Chicago Blues Rocker Roger "The Rooster" Connelly and his legendary band The Blues Merchants have been recording and touring for over 20 years. Over the years Roger has performed or shared the bill with such greats as; Buddy Guy, Jonny Lang, Debbie Davies, Honeyboy Edwards, Taj Mahal, Kenny Wayne Shepperd, Tommy Castro, Robbin Ford, Robert Jr. Lockwood, Edar Winter, Alex Ligertwood, Rocco DeLuca, Denny Laine, Spencer Davis, Bobby Kimball, Paul Oscher, A.C. Reed, Don Felder, Randy Miesner, Ski Johnson, Mike Pinera of Iron Butterfly, Eric Friedman and Mark Tremonti of Creed and many others.
Roger is a powerful singer
songwriter/guitarist who has been described as a "One-man wrecking crew with all the technical dexterity and soul of a delta blues virtuoso". Roger is also an accomplished blues harmonica player and is endorsed by Hohner Harmonicas, Dean Markley Strings, Hipshot, Audix Microphones and Republic Resonator Guitars.
Some of the highlights of his career include performances at the 2nd, 3rd and 5th Annual Fender Catalina Island Blues Festival, as well as the 1998, 1999, 2001, and 2002 Chicago Blues Festivals. Roger also performed at the 1999 and 2001 Ocho Rios Jazz Festival in Jamaica, the 2003 and 2004 Monterey Blues Festival and The Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas.
In early 2001 Roger teamed up with Maxwell Street Blues Artist Jimmy Lee Robinson, a name once synonymous with the likes of Elmore James, Freddy King and Little Walter. They were joined by veteran Chicago bassist Bob Stroger and drummer Neil Rose for a series of performances throughout the Midwest. Unfortunately the band was short lived after Jimmy found out he had cancer and decided to take his own life. During that same time Roger joined Koko Taylor, Billy Branch and Lonnie Brooks at The Park West in Chicago for a concert to benefit The Blue Heaven Foundation.
In 2002 Roger moved to Catalina Island in Southern California where he would enjoy the next 12 years as one of the island's premier blues acts. In Sept.'06 Roger and his band headlined the Famous Casino Ballroom with "The Spencer Davis Group" on Catalina Island opening to a sold out crowd. Roger then joined forces with Spencer Davis to form "Spencer Davis & The Catalina Island All-Stars" aka: The CIA. The band produced a 10 song CD including 2 of Roger's orignals which was released at the 2012 outdoor 4th of July concert at Casino Point where the band performed to a record crowd.
Roger has released 2 cds of original music and licensed his music for 2 motion pictures, to include the last Rodney Dangerfield movie "Back by Midnight" his music can also be heard on several blues compilations including Big City Rhythm & Blues Magazine's "Blues Sampler" CD.
Roger is now based in Nashville, TN and continues to perform and write.