Released in early 2008,Exodus is the 8th CD release by Bluestorm Records recording artist, Roger “Hurricane” Wilson, which continues in his familiar electric guitar style format. With a professional career spanning nearly a half century, this is a collection of songs that represents Roger’s strongest influences in his guitar playing, and some of his favorite and influential songs. 4 of the 15 songs on this CD are Roger’s own compositions, and they are a result of 40 years of his songwriting experience. This CD continues in his familiar electric guitar style format. With a professional career spanning over 45 years, this is a collection of songs that represents Roger’s strongest influences in his guitar playing and some of his favorite and influential songs. Four of the fifteen songs on this CD are Roger’s own compositions.
“One More White Boy Singin’ The Blues” is an electric version of a previous acoustic track using a “second line” drum part, giving it more of a Louisiana feel. It is a tribute to the long line of musicians for over 100 years that have developed the wonderful style of music called the blues. “Full Speed Ahead” was written earlier in Wilson’s career and incorporates the “stand up and shout” type gospel songs that influenced him early in his recording career. “Tribute To Danny” borrows some traditional ”Honky Tonk” licks, with a few borrowed Danny Gatton phrases to contribute to this heart-felt tribute to the late guitarist. “You Do Your Job” is simple advice to people who think they need to tell you how to run your career.
The cover songs range in style from Blues to Americana, including R&B, Country Ballads, and Rock-a-Billy to “Exodus”, which is a song that Roger conducted in his high school band as Drum Major. He dedicates this to his late band director, who he considered a mentor full of positive encouragement and inspiration. “Hurricane” was a country hit back in 1981 that revealed New Orleans’ confidence early on in the face of many years of threatening storms. Influences from guitarists such as Albert Collins, Roy Buchanan, and Duane Allman, among others can be heard throughout this CD.
Exodus was recorded in Tallahassee, Florida in 2007 and 2008 at Synaxis Studios, and was produced and engineered by Michael Traylor of Swamp Monk Music Works and of Captain Beefheart's Magic Band. Traylor also played all drums and percussion on the CD, while original Magic Band bassist, Mark “Rockette Morton” Boston, contributed the bottom edge. Wilson, in addition to lead vocals, played all of the guitar parts. This project should prove to be a treat to many original Captain Beefheart fans, which offers a taste with the Beefheart classic, “Sure ‘Nuff N Yes I Do”. The CD ends with the “anthem-like” “Rainy Night In Georgia”, which is a mainstay of Roger’s live set
1) Honey Hush - 5:43
(E. Kirkeby, T. Waller/ Chappell & Co./Bourne Co., ASCAP)
I had the pleasure of opening a show in 1979 for Albert Collins, and at the end, he got me up to jam; and we did so for 2 hours. It was a thrilling experience that I will never forget.
2) One More White Boy Singing The Blues - 6:14
(R. Wilson / Brux Music, BMI)
I wrote this as a humble tribute to the great Bluesmen from the beginning to now that shaped the great music called The Blues.
3) Buckaroo - 2:17
(B. Morris/ Sony/ATV Tree Publishing, BMI)
This cuts to the heart of the Bakersfield sound made famous by Buck Owens and his Buckaroos. I’ve always loved this sound and would now and then dive into it whenever possible.
4)Hurricane - 4:13
(K. Stegall, T. Schuyler, S. Harris/ EMI – Blackwood Music, Inc., BMI)
I remember playing this song on a 45 on the radio in Atlanta back in 1981. It was recorded by Leon Everett, who at this writing is looking forward to his own copy of this version.
5) Full Speed Ahead (First Version) - 3:07
(R. Wilson / Brux Music, BMI)
Having been influenced by Black Gospel music back in the 70’s, this was my attempt to write a “stand up & shout” type of tune.
6) Last Date - 2:31
(F. Cramer/ Sony/ATV Acuff Rose Music, BMI)
I always enjoyed the “bent note” piano technique of Floyd Cramer, but when I heard the Ventures cover it; I had to step in with my own take on it.
7) Slip Away - 4:24
(W. Armstrong, M. Daniel, W. Terrell/ Screen Gems-EMI Music, Inc., BMI)
The groove and energy on this song always caught my attention… plus it’s fun to play!
8) Tribute To Danny - 6:01
(R. Wilson / Brux Music, BMI)
Danny Gatton was a guitarist’s guitarist. The phrasing and arrangement were inspired by his song “Sky King.” Danny used a part of “Honky Tonk” in the middle of that tune, and I used it as the overall theme of this one.
9) Slow Turning - 3:40
(J. Hiatt / Careers-BMG Music Pub Inc., BMI)
This song hit FM Radio in the 80’s, and it became a favorite of mine; and it made me a big fan of John Hiatt.
10) Lonesome Fugitive - 3:34
(L. Anderson, C. Anderson/ Sony/ATV Acuff Rose Music, BMI)
This is a Merle Haggard song, but my arrangement came by way of Roy Buchanan. Roy was a dear friend of mine in the 70’s, and if there ever was a lead solo that I copped lick for lick; the one in this song is it.
11) Sure ‘Nuff N Yes I Do - 3:52
(D. van Vlie, / EMI Unart Catalog Inc., BMI)
A classic in the Delta Blues style by Captain Beefheart’s Magic Band. This whole CD is backed by the Magic Band rhythm section. Michael Traylor produced and is drumming, and original MB bassist Mark “Rockette Morton” Boston is as solid as ever on bass. Crank it up and check it out.
12) After Hours - 3:57
(A. Parrish, B. Feyne, R. Bruce/ Anne-Rachel Music Corp., ASCAP)
Again, Roy Buchanan’s influence and energy was thrust upon me like no other.
13) You Do Your Job - 5:03
(R. Wilson / Brux Music, BMI)
I wrote this for the obvious reasons. Maybe you can relate.
14) Exodus - 3:15
(E. Gold, P. Boone/ WB Music Corp., OBO Warner Chappell Music LTD, ASCAP)
While I was the Drum Major in high school, I used to conduct this song on a regular basis on the football filed and in the band room. I’m playing this one in memory of my Band Director, Major Ted Hayes, who saw something in me that I didn’t, instilled in me the confidence I needed, and saw fit to have me lead the band. I owe a great deal to him.
15) Rainy Night In Georgia - 16:23
(T. J. White / Combine Music Corp., BMI)
While driving along on a lonely South Georgia highway at sixteen years old on a rainy night back in 1970, this current hit then by Brook Benton caused this to be my favorite song ever written. I never forgot that haunting lyric. It definitely felt as if it was “raining all over the world”. Many didn’t realize at the time that Tony Joe White was the guy who wrote this classic, about the same time he wrote “Polk Salad Annie”.
Produced by Michael Traylor for Swampmonk Music Works
Recorded at Synaxis Sound, Tallahassee, Florida
All Guitars & Lead Vocals – Roger Wilson
Drums & Percussion – Michael Traylor
Bass Guitar – Mark “Rockette Morton” Boston
Keyboards – Toby Fisk & John “JB” Babich
Background Vocals – Stina Brockman, Lucia Fishburne, Michael Traylor
Mastered by Bill “Troll” Tullis at SoundsAtlanta – Atlanta, GA
"As noted on Wikipedia, 'Roger "Hurricane" Wilson is an American electric blues guitarist, singer/ songwriter. He has also worked as a music educator, radio DJ, music journalist, and broadcaster. In addition, he is an International Blues Challenge judge, as well as a 2015 Inductee into the Oklahoma Blues Hall of Fame, as a result of his 14 year association with the Dusk ‘til Dawn Blues Festival, and his work with Blues in the Schools in that state. He has released twenty albums. This one is special, since it is being released in 2018, coinciding with the 20th Anniversary of Roger, bassist Marvin Mahanay, and drummer, Billy Jeansonne’s first teaming up as a unit in 1998. If you like guitar driven blues/ rock, fluid and intricate finger style guitar picking, fiery performances, and emotional songwriting, you are at the right place. With over 45 years of teaching guitar lessons to beginners and advanced players alike, and over a million miles under his belt, Roger “Hurricane” Wilson has made his own mark on the music world. The legendary Les Paul once said about Roger, “This guy plays some great blues.” Atlanta treasure Francine Reed stated that, “Roger “Hurricane” Wilson is a force to be reckoned with.”, having shared the stage with such notable artists as B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Hubert Sumlin, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Dickey Betts, Jorma Kaukonen, Charlie Musselwhite, and many more. Roger “Hurricane” Wilson is just getting started.
Guitarist and songwriter, Roger “Hurricane” Wilson, was born on July 27, 1953 in Newark, New Jersey. When he was a year old, his parents moved to a little town on the Jersey shore, in search of a life other than in the city. Life there was typical for a young family in the early 50’s. There are memories of Elvis singing “Love Me Tender”, and Tennessee Ernie Ford singing “Sixteen Tons” ringing from radios and turntables everywhere-melodies that would haunt him forever. In September of 1960, the peaceful existence was turned upside down when the town was virtually destroyed by the still legendary hurricane “Donna”. The town was never the same from that day on.
One day, Roger discovered that one of his friends was taking guitar lessons. Immediately, as kids typically do, he wanted to do the same. His mother took him to his first lesson on January 7, 1963, at the age of 9, and rented a plastic beginner guitar. As his teacher taught him individual notes week after week, Roger was still inclined to find cool sounds coming out when the strings were struck together as chords. This music thing sure appeared to come quite easily, and naturally. Although the teacher would have preferred Roger give priority to his assigned lessons, they tended to take a back seat. The teacher, a mild-mannered white gentleman with horned rimmed glasses and winged tipped shoes, just did not understand. Later on, Roger started taking trumpet lessons in order to join the elementary school marching band, and tolerated them while in reality, all he wanted to do was play the drums. He later saved up to buy his own drum paraphernalia, and started wood shedding that too. On one special parade day in Red Bank, NJ, while in the eighth grade, the school band drummers didn’t show up. The band director handed a snare drum to Roger, and said “this is your shot”! He received a special award on the last day of school in front of the whole student body for saving the day.
The next year, in February of 1964, Roger was in front of the TV on Sunday night when the Beatles made their American debut on the Ed Sullivan Show. Being an only child, he was unaware of the curve ball being thrown at American kids everywhere. All he noticed, other than the screaming girls, was that there were THREE guitars on the stage, and one was being played BACKWARDS! The next day, all of the kids were acting crazy! They were combing their hair down in front, and some had these wild looking pointed boots; and they were all playing air guitar! Roger had already been playing guitar, and making his teacher mad for well over a year. Next to the Kennedy assassination during the previous November, this was pretty traumatic. Next, Roger got his first electric guitar, and the next couple of years were spent playing, or attempting to play music in various garage bands by The Kinks, The Beatles, The Yardbirds, The Animals, Paul Revere & The Raiders, while of course trying to match the lead licks of “Louie, Louie” and “Hang On Sloopy”. Ironically, most of that music was remakes of old blues tunes.
In 1967, upon graduating from grammar school, the little Jersey shore town didn’t have their own high school. The surrounding townships were bussing kids wherever they could fit them in. Roger’s parents thought it best to place him in a more positive environment. They sent him to a private prep school in Atlanta. The “bubble-gum” music era was in full swing, and after being subjected to “Monkees” TV show for the last year or two, Roger found it quite nauseating. While there, the 14 year old became addicted and taken in by the music of Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin, Eddie Floyd, and Booker T. & The MG’s. The Memphis sound and feel started unknowingly planting its obsession. Roger, of course was immediately drafted by the school band to play trumpet, but the band director would occasionally let him replace undependable drummers. 1968 showed up when Hendrix, The Doors, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Janis Joplin, and “psychedelic” music, referred to then as “underground” music, raised its sleeping head. B.B. King’s “The Thrill is Gone” hit the airwaves, and according to Roger, “there was something going on”. The single lead, vibrato notes pioneered by B.B. were essentially drawing him in. He bore down on the guitar, and learned as much as he could about the music, and the artists that made it. When meeting B.B. King in later years, he explained to the blues master what had happened.
1970 had Roger making weekly pilgrimages to Atlanta’s Piedmont Park to hear bands, mainly The Allman Brothers Band. Not much was remembered in detail until the night of June 16, 1971, when The Brothers played their first sold out show in Atlanta’s Municipal Auditorium. The 17 year old stood 6 feet away from Duane Allman, and was completely swept off of his feet. After years of guitar lessons, a knee-high stack of guitar books and sheet music, the boy was never the same! The slide guitar playing that night in itself was another force to be reckoned with. In the days that followed, he was haunted by what he had seen, and heard. Roger began wearing out Allman Brothers Band albums trying to capture that sound. His next reaction was, “the hell with everything else”! All he wanted to do now was play as well as he could.
During his senior year in high school, he was bestowed the title of drum major in the high school marching band. On October 29, 1971, Roger was conducting the school band through the national anthem on the field at a football game. After the game, he heard the radio report of Duane Allman’s death in a motorcycle accident in Macon – another traumatic moment in addition to JFK’s assassination, The Beatles, and the death of his grandfather in ’67. He immediately started bearing down on the music even harder. When the Duane Allan “Anthology” came out in late 1972, the enclosed literature spoke of how Duane’s eyes used to light up at the mention of Robert Johnson. Who was that? Thus began the search for the origins of the music that made all of this happen. Robert Johnson, Willie McTell, and Elmore James albums were only the scratching of the surface for this musically consumed 19 year old.RW SR 2
After a year back in New Jersey following high school, Roger headed back to Georgia in 1973, determined to play guitar. He got a job teaching in a private studio, and eventually took it over as his own business. Success came about by teaching people what THEY wanted to learn. He named his business “The Roger Wilson Guitar Studio”, and he soon had an extensive waiting list of students wanting to learn how to have fun with the instrument, as opposed to suffering with it. With the business up and running, and fed up with playing with mediocre bands, he started the “Roger Wilson Band” in 1978. If the name worked for the studio, why not a band? It did! He went from the garage to opening shows for people like Albert Collins, 38 Special, and various Skynyrd spin-off bands. Roger says he mostly enjoyed working with a very young Johnny van Zant, now lead singer for Lynyrd Skynyrd, on numerous occasions. A jam with Stevie Ray Vaughn at a now defunct club in 1980, along with a two and a half hour jam with Albert Collins in 1979 at Atlanta’s Agora Ballroom are 2 of Roger’s highlighted memories. These along with a close friendship formed with guitarist Roy Buchanan make for book material alone. The RWB lasted until 1983. Still not quite at home with the other band members’ visions, he made some personal changes in 1983, and formed a 3 piece unit called “Roger Wilson & The Low Overhead Band.” This act was simple, cheap, and easy to move. With this act up and running, Roger did shows with Dickey Betts, Little Feat, Three Dog Night, Leon Russell & Edgar Winter, Marshall Tucker Band, Roomful of Blues, and was starting to regain momentum. While on a northeast tour in 1993, it came to the attention of Roger’s soon to be producer that people were screwing up his name. After a disc jockey virtually butchered it during a North Carolina radio interview, with the name in BOLD LETTERS in front of him that was it! Hottrax record producer, Aleck Janoulis, said you need a “moniker”, something for people to remember you by. He also noted that Roger had a habit of going into a town, virtually making a mess with the music, and then leaving early in the morning to go back to work. This along with the childhood hurricane experience led to the stage name, Roger “Hurricane” Wilson. It became official at the next show in Washington, DC. It was determined that you could forget his name, but no one would forget “Hurricane”. Since then, there have been shows and festivals with B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Little Milton, John Mayall, and Savoy Brown, to name just a few.
The most recent highlight was in New York City while attending the regular Monday night gig of guitar and recording pioneer, Les Paul at the Iridium Jazz Club at 51st and Broadway. After the first show, Roger introduced himself to and spoke briefly with Les’ son, Rusty Paul, and was invited to get onstage for a few tunes with the master in September of 2003. Since then, no visit to New York City is complete without stopping by on Monday night to hang out and jam with Les Paul.
The first CD, “Hurricane Blues”, released in 1994 on Hottrax Records, has received airplay on well over 100 stations across the U.S., and is being distributed nationally. The second Hottrax project, “Live From The Eye Of The Storm”, was released in 1996, and enjoyed the same, if not better response than “Hurricane Blues”. In addition to playing between 250 and 300 nights a year, Roger also produced and hosted his own syndicated radio show on nearly 10 stations around the country.
In 1997, Roger decided that it was time to step to the next level. At the advice of his distributor, he decided to form his own record company, Bluestorm Records. This venture gave rise to the third CD, “The Business of The Blues”. The title track was written about the daily challenges of daily life on the road. Also featured on this CD are 5 acoustic tunes, which started to establish Roger’s acoustic work, which has become a separate entity, and occasional combination with his electric sound. The fourth CD is called “Live At The Stanhope House”, recorded at that legendary blues club in New Jersey. A fifth effort in 2002, all solo acoustic, “Pastime” has received critical acclaim, and the sixth CD called “The Ohio Connection” was released in late April, 2004. The Way I Am was released in 2006, followed by Exodus in 2008. An Americana CD, The Rainbow Up Ahead, consisting of all original material was recorded in Nashville in 2010.
Wilson also had a parallel career in broadcasting, undertaking weekend work at the local AM radio station, WGUN, a job which lasted for 12 years. Wilson married in 1981. In 1986, he obtained full-time employment with CNN that lasted a decade. His stage work led to confusion over his name and, by 1993, had become Roger "Hurricane" Wilson, partly in recognition of the devastation caused to his home back in 1960.
In September 2003, Wilson joined Les Paul on stage to play what became a regular guest spot for the former at the Iridium Jazz Club in New York. In 2012, a collaborative live album was released featuring Wilson and Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, which was recorded during one of the four tours that the pair did throughout the U.S. from 2008 through 2010.] Over the past decade, Wilson has been involved with the nationwide Blues in the Schools program. At the 2006 Springing the Blues festival in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, Wilson was presented with the 'Key to the City' for his participation in Blues in the Schools in Jacksonville. Wilson performed at the 2015 Dusk Til Dawn Blues Festival accompanied by the Checotah High School Jazz Band. A CD was issued based on the live recording. As a result of his work with the Rentiesville festival and his work with the local high school, he was inducted into the Oklahoma Blues Hall of Fame in 2015.
Since that time, several other CD's including the critically acclaimed LIVE AT MADLIFE – WOODSTOCK, GA, has been released. He currently resides in Kennesaw, Georgia.
It was just about 50 years ago in 1963 when Roger, barely 10 years old at the time, took his first guitar lesson and since then there’s been no looking back. Over the last 40 years, Roger’s involvement has reached into pretty much every aspect of the music business. Being a musician, a singer, a songwriter, a record label owner/operator, an advisory board member of the Georgia Music Industry Association, an International Blues Competition judge, and having 40 years of broadcasting experience on TV, radio and the Internet, finding something in the industry he’s not familiar with would equal finding the needle in the haystack. On top of all of that, for the last 10 years, Roger has been involved with one of the strongest tools that exist in the efforts of keeping the blues alive and that’s educating young people about the genre. Through his involvement with the Blues in the Schools Program, he does just that. If I may, I would like to tell you about two personal experiences I have had with Roger and his educational endeavors.
In 2006 while attending the “Springing The Blues” festival in Jacksonville Beach, FL, I was one of the thousands of people witnessing Roger being given the Key To The City for his participation in Blues In The Schools in Jacksonville area schools during the week of the event.
Additionally, while emceeing the 2012 Amelia Island Blues Festival at Fernandina Beach, FL, it was my honor to introduce Roger Hurricane Wilson and the Fernandina Beach High School Blues In The Schools Band and then watch them put on one heck of a performance. The look on these kids’ faces, while playing in front of a large festival crowd with Roger, was priceless. Again, during the week of the event Roger had been not only rehearsing with the boys and girls but educating them about the genre as well.
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