NEW YORK — On Aug. 26, indie pop singer-songwriter Edward Rogers and his band played to a packed crowd at The Cutting Room to celebrate the release of his eighth studio album, Catch a Cloud. The British-born, New York-based Rogers’ evocative, intimate songs and elegant delivery were enhanced not only by his stellar band (Sal Maida, Don Piper, James Mastro, Konrad Meissner) but also by a guest appearance by George Usher. One of the evening’s highlights was “Commodore Hotel” (see video below), with Usher on piano. The haunting track from Rogers’ 2008 album You Haven’t Been Where I’ve Been also appears on Usher’s 2017 release, The End and the Beginning, 1990-2009.
“It was a nice moment … with just me on piano and Ed singing, just like when we finished composing it back in 2006,” said Usher, later. Rogers referred to him as “the brother I never had” and credited Usher with teaching him “how to write songs.”
Another highlight of the show was a rousing version of “What Happened to Us,” a reflective song about lost youth, featuring Mastro on mandolin. (see video below). Mastro also sang lead on his own profound recent single “My God,” to a hushed crowd. “I guess your God must look like mine/’Cause God is love and love is blind,” Mastro sang.
The most poignant moment in the evening was Rogers’ dedication of his opening song “Denmark Street Forgotten” (from his 2016 album Glass Marbles) to the late, great Charlie Watts.
We heard Rogers’ poetic ruminations about the changing New York landscape in “Passing the Sunshine” from his 2010 album, Sparkle Lane, and about the “golden days of my youth” in Porcelain’s 2011 song “The Biba Crowd.”
Always a engaging storyteller, Rogers explained that his psychedelic rock track “Imaginary Man,” from his new album, was inspired by Pink Floyd co-founder Syd Barrett. In addition to “Hayley” and “Too Far From the Candle,” both from Catch a Cloud, he performed the whimsical title track, which has a deceptively simple and important reminder that we stop long enough to appreciate what’s essential.
John Ford and Smash Palace also celebrated their record releases at this event, which was hosted by May Pang.
For more information about Rogers, visit edwardrogersmusic.com.
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