Norton Buffalo & Roy Rogers

Soulful and Incendiary Harmonica and Guitar Virtuosity

Roots Blues & Americana
Photo by Lisa Flores

"All it takes is a sampling of the slide guitar/harmonica dialogue to comprehend how potent and exciting the chemistry is between Rogers & Buffalo."
Downbeat **** 4 Stars

On Buffalo • "No one else who puts tongue to reed can touch him."
San Francisco Chronicle

On Rogers • "Pundits who bemoan the scarcity of guitar gods haven't laid ears on Roy Rogers, whose slide riffs could peel a crawfish."
USA Today

Music Video • Ain't No Bread In The Breadbox • Norton Buffalo & Roy Rogers
1991, From Blind Pig Records Release "R&B"
Music and Lyrics by Norton Buffalo

Norton Buffalo & Roy Rogers, established in the San Francisco Bay Area blues scene for many years, are paired in this sizzling acoustic duo format for rare appearances. The music focuses on blues and folk styles, yet covers a diverse range of styles from hot and feisty up tempo boogies, to down and dirty blues with swampy grooves, with touching ballads performed to round out the range of textures these two fine seasoned artists can perform. They are both considered top players in the industry because of their incredible musicianship.

In 1991, Rogers and Buffalo released their debut album, 'R&B' on Blind Pig Records. One of the tracks from that album, Song for Jessica, penned by Rogers, received a Grammy nomination for Best Country Instrumental Performance. A video was released for another song, Ain't No Bread in The Breadbox, penned by Buffalo, with airplay received on VH1, TNN, CMT and regional television video programs, this tune was also covered by Jerry Garcia and released on his live CD Shining Star.

In the fall of 1992 the release of 'Travelin'' Tracks' (also on Blind Pig) included live tracks of the acoustic duet, as well as studio tracks. Reviewed and acclaimed from everyone from Downbeat, People, The San Francisco Examiner, and The Gavin Report, their reputation has continued to grow. Overseas, particularly in France and Australia, the duet has also received high marks and major media coverage for their recordings the U.S. and were voted 'Best Blues Duet' by The Australian Blues Society.

Their most recent CD, Roots Of Our Nature, a great collection that again digs deep into the blues, but as well expands this duet’s music into a more Americana realm where they continue to show that they are untouchable in both virtuosity, diversity as well as in the soulful depths that they reach together. Among the gems on this CD are a moody instrumental Ritmo De Las Almas, luscious ballads, If I Were A King and Making New Love Out of Old, jumping blues ditty, Happy Go Lucky and Under The Rug, Buffalo’s Gospel flavored “Long Hard Road” or stanky groove R&B style tunes like Buffalo’s “Highway Bound” or the co-penned “Don’t Throw Your Changes On Me”. And many more great tunes make this one for your collection. This CD has it all. Released in August of 2002, on Blind Pig Records, has caused this duet to be in even greater demand worldwide.

Norton Buffalo is considered one of the most versatile and seasoned harmonica virtuosos in the world. For good reason. Buffalo has contributed to over 120 major albums by artists as diverse as Bonnie Raitt (that blazing solo on Runaway), Marshall Tucker, Johnny Cash, Kenny Loggins, Elvin Bishop, as well as the Grammy award winning Minute By Minute by the Doobie Brothers. Norton continues to tour annually as a long time member of The Steve Miller Band, with whom he has been featured on the harmonica and vocals since 1975, on stage and on record throughout Steve's long and successful career. Buffalo has as well, been a featured performer touring with Kenny Loggin’s and in 2000 as a featured singer, musician on tour with Olivia Newton-John (Including a vocal duet on one of her songs from “Grease”), and in performances with long time friends The Doobie Brothers, Little Feat and some magical moments onstage with Jackson Brown’s in several Bay Area concerts on his recent acoustic tours..

Norton released his first two solo albums with Capitol Records Lovin' In the Valley of the Moon and Desert Horizon, (1977 & 78), his wizardry on the harmonica, as well as his strong talents as a songwriter, producer and as a powerful vocal talent. These albums received powerful reviews from Rolling Stone and People Magazine, and Garnered him two Bay Area Music awards. In 1989 the Bay Area Blues society awarded him Harmonica Player of the year. In 2000, Norton’s Blind Pig release, King of The Highway including guests appearances by Elvin Bishop, Steve Miller and Merl Saunders, garnered rave reviews from Blues Review and numerous writers and harp enthusiasts from all around the globe. Norton has reigned on high among harpsters for two and a half decades. As a master of the instrument, he has released two very well respected instructional videos on Homespun tapes and continues to teach in seminars throughout the western states and as far off as Argentina and Australia as well. Buffalo, as well, has performed and taught in California prisons since 1979.

On his own, Buffalo is continually performing. Involved in so many musical adventures as he travels the world in concerts and festivals across North America and internationally in Brazil, Argentina, Scandinavia, New Zealand and Australia, and in performances with Roy, with his own band The Knockouts, his acoustic trio, Norton & Friends, and duet performance with his wife, guitarist and vocalist Lisa Flores. Norton has built a strong following of fans crossing through almost all musical styles from Blues, R&B, Rock, Reggae, Jazz, New Age, Classical, Country, Bluegrass and Folk. Buffalo has proven himself to be both one of the greatest multi genre virtuoso instrumentalists on harmonica in addition to being a great songwriter and composer of these many styles as well.

Norton has also had several noteworthy film roles including The Rose and Heavens' Gate. He composed the complete soundtracks for two major motion pictures, several documentaries, two Unsolved Mysteries episodes, and has performed in many commercials, television and film soundtracks as well.

In 2004 Norton and David Grisman, teamed up to co-produce a blues CD for legendary bluegrass fiddler Vassar Clements. Titled Living With The Blues, Norton brought in some of San Francisco’s favorite blues artists including Maria Muldaur, Elvin Bishop, Charlie Musselwhite, Bob Brozman and Roy Rogers. In addition to his chores of producing, this CD features Norton on harmonica, guitar, vocals and songwriting.

"Mr. Buffalo continues to breathe fire through the reeds. His unbelievable playing is equally matched by his singing and songwriting" Maine Blues Society.As Norton's playing continually sets crowds afire, in this duet Buffalo's harp mastery fits like a glove with Rogers incendiary guitar.

Roy Rogers is one of the premier slide guitarists performing today. With eight solo recordings, he has also been nominated for two Grammy Awards and 6 Grammy credits as the producer of John Lee Hooker and Ramblin' Jack Elliott releases. He is well known for his exciting live performances, having toured in the 1980's with John Lee Hooker's Coast to Coast Blues Band and then with his own group The Delta Rhythm Kings since 1986. Rogers has appeared at numerous festivals and special events throughout the world, including Montreux Jazz (Switzerland), North Sea Jazz Festival (Holland), Notodden (Norway), Byron Bay (Australia), New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (USA) and Montreal Jazz (Canada) in addition to touring Europe, the U.S.A. and Canada.

Rogers' ability to electrify and move audiences to their feet is well known. He loves to perform and it shows. Nominated for Best Blues Guitarist by the W.C. Handy's in 2003, his virtuosity and style of slide guitar has been recognized worldwide and acknowledged in such publications as Rolling Stone, USA Today, Billboard, Guitar Player, Acoustic Guitar and Guitar & Bass magazine. His musical talents have been featured on numerous film & TV soundtracks, most notably 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest' and also 'The Hot Spot' which he recorded with Miles Davis, John Lee Hooker and Taj Mahal and garnered a Grammy nomination.

A native Californian, he was born in 1950 and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. He started playing guitar at age 12 and was exposed to a wealth of music styles, most notably the blues, which became his passion - especially the Delta Blues (Robert Johnson) and slide guitar. Since his first recording in 1976, he has become one of the finest practitioners and innovators of modern slide guitar.

A recording artist, producer and composer - he continues to combine diverse music influences to achieve his musical vision. Always eclectic in approach, he is constantly stretching the boundaries of slide guitar.

There is a magic that happens when these two veterans hit the stage together, that is above and beyond all of their awards and credentials. Rarely is it seen that two musicians melt two sounds into one so masterfully and with so much excitement and emotion. From high energy upbeat blues, to down-home backporch picking, to beautiful and soulful ballads these two masters have made their mark on American music with their recordings and continue to do so in live performance. There is little doubt that these two musicians will continue to perform and record for a long time to come. Be on the lookout for their new release. Catch the magic! Don't miss their upcoming shows.

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