Eastern Europe meets rural Australia – violin, guitar, double bass trio influenced by Hot Club of France, Czech Republic and Australian folk/bush music.”

The Ben Rogers Trio

The Ben Rogers Trio album 'Windfarms of Your Mind' is a masterclass in mood, performance and dynamics.

The opening four bars drag you into another world; a world where Eastern Europe meets rural Australia – a soaring violin, guitar, double bass trio influenced by Hot Club of France, Czech Republic and Australian folk/bush music.

The band is based in Melbourne and features Ben on guitar, violinist Romana Germans and Nikki Scarlett on double bass.

Windfarms of Your Mind is a series of short stories, each building a scene and a mood. Over the course of each song there’s a dialogue created between the performers that provides the narrative.

The joy for the listener is that each narrative can be interpreted according to how you hear it or see it. Images, film, colour. It all comes together with the added joy of hearing three highly skilled musicians playing music that comes from deep within.

The music itself is cleverly crafted and thoughtfully arranged. The song always comes first. Dynamics and tone, groove and melody.

A reviewer noted: 'Ben Rogersby day surf rock guitar hero, by night, Gypsy Jazz and swing guitar protagonist, composer and true fretboard artiste.’

His recording of a Django Reinhardt jazz standard is listed as a recommended version in a reference book published by Oxford University Press.

His style is uniquely his own, influenced early on by Duane Eddy, Shadows, and the Ventures, later honing his craft in a wide variety of bands and projects. Pub rock, jazz combos, Australian bush bands, blues, country, folk and original rock bands. A working musician in every sense of the word. He also spent many years performing 'hot swing jazz', inspired by his favourite guitarist, the great Django Reinhardt.

He’s joined by virtuoso violinist Romana Germans. Romana graduated from the Prague Conservatorium and has toured extensively with such diverse acts as The Czechoslovak Chamber Orchestra, The Australian Pops Orchestra, and country music artist Johnny Chester. 

Before relocating to Australia her work in the Czech Republic included extensive orchestral recording sessions.

The trio is rounded out by double bass player Nikki Scarlett, who also plays with Bohemian Goulash and plays electric bass with a number of Melbourne acts including surf-rock band Instrumental Asylum and original pop band Dusty Springclean and the Pops.

Where it all began...

“Learn to play guitar in three weeks!”

Picture this:

1961 - A vineyard in Coomealla - a rural settlement in the south-west corner of New South Wales, Australia. Itinerant grape picker spies an advert on the back cover of a Phantom comic book - “Learn to play guitar in three weeks!”.

Itinerant worker mails the coupon for a three-week instruction course and an acoustic guitar. Grape picker becomes guitar picker, and introduces guitar to 13 year old Ben Rogers, who is immediately hooked, and works weekends to save up for a guitar.

 Ben buys an “Alver” (Maton) arch-top acoustic, and commences a 4-year course of guitar lessons under a retired orchestral guitarist. Four years later, Ben starts playing professional gigs, usually dance halls, parties and weddings, as lead guitarist in an instrumental trio.

 1966 - In his final school year Ben’s band “The K’Motions” wins the Sunraysia district heat of Hoadley’s National Battle of the Sounds. K’Motions make the overnight rail trip to the big smoke (Melbourne) for the statewide Battle of the Sounds competition at Festival Hall. K’Motions are unplaced.

 Unfazed by their lack of success in the Battle of the Sounds, the K’Motions carry on, playing more than 80 gigs within 12 months around north-west Victoria and the SA Riverland, including a residency at Izzy’s Hideaway (a “groovy” coffee lounge). Ben’s academic career never recovers...

Listen


Ben Rogers - by day surf rock guitar hero, by night, Gypsy Jazz and swing guitar protagonist, composer and true fretboard artiste.


 

Catalogue

Bohemian Goulash
– 3 track CD (2015)

Windfarms of Your Mind
– The Ben Rogers Trio (2011)

Instrumentally Disturbed
– Ben Rogers’ Instrumental Asylum (2010)

Reverb Rehab
– Ben Rogers’ Instrumental Asylum (2007)

Welcome to the Instrumental Asylum
 - Ben Rogers’ Instrumental Asylum (2006)

I Went to Havana
Billie’s Ipanema Holiday (2004)
– 11 tracks of jazz/swing/latin

Backyard Swing (2001)
– compilation of jazz from the suburbs of Melbourne

Swing Etoile (1999)
– 3 track EP of original compositions in the hot swing style

Blazz
Vipers Dream (1997)
– 15 tracks of original songs covering rock, country and blues

The Coldest Winter
– 4 track EP of original compositions recorded in Perth

Album review, Music Web Express

Ben Rogers - by day surf rock guitar hero, by night, Gypsy Jazz and swing guitar protagonist, composer and true fretboard artiste. 
Compared to Ben’s 2010 CD, the surf-rocking Instrumentally Disturbed, by Ben Rogers’ Instrumental Asylum, the 2011 CD release of Windfarms Of Your Mind serves as an intimate guitar trio affair. 
Released by The Ben Rogers TrioWindfarms finds Ben in the company of his Asylum pals Romana Geermans (violin) and Nikki Scarlett (bass/ukulele). 
Ben cites an early music teacher as the influence behind this return to his swing music roots with the guitarist adding, ‘This is the album I’ve wanted to make for a few years now. It’s a collection of both new and old tunes, the earliest of which is my very first composition, written as a young student of the guitar in the early ‘60s.' 
Even so, Ben’s stamp as an original guitarist and composer is all over the album, to which he confesses, ‘Some years down the track, I discovered the music of Django Reinhardt, and this has become a strong influence on my playing and appreciation of the guitar. For me Django remains an endless source of inspiration.’ 
The era may evoke the acoustic swing of Django, but the guitar sound is truly Ben Rogers 2011. There’s an air of musical authenticity here that cannot be denied. Blending steel guitar and a range of other guitar sounds, track 5 “National Banjo” is almost an instro guitar anthem that could work as a folk song as well as a fully fledged, soaring Hank Marvin-esque production. 
Anyone who dug Ben’s Instrumental Asylum, will find much to admire on Windfarms Of Your Mind. Same as much could be said about track seven, “Laika’s Flight”, which although ostensibly a long and winding drum-less guitar solo, is actually a most interesting guitar trek that would also work as the foundation of a more production laden rock extravaganza. 
Either way, the diversity of guitar sounds and styles Windfarms makes for a most promising first recorded album by The Ben Rogers Trio.

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