Welcome to the Instrumental Asylum
When electric guitars ruled the earth... Ben Rogers was listening, learning and stealing everything he could from Django Reinhardt, Hank B. Marvin, Duane Eddy, Carlos Santana, Jeff Beck, JJ Cale, and Peter Green. Having now left the primordial ooze, he's ready to unleash his fearful blend of surf/gypsy/tarantino rock solid pulp guitar truth and fiction to the masses. Ben Rogers' Instrumental Asylum is a trio made up of electric guitar, bass and drums and features reverb-drenched guitar music that echoes some of the best work of The Shadows, Ventures and Surfaris, but with an extreme left turn towards the surreal. All done up with an Aussie accent. There are 18 tracks on this album, seven of them originals - and all the tracks are guitar driven and played with passion, style and skill including a monster version of Shake 'n' Stomp and terrific adaptations of House of The Rising Sun, Geronimo and Apache (think: Hank B. on acid). Original tracks feature the formidable and fabulous KangaRoux, Surfing the Synchrotron and Gol Gol Tip - a feast of metro influenced bush tucker for guitar lovers. Ben Rogers......Guitarist / Songwriter Ben Rogers plays guitar. He plays the stuff he cut his teeth on and reinvents tunes from by-gone days that are even cooler now than they were then. This music is home for Ben and showcases the unique style that led to his invitation to make a guest appearance with guitar legend Jeff Healey on his last Australian tour. And the really good news is that his original compositions are just that - truly original! Nikki Scarlett..... Bassist / International Woman of Mystery Nikki plays electric bass - a scientist by day (hence Surfing The Synchrotron, a synchrotron being an instrument of pleasure for those of her ilk), a jazz double bassist on other days and a spy and wanton creature of luxury by night. She says her greatest pleasure is 'Seeing someone trip - but not quite fall over". Yep, she belongs in the Asylum. Denis Close .......Drummer / Percussionist Denis launched his drumming career at age 3 banging on assorted biscuit tins and swiftly graduated to large cardboard boxes supplemented with a vaguely chromatic set of empty paint tins (pre-Rolf Harris!). Denis also performs with guitarist Doug deVries, Andy Baylor's Cajun Combo, The New Orleans Pelicans, The Movin' and Groovin' Orchestra & Dr Decadence. Real guitar nuts - it's time to stand up and be counted! Press reviews from UK, USA and Australia: "...a majestic reading of the Shadows' Geronimo..." "glimpses (and sometimes songs) of Django Reinhardt, Peter Green and J.J. Cale poke through Rogers' Strat..." and "A welcome addition to the cowabunga club." Dan Forte, Vintage Guitar Magazine (USA), May 2006. "You don't need a vocalist ...when the music is driven by a guitar player as extraordinary as former Perth musician Ben Rogers". "If you love guitar, buy this album." Billy Pinnell - JB Mag (Melbourne, Australia), March 2006 'Against the hard-driving rhythm section of Nikki Scarlett on bass and Denis Close on drums, Ben fires salvo after salvo of tastily aggressive licks which enliven even such well-worn numbers as Apache and Walk Don't Run' and 'Kangaroux is a mighty meaty, catchy pounder which thoroughly deserves it's slot as opener'. Alan Taylor, Pipeline Magazine (UK) Issue 70, Spring 2006 '(Ben Rogers' Instrumental Asylum) paints from a varied and witty palette: a House of the Rising Sun that bypasses Hilton Valentine's signature arpeggios, a Nuages that transports Django's reverie beyond the clouds' and 'Nods to past masters...sit happily with driving 'guitar noir' originals'. Ken Williams (The Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne Age) March 31, 2006 'Looking at the track listing, it would be easy to see a Ventures inspired cover band only, but Ben Rogers and his band are a fresh, innovative, instrumental guitar group. A trio, they kick off with a big, Link Wray style opener in 'Kanga Roux' (one of seven great originals) before a dark, grungy 'Apache'. 'House of the Rising Sun' gets a unique take with a thoroughly new slant but it's still good guitars all the way. Nikki Scarlett on bass and Denis Close on drums drive the whole set along solidly and, for example, the Ventures favourites 'Ninth Wave' and 'Walk Don't Run' both get useful workouts. The Shadows' 'Geronimo' is another example of a new eye (and ear) coming up with a revitalised favourite. More please!' New Gandy Dancer (UK), Issue 78 - May 2006 (the world's longest running rock instrumental magazine) "Sandy Feet is a delight while Medina Wedding Blues is haunting and raunchy at the same time. The highlight is a bewildering, inspired version of Django Reinhardt's Nuages which transports the song from the sidewalks of Paris into the electric stratosphere. Astonishing stuff." Phil Bennett - Nova Magazine (Perth, Australia), March 2006 'The CD opens with a cracker - the rocking 'Kanga Roux'...another seven originals, all of which are very good examples of RI (rock instrumentals). Ranging from heavy surf to deep twang, lots of reverb and echo, the cover versions display a fresh outlook and are very enjoyable.' Geoff Jermy, 2Good4Words (Australian Instrumental Newsletter) Edition 9, March 2006 "...the bio claims that the album echoes some of the best work of The Shadows, Ventures and Surfaris, which is quite a call, but a valid one. Their cover of Dick Dale's Shake 'n Stomp is feverishly hot and the opening track Kangaroux could run at the beginning of the next Tarantino movie." "Be sure to listen to it with your dancing shoes on." Karl Mayerhofer, Australian Guitar Vol 51,2006.