Skylar Rogers was born and raised in Chicago. Her main influences include Koko Taylor, Tina Turner, Whitney Houston and B.B. King. Rogers’ listened to these and other soulful artists whom she credits for becoming as passionate a vocalist as she is. Rogers’ released her debut EP in 2018, and began touring the following year. She has been onstage with Annika Chambers, Ms. Zeno “The Mojo Queen”, Tab Benoit and Kevin Burt.
This is vocalist Rogers’ first full-length album recorded with her band “The Blue Diamonds”. Included are guitarists Steven J. Hill and Marty Gibson; keyboardist Pete Zimmer; and the rhythm section of bassist Jerry Ewing and drummer Bradley “Disco Fuzz” Arl. Backing vocals are provided by Vanessa Hudson and members of the band. Self-produced by Rogers’ the album was recorded and engineered by Jason McIntyre at his Sawhorse Studios in St. Louis.
Most of the songs were written by Rogers with her regular writing partner Paul Niehaus. The opener “Hard Headed Woman” tells the story of an obstinate woman “I can’t be tamed”, and how she lost her lover, as guitarist Hill lays down some scorching fretwork. The southern rock styled “Like Father, Like Daughter” was the first single released to radio. Currently receiving airplay is the fabulous “Work” as Rogers’ sings “if you got the job, I can do the work”. Also written by Rogers and Niehaus is “Thankful”.
Three tracks first appeared on her 2018 recording. The soul rockin’ Rogers’ declaration that she’s goin’ “Back to Memphis” to find her muse, is also receiving airplay. The vocalist has often been described as a “cross between Tina Turner and Etta James”. Also re-arranged is the excellent Stax-like production “Failure” with the lyric “I failed at everything, ‘cept lovin’ you”; and the closer “Insecurities”.
A third song currently being played on blues radio is the gospel infused “Movin On”, co-written with drummer Arl, featuring the backing singers. Two more from that same songwriting team are “Drowning”, and the title track “Firebreather” with the lyric “watch out or she’ll burn your world to the ground”.
All ten of these are well-written songs. Sky’s the limit, as the rockin’ Rogers’ has arrived.