Blues artists Robin Rogers, James Peterson die

Saturday, 18 December 2010 09:51 AM Written by 

Robin Rogers was a North Carolina blues singer who had finally hit her stride in the past couple of years with two excellent albums -- they were full of lively, lusty, passionate music. I wrote about her most recent, "Back in the Fire," a few months ago.

Rogers had fought a long battle with liver cancer, and died yesterday at her home in Gastonia, N.C. Here's some information on Rogers from her record company, Blind Pig:

It is with great sadness that Blind Pig Records announces the passing of singer Robin Rogers at the age of 55.  She died at her home December 17 in Gastonia, North Carolina, where she was being cared for by her husband and musical partner, Tony.
In August the talented singer and harmonica player was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer.  Like most musicians Robin and Tony were without health insurance and depended on touring for their income. For years Robin was always ready to donate her time and performances to a good cause. so it was not surprising that there was an immediate outpouring of love and support from the blues community and her many fans.  Benefits and fundraisers were held around the country to raise money for medical bills and living expenses. 

Rogers was deeply moved by the support, and was also buoyed by the success and critical acclaim for her new CD, Back In The Fire, which debuted at #3 on the Billboard Blues sales chart, where it remains in the top ten.
Rogers, winner of the 2009 "Best Female Artist" Blues Blast Award, was announced just this week as a nominee for a Blues Music Award for "Contemporary Blues Female Artist"  by the Blues Foundation.  And just last weekend Robin was featured on National Public Radio's "Weekend Edition Saturday," where she told host Scott Simon that despite battling cancer and the effects of chemotherapy, she felt "blessed."
Here's a video of Rogers performing from a couple of years ago:
James Peterson also died this week -- on Dec. 12. He was an Alabama-born blues guitarist, but who had played mostly around the St. Petersburg, Fla., area since 1981, and was known for his rough, raw style.  He might be better known to many of you as the father of guitarist and keyboard player "Lucky" Peterson.
Here's a story from the St. Petersburg Times on James Peterson's life. He never quite achieved national fame, but was one of those solid players with deep roots in the music. According to the article, Peterson founded a popular blues club in the 1960s, a Buffalo, N.Y., venue that regularly drew blues legends. Mr. Peterson later founded three clubs in the Tampa Bay area and another in Alabama. 
Here's a tribute video, with film of Peterson performing:
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