For the better part of 26 years, Grammy Award-winning producer and guitarist Roy Rogers has been releasing records and touring wherever his devoted legions will gather.
Although he was born just a couple of hours from Sacramento in the town of Redding, he made a name for himself in the Bay Area playing with such artists as Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, Elvin Bishop and Linda Ronstadt. He established working relationships that would last decades.
Rogers and the Delta Rhythm Kings play the Palms Playhouse in Winters on Saturday.
Rogers initially learned to play slide guitar by listening to Robert Johnson records repeatedly.
"So much music emanated from him (Johnson)," Rogers said during a break from gardening at his Nevada City home. "I learned to play slide straight off his records and never had a teacher. I also loved Muddy Water, Elmore James and, of course, Son House."
He said he plays predominantly blues with a little bit of boogie and rock 'n' roll thrown in for good measure. "I'm use open tuning in my music and we do lots of improvisation," he said. "We don't like set patterns. I like the dynamics of my band," which is a trio.
Rogers explained his trademark sound: "Open tunings simply require that guitars are tuned to an open, major chord. These open tunings then take various forms and can move music in a lot of places. They're used in a lot of commercials and by nearly every notable act from the Rolling Stones to Joni Mitchell."
Rogers recently returned from Brazil, where he played a handful of festivals in secluded towns such as Paraty and Vitoria. "One night had a crowd of 15,000 on the main stage," he said.
You can find Rogers playing his favorite haunts up and down the West Coast on a semi-regular basis. "I did play a festival in Redding around three years ago, I always play the Sierra Nevada Brewery (in Chico) at least once a year, and I love playing Center for the Arts and the Palms Playhouse."
Asked about his return to Blind Pig Records after stints on major labels and several other independents, he had much to say.
"I have a good working relationship with (Blind Pig). However, for most artists in my shoes it's debatable if labels are even necessary at this point," he said. "The money you make is all 'live derived' these days. The paradigm has shifted drastically. I produced John Lee Hooker's 'The Healer,' and it sold around 1,500,000 to date. I bet today we'd be lucky if it sold 100,000."
Rogers also has been recording and writing material with the Doors' keyboardist, Ray Manzarek.
"I simply sat in with Ray Manzarek at a gig," Rogers said. "That's how it all started. After that, we played together as a duo, and that led to bringing my Delta Rhythm Kings band into the fold."
Rogers and his group released "Translucent Blues" with Manzarek on Blind Pig records to great acclaim in 2011. As for a new Roy Rogers & the Delta Rhythm Kings record, a follow-up to 2009's "Split Decision," fans may have to wait.
Rogers said, "I'm thinking about a new record now, but I'm certainly not in a hurry. When the songs come, there will be a new release."
ROY ROGERS AND THE DELTA RHYTHM KINGS
WHAT: Live blues concert
WHERE: The Palms Playhouse, 13 Main St., Winters
WHEN: 8:30 p.m. Saturday
INFORMATION: (530) 795-1825 or www.palmsplayhouse.com