic singer. After hearing the applause of strangers, she knew she was hooked! Her goal was to make a living performing music, and this she has done for over 30 years. Moving to South Florida in 1979 to record for the Sal Soul Label, a subsidiary of RCA, Robin recorded at the well-known Miami Sound Studios and lived in Ft. Lauderdale for the next ten years performing on a full-time basis.
As fate would have it, Robin became drug and alcohol free in 1989 and began to turn her life around. She moved to North Carolina in 1990, performing in the Southeast area for the next ten years, recording, writing and enjoying music clean and sober for the first time in many years.
Robin got involved with the Charlotte Blues Society in the mid-nineties. Shortly after that, she met and married fellow musician and Blues lover, Tony Rogers. They performed as an acoustic duo, with Tony playing guitar/dobro and Robin on harmonica and percussion. It wasn't too long before she was heard by producer/musician, Jim Brock and was asked to do a CD which was released in 2001 entitled "Time For Myself," a contemporary Blues record which contains six originals penned by Robin and Tony.
They put together a band in support of that release and went on to win the 2003 Charlotte Blues Society's Blues Challenge, winning the right to represent Charlotte, North Carolina in Memphis, Tennessee in January 2004. They competed against 98 acts from all over the world in the International Blues Challenge, sponsored by the Blues Foundation. After three nights of tough competition, Robin Rogers and Her Hot Band emerged as one of only nine finalists in the 2004 International Blues Challenge, which was judged by the industry heavyweights including Bruce Iglauer of Alligator Records and Blues recording artist Kenny Neal.
Robin and Tony recorded their long-awaited second release, entitled "Crazy, Cryin' Blues," which was released in 2004 and won the "Best Self-Produced CD" award from the Blues Foundation as part of the International Blues Challenge 2005. Robin signed with 95North Records in February 2005 and her self-penned "Caddy Daddy" was included on "Fins, Chrome and the Open Road," a Cadillac Tribute CD released in conjunction with 95North and General Motors Corp. Other artists on the disc include Little Milton, Rory Block, Charlie Musselwhite and Maria Muldaur. Robin has shared the stage with greats like Buddy Guy, Johnny Winter, Robert Cray, Carey Bell, Bob Margolin, Shemekia Copeland, Tommy Castro, Guitar Shorty, Jimmy Thackery & the Drivers, Cephas and Wiggins, Ann Rabson, Roy Bookbinder, Paul Geremia and Sharrie Williams. She joined the roster of Piedmont Talent in February 2006 and performed in Europe in April 2006.
Robin signed with Blind Pig in 2008, and her debut release for the label, "Treat Me Right", was issued in June of that year to a universally favorable and enthusiastic reception from fans and critics alike. All Music Guide said "Her husky voice falls between Maria Muldaur's sexy croon and Susan Tedeschi's controlled rasp as she commands attention without oversinging or upstaging the songs. The combination of excellent material and Rogers' compelling voice is what makes this a winner." Hittin' the Note called it "The album that should make Rogers a household name among blues fans."
About "Back in The Fire," Robin says, "I hope the listener picks up on the rawness and sparseness of this album. I wanted it to sound a bit looser than our last record. "Back In The Fire" showcases a grittier side of my voice. I'm playing more harp and Tony's guitar work is pushed out front more. Our main objective was to be able to reproduce each and every song here in a live setting without any limitations. I think we achieved that. I'm extremely thrilled and excited about our latest effort. These songs come from the heart and every day is full of inspiration. It's everywhere!"
Postscript: Robin passed away on December 17, 2010, succumbing to liver cancer at age 55.