CD Review: Bess Rogers — Travel Back; Playing The EARL, March 4 with Allison Weiss and Jenny Owen Youngs
By Eileen Tilson
If I was a betting woman, I would place a stake that Bess Rogers could probably get away with the most heinous of crimes. With her sweet songbird voice flying over her colorful array of tunes, it only takes one listen to understand that Rogers can get a bit scrappy, and you can’t resist jumping right in with her. Don’t be mistaken though, this is not a girl you can fit in one box; Bess Rogers is a musical chameleon.
Born into a musical family, Rogers would sell merchandise while her mom played the harpsichord in a Baroque-Renaissance group. Constantly surrounded by music, Rogers upped her music repertoire by learning to play the flute, piano, guitar and ukulele. It wasn’t until years at SUNY Purchase, where she earned a Master’s Degree in Studio Composition, did she meet the people who would push her music out to the rest of the world. After meeting with Dan Romer (Ingrid Michaelson, Jenny Owens Young, April Smith), Rogers was introduced to Ingrid Michaelson, who happened to need a lead guitarist, a position Rogers happily filled. After touring the country with Ingrid Michaelson, opening for the Dave Matthews Band and playing the “Tonight Show,” she put out her latest EP Travel Back, whose eclectic mix of upbeat instruments such as the accordion, flute and ukulele, have confirmed Bess Rogers’ position as a force in the female singer/songwriter elite.
Recorded at friend and colleague Dan Romer’s studio, the six-song EP has an organic yet spicy flavor that is irresistibly toe-tapping. Title song “Travel Back” has a back-water zydeco feel, making you just wish you were dancing on Bourbon St. “Yellow Bird” the slowest song on the album is exquisitely intimate, and was used on TNT’s “Raising the Bar.” The EP ends with ukulele-based “I Don’t Worry,” upbeat with hand-clapping to boot. Bess Rogers really does have nothing to worry about, she makes her own fun, and brings you along for the ride.
Bess Rogers plays the Spring Break Forever Tour at The EARL on March 4 with Allison Weiss and Jenny Owen Youngs. Tickets are on sale at Ticket Alternative.