May 24, 2024

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CD review: Skylar Rogers – Among the Insanity – 2023: Video, CD cover

Blues singer Skylar Rogers from Chicago nestles directly at the top of the category of female blues / soul artists with her new, third album.

“Among the Insanity” comes next, a hard-driving vocal on the R&B-laced philosophy of the broken relationship — “…ain’t no heroes here, we’re goin’ down in villainy….”

This is mainly due to her very powerful soulful voice, but also to the excellent band that accompanies her on this album: Bennett Salvay (keyboards), Billy Watts (guitar), Brannen Tempel (drums), Teresa James (backing vocals), Snuffy Walden (guitar), Darrell Leonard (horns) and producer Terry Wilson (bass). The most striking name here is that of Snuffy Walden, who in the past was part of British bands such as Stray Dog, Free and Back Street Crawler.

Skylar Rogers is a singer who can handle both the heavy rocking and the more intimate songs with ease.

“When It’s Broken,” is a lyrical gem of romance over a lilting piano. “Step It Up” rocks hard again with a honky-tonk flavor and a tough message for a potential suitor. “Both Sides Of The Tale” means just what it says in life, and “Between Friends” is a soft lesson on a love triangle. “Femininity” proclaims a bluesy sensibility for its title, while the island-themed “The Water” provides an escape from all that’s gone before.

The album starts nice and sultry with Love In The Left Lane with scraping slide guitar playing and Skylar’s great voice. Ride That Lightning is also a lazy brooding song with light Free touches in the guitar riffs. In terms of vocals, this song leans towards Ann Peebles.

The more intimate side of Skylar can be heard in the shuffling Among The Insanity in which there is a light Grace Jones / Sly & Robbie sound. One Last Kiss is then a very sensitive, fragile soul ballad. In the lazy pumping Blame It On Rock & Roll there is again a light Free sound, followed by the sharp riffing Step It Up. Also in Femininity there is unpolished pumping rocking. The Water is a light-hearted soul reggae song.

And it all works so well because it’s based on the vocal magic of Skylar Rogers on her third album, paired with the impressive emotional songwriting of Rogers and producer Terry Wilson on 12 new songs. In that vein, Rogers says that she “hopes the listener feels connected to the emotions that were put into these songs….”

The closing track of the album is the very impressive and intimate piano ballad Apology Not Accepted with powerful vocals by Skylar.

I love how fresh it sounds! Each instrument had a chance to shine. I remember sitting in the studio fangirling over this phenomenal group of musicians. I’m always writing, but it comes out in bits and pieces. When I get a tune in my head, I IMMEDIATELY have to stop what I’m doing and hum it. Luckily everyone else is used to be doing it by now.  I didn’t! That’s the beautiful part. Sallie put me in touch with Teresa James’ husband Terry Wilson. From there, he put together an all star lineup of Snuffy Walden, Billy Watts, Bennett Salvay, and Brannen Temple, and himself. These guys are heavy hitters, and even now, I still can’t believe these guys are on this CD! – an interview with me said Skylar Rogers.

‘Among The Insanity’ is an excellent album by the once again great singing Skylar Rogers.

Tracks:

01. Love In The Left Lane
02. Among The Insanity
03. One Last Kiss
04. Ride That Lightning
05. Blame It On Rock & Roll
06. When It’s Broken
07. Step It Up
08. Both Sides Of The Tale
09. Between Friends
10. Femininity
11. The Water
12. Apology Not Accepted

Buy from here – New CD 2023

Among the Insanity | Skylar Rogers

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