Rowland Salley
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Rowland Salley

Band Folk Singer/Songwriter


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The best kept secret in music



TOP 10

Rowland Salley "Killing the Blues" (from "Killing the Blues").

Los Lonely Boys "Crazy Dream" (from the album "Live at the Fillmore").

Sonny Landreth "Broken Hearted Road" (from "Grant Street").

Solomon Burke "I Need Your Love in My Life" (from "Make Do With What You Got").

Delbert McClinton "One of the Fortunate Few" (from "Cost of Living").

John Prine "Crazy as a Loon" (from "Fair & Square").

Robert Plant "The Mighty Rearranger" (from "The Mighty Rearranger").

Sinead O'Connor "Throw Down Your Arms" (from "Throw Down Your Arms").

Paul Anka "Jump" (from "Rock Swings").

Chris Michie "Cherry Blossoms" (from "Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill" soundtrack). - San Francisco Chronicle


Killing the Blues LP 2005


Feeling a bit camera shy


Rowland Salley grew up in the Mississippi River Valley area in the State of Illinois within a family traditionally of farmers or carpenters like his father. He was introduced to the piano and to music in general by his grandmother. At the age of ten he was playing the French Horn and within a few years had switched to bass. His musical education consists of little formal schooling and a lot of listening to the radio and hearing bands play. By the age of sixteen he had taken an interest in simple direct songs and began to write some of his own, an interest which has held forth to the present.

Embarking on a career as a bassist who also writes songs and performs as a solo artist, he has traveled and lived in many places in America and abroad. His "Killing the Blues" was recorded by John Prine on his Pink Cadillac album and on his Great Days Anthology record. In his liner notes John reflects, "Killing the Blues. That was written by Roly Salley...With a name like that, you'd think he was some great, obscure rockabilly guy. I didn't know who he was previous to recording his song. I heard it on a compilation album, The Woodstock Mountain Revue...I really dug it, so we worked up a version." Shawn Colvin made a fine version of the song as well on her Cover Girl record. Shawn remarks, "Just when you think there's no new way to say anything, you hear a song like this and think, that's as good as anything before or since."

His career as a musician includes Maria Muldaur, John Prine, Lucinda Williams, Shawn Colvin, Ian and Sylvia, Bobbie Gentry, Joan Baez and many others.

Today Rowland is recognized as the long standing bassist with "Chris Isaak and Silvertone". That group recently shot their Showtime television series "The Chris Isaak Show" for three consecutive seasons in Vancouver, British Columbia. In this environment "off the road", Rowland recorded a dozen original songs on a new record called "Killing the Blues". In addition to singing, he plays bass, guitar, and ukulele on this collection of songs with a classic backing band.

Joel Selvin of the San Francisco Chronicle voted Rowland's recent version of "Killing the Blues" as one of the ten best songs of 2005.