Ben Rogers Instrumental Asylum
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Ben Rogers Instrumental Asylum

Band Rock


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"Live review"

Daniel Gregson of EG (The Age - Melbourne) caught the band at a recent performance at the Clifton Hill "Acoustic Sessions": "Gig Guide caught Instrumental Asylum (as opposed to being admitted) on Wednesday June 14 at the Clifton, and if you dig rockin' surf guitar a la Dick Dale and via Melbourne, you'll dig this outfit fronted by Ben Rogers. Featuring the ever reliable Denis Close in the engine room, the trio tore up the stage calling into question the "acoustic" focus of the night, but damn, the feet were stomping."

- The Age (Melbourne, Australia)

"Robert Silverstein"

BLAZZ - Any guitarist that cites Django, Hank and Peter Green as big influences gets my ear. On the 18 track, 2006 CD from the Australia-based Ben Rogers’ Instrumental Asylum jettisons the gypsy jazz intrigue of Django Reinhardt in favor of the excitement of trendy beat group sounds of the Shadows and Sandals, Duane Eddy. Ben’s nimble fretboard work on “Medina Wedding Blues” would put a smile on Peter Green’s face! With his group’s new CD, Welcome To Instrumental Asylum, guitar ace Ben Rogers brings the rock instrumental sound solidly into the now. Guitar instrumental music is and always was huge in Australia—Hank Marvin lives there today—and interestingly over the past decade original Aussie instro rockers The Atlantics, Kim Humphreys and other up and coming bands are out there keeping the R.I. sound alive downunder. Welcome To Instrumental Asylum is a real treat for ‘60s guitar freaks.

- 20th Century Guitar

"Phil Drew"

Alongside faithful recreations of classics such as "Pipeline" and "Apache" and his own originals ("Surfing the Synchrotron", the title a nod to Scarlett's day job as a scientist) that echo them, the Welcome to the Instrumental Asylum CD hints at Rogers' broader influences. There is a bluesy rethink of "St James Infirmary"; a "House of the Rising Sun" that might have been played by Carlos Santana; a Rogers original, "KangaRoux" that seems to channel Jeff Beck; a cover of Django Reinhardt's "Nuages" that dusts off the swing jazz classic with serious rock attitude.

- The Record, Albany , NY

"Karl Mayerhofer"

"...the bio claims that the album echoes some of the best work of The Shadows, Ventures and Surfaris, which is quite a call, but a valid one. Their cover of Dick Dale's "Shake 'n' Stomp" is feverishly hot and the opening track "Kangaroux" could run at the beginning of the next Tarantino movie." and "Be sure to listen to it with your dancing shoes on." - Australian Guitar

"Billy Pinnell"

There are no vocals on this album.
They would be superfluous on material interpreted by Ben Rogers, a guitar player whose genre bending technique, taste and eclecticism place him among the world’s great guitarists.
Backed by his wife Nikki Scarlett (bass) and drummer Denis Close the Melbourne based musician explores surf music, rock, psychedelica, rockabilly and jazz on nine original songs and re-arrangements of The Zombies’ ‘She’s Not There’, The Beatles’ ‘Strawberry Fields’, Blackfeather’s ‘Seasons Of Change’, The Fireballs’ ‘Torquay’ and the jazz standard ‘All The Things You Are’.
An exhilarating, exciting release.
- JB Mag (Austalia)

"Davy Peckett"

Cracking album to say the least. We met Ben and the boys in NGD78 in 2006 on their equally excellent debut album “Welcome To” and this carries on the fine guitar instrumental work. It’s twanging guitar spy surf drawn from the band’s various influences like the Dave Bridge Trio, The Atlantics, The Fireballs, the Ventures and of course their own high creativity on nine strong originals and some carefully chosen arrangements of classics. - New Gandy Dancer (UK)

"Phil Dirt"

This is the second release from Australia's Ben Rogers' Instrumental
Asylum. many fine tracks here. It's not at all traditional surf, and in fact is
much more rock, but the intensity of the guitar tone and superb caliber of
the drums and bass make this hard to ignore. Reverb Rehab is a great
title! - Reverb Central (Snata Cruz, USA)

"Mark Liebelt"

The cover art and title provide a
pretty fair indication of what your
ears are likely to experience when
the play button has been pressed
with this release, being: reverb laden
electric guitar instrumentals (a mix of
originals and covers) played through
an assortment of amps, backed by a
no nonsense rhythm section.
As such the Melbourne trio that is
Ben Rogers on guitar, bassist Nikki
Scarlett and drummer Denis Close,
churn out some great surf-stomp tracks. The original tune Wet Suit
Dream, and the covers of Bondi Stomp, John Coltrane's Mr P.C. and
Torquay get one all gidgety. Original jangly late 50's/early 60's rock
gets a look in on the excellent Prickly Pear, Goodbye Bluehaze and
The Ballad Of Private Mitchell, while late 60's psychodelia raises its
paisley coloured head in Paisley Dayze with its clever pseudo sitar. - dB Magazine (Australia)


"Welcome to the Instrumental Asylum" released February 2006.
"Reverb Rehab" released October 2007
Tracks on website ( include:
Stomping at Steve's (excerpt)
Incident at Docklands (excerpt)
Medina Wedding Blues (excerpt)
Surfing the Synchrotron (excerpt)
Kangaroux (the movie - animation)
The Ballad Of Private Mitchell
Wet Suit Dream (live video)

Tracks also played periodically on:
3RRR (Melbourne Australia)
3PBS (Melbourne Australia)
Regional stations in Australia
88.3 Saint fm (Capitol region, NY, USA)



Think "Hank Marvin on acid". This band began with a casual conversation between Ben and Denis at a jazz gig. A shared history of Shadows' music led to the first rehearsal /recording session. Ben Rogers' Instrumental Asylum began playing covers of '60s surf stuff but quickly morphed into a whole new beast. Ben, Nikki and Denis are musos whose influences and experience cover a range of styles from blues, traditional Brazilian, pub rock and European gypsy jazz. This brings a different dimension to the surf genre loosely describing this act. Melodic ideas evolve when the trio get together and listening later they sometimes wonder "where did that come from?".