RANDY ROGERS BAND ALBUM LAUNCH & TOUR COVERAGE
DALLAS MORNING NEWS
Randy Rogers Band sticks with its country style
07:13 AM CDT on Monday, September 29, 2008
By MARIO TARRADELL
Picking a restaurant to have lunch with the five members of the Randy Rogers Band is easy. These guys like beer. They also like margaritas and Tex-Mex cuisine. So Chuy's Dallas at Knox-Henderson seems a good choice. Over pork tacos, fajitas and a few drinks, Randy Rogers, Brady Black, Les Lawless, Jon Richardson and Geoffrey Hill cut up and finish each other's sentences.
But later, inside a chauffeured limousine rented to transport them from a performance at a Gun Barrel City honky-tonk to Dallas, the guys get serious about their music. The topic never strays far from their just-released second major-label album, Randy Rogers Band. Produced by fellow Texan Radney Foster, who also produced 2004's Rollercoaster and 2006's Just a Matter of Time, the new disc is undoubtedly their most country effort. It expertly merges the raw spirit of their native state with the melodic polish of Nashville. Mr. Rogers even pens a few tunes with noted Nashville songwriters such as Stephony Smith, George Ducas and Gary Nicholson.
"We are all influenced by traditional-sounding country music," says Mr. Rogers. "We all think country music should be that. It's not that the Randy Rogers Band is a steel guitar-driven band. We have a fiddle player. But we all respect honest, true, gritty country music."
Mr. Hill immediately pipes in.
"Randy has always been a country songwriter," he says. "We've always been a country band. I play rock guitar. A lot of our band is kind of rock-based, but we come from country roots. ... I don't think this new record is really different from the rest just because we've always been a country band."
There's a sense of determination, if not ambition, to be considered a full-fledged country music entity, not one of those roots-driven hybrids so prevalent in the Lone Star state. Just a Matter of Time, which produced two Billboard-charting singles, was the record that took the quintet's music to a national level. It helped them gross $2.5 million from touring in a year, according to the band's Web site, and it broadened their artistic reach.
"What that record did for us is, we can go play in Wisconsin or, I think we were in Minnesota last week, and people know the work that this band has done," says Mr. Rogers. "That record, as a whole for us, opened up doors that were closed before. Did it sell platinum? No. Could it have sold it? Absolutely. I believe in that record and still stand by that record. It did exactly what we thought that it would do. We didn't have huge, lofty expectations. ... Our expectations are to make another record."
Growth is key, but so is success. They eventually want the million-sellers, the radio hits and the huge crowds. But, as Mr. Black says, "We're not going to compromise our integrity to get a No. 1 single."
Still, for these Texans all in their late 20s to early 30s and living in the Austin, San Marcos and New Braunfels area, hitting the road to play more than 250 dates a year and making great country albums is now their life's work.
"We've been so lucky," says Mr. Rogers. "I think all of us feel that way every time we get to take the stage with somebody that we admire or go make another record. The harder you work, the luckier you get."
Randy Rogers Band's New Album Is on the Way
March 24th, 2008 | By: Craig Shelburne
The Randy Rogers Band, one of the hardest-working and most energetic groups out of Texas, has turned in their new album to Mercury Records. I haven't heard the album yet, but I did have a chance to have lunch with them in Nashville a few weeks ago, so I asked them how they think it compares to their past work.
"If you've heard of our band before, and you expect things to be different - nothing's different," Rogers said. "The songs are better and hopefully the musicianship is better."
They recorded the album with Radney Foster over the course of a few weeks outside of Lafayette, La., and only included one outside song. For the most part, they tracked the whole thing live, and they wanted to capture the band's electricity in the studio. Now, they're back on the road, with an upcoming gigs at the Stagecoach Festival in Indio, Calif., in May, where they'll be performing alongside The Eagles and John Fogerty. No doubt a few Creedence and Eagles songs used to be in their set list back in the day, before they built up their set list with original music.
Last year, they built their audience with a single and video called "Kiss Me in the Dark." They're hoping to film another video for the new album (the release date hasn't been set), while continuing to hit the road as hard as they can.
"I think our work ethic is as strong as it's ever been," Rogers said. "I don't think any of us have a problem with paying dues, if you want to call it paying dues. Because paying dues is what we love, which is playing music live and creating music and messing with the set list, and having fun at it."
NORFOLK DAILY NEWS
Randy Rogers Band, 'Randy Rogers Band'
By CARRIE PITZER
The Randy Rogers Band is simply the best band you've never heard of - but that will change with the release of the new self-titled album.
The Texas-based band mixes a rugged feel with traditional for a sound that is best described as cooler than anything on radio right now. The craftsmanship of the music is incredible, while the lyrics are just as catchy as they deal with slightly more mature topics angled toward those in their mid-20s to early 30s. Songs about consequence, growing up, moving on and still wanting to feel the wildness of being wild and free.
"Better Than I Ought To Be" has a familiar sound, a relatable message and gravely vocals that give it a real, raw feel. "One Woman" showcases a more romantic, sensitive side, while "Buy Myself A Chance" has a great fiddle backbone for a song made for a dancing.
Every song is worth listening to, but favorites are "In My Arms Instead," "Lonely Too Long" and "This Is Goodbye."
THE RUSTON DAILY LEADER-6,000
Rogers to rock Rabb’s
Monica Crowe, Reporter
Randy Rogers Band, the progressive country group voted one of the top 10 bands to see in 2007 by Rolling Stone magazine, is coming to Rabb’s Steakhouse on Thursday, just shy of their self-titled record release on Sept. 23. The five-piece band’s previous recording, under Mercury Records label, Just a Matter of Time (2006) debuted as the most-downloaded country album on iTunes, and USA Today praised the band for having “loads of grit, swagger and heart.”
The group formed in San Marcos, Texas, in 2000, and Rogers and the guys decided to quit their jobs and hit the road. Rogers credits the band’s success to the number of concerts they perform yearly.
“We play 250 shows a year and have done so for the past six years,” he said. “We focus on touring, and we’re always trying to evolve the show to make it better.”
Placing songwriting as his first priority, before the band formed Rogers performed solo at open mic nights at the Cheatham Street Warehouse in San Marcos. Rogers said his songs are intended to be relatable to the average person and to help people through their struggles.
“I know that music has helped me through the hard times,” he said. “I’m conscious of that when I write songs. I hope people can say, ‘That song got me through that (bad) summer of 2007’ or whatever.”
RRB recently shot a music video in Nashville for the upcoming single, “In My Arms,” a personal song for Rogers.
“It was about me missing my wife on a rainy, cold day in a hotel room,” he said.
Being on the road most days of the year can put a strain on family, Rogers said, but family is important to him and his band members.
“We always put family first,” he said.
“I think if you’re conscious of that and making sure your job doesn’t interfere with your family, everyone respects that. It’s difficult to be gone.”
Though touring can be hard, Rogers has fulfilled a long-time dream of hitting the road with childhood musical influence, Willie Nelson, as well as the Eagles, Gary Allan and Dierks Bentley. During a three-month tour with Nelson, Rogers sang “Amazing Grace” on stage with him once, and hung out with him on his tour bus.
“(Touring with Willie Nelson) was surreal,” Rogers said. “I couldn’t believe it. If you told me at 9 or 10 that I’d (share the stage with him) I’d tell you you’re crazy. It’s been a lifelong dream. I can die now.”
Rabb’s can expect an upbeat, energy-pumped show Thursday night, and Rogers said he and the group will be available to meet and greet fans. RRB fans, he said, are those who want to hear something new.
“They’re people that are hungry for something other than mainstream Top 40 music,” he said. “There’s an edge and a progressive vibe to our music.”
Fanbase continues to grow for Randy Rogers Band
BY FRED PHILLIPS
SEPTEMBER 18, 2008
When the Randy Rogers Band takes the stage at Rabb's tonight, opening for Miranda Lambert, they should feel right at home. It's not their first time at Rabb's, and they've made their name largely in college towns. Rogers isn't surprised by that.
"I think it's progressive," he said of the band's music. "I think it's a little bit different from the norm, mainstream Top-40 music, and I think there's a hunger for that type of sound amongst college kids."
The proof that the college crowd is catching on comes from iTunes, where the Randy Rogers Band's last record passed country super group Rascal Flatts to debut as the No. 1 most downloaded country record.
"I think that was one of the most surprising things, just being No. 1 overall," Rogers said. "I think it's a testament to our fan base and how they access music. I think we have a younger fanbase, and downloading is how they're getting new stuff."
The number raised eyebrows in the industry and led to the Randy Rogers Band being named one of the "must-see" tours by Rolling Stone. Despite the overnight acclaim, Rogers definitely doesn't consider the band an overnight success.
"For me, nothing's happening quickly or overnight," he said. "I think that I've been working hard, and I'm real proud of how far we've come. Eight years is a long time to be on the road. I made four records before I signed a major record deal, and now I'm on my second record with the major label. That's something to be proud of."
Rogers' second album on Mercury Records is simply titled "The Randy Rogers Band," and it's a personal album for the band.
"It's very much a record about our band," he said. "The bass player wrote a song, the guitar player wrote a song, and I wrote nine of the songs. I think, very much, it was a statement. Taking ownership in what we've created was important to us."
They also came to Dockside Studio in Maurice, where Dr. John and B.B. King have recorded to get away from their home base of Austin. They spent two weeks there, working into the wee hours of the morning.
"We wanted to get away from Austin, and we didn't want to go to Nashville with all the distractions," Rogers said. "We've played Louisiana several times, and we like the vibe. It was an attempt to get away from the rest of the world and not answer your cell phone for a while."
As far as tonight's show goes, Rogers is looking forward to the return to Ruston.
"We love Rabb's," he said. "We enjoy playing that place. The crowds are always good. I feel like we have a good fan base in Ruston, and I'm looking forward to coming back."
This Week in Music
By JENNIFER CHANCELLOR World Scene Writer
THE RANDY ROGERS BAND
with Tuff Profit
Named by Rolling Stone as one of the “must-see tours of summer,” this band recently surpassed country supergroup Rascal Flatts as the No. 1 most-downloaded country album on iTunes. Crows USA Today: “Rogers boasts loads of grit, swagger and heart. There’s nobody on the country charts that does the Southern-rock thing better.”
SAN ANGELO STANDARD TIMES
Texas-sized music fest: RiverStage hosts 11 country acts
By Sandy Rojas Friday, September 26, 2008
San Angelo, get ready. Tour buses and equipment trucks will roll into town early Saturday ahead of the Lonestar Music Festival.
With the buses come the bands. Texas Country music artists from across the state along with local artists will be out in full force at the Bill Aylor Sr. Memorial RiverStage for the all-day, all-ages event chock-full of food, fun and fanfare.
The show features 11 Texas acts, including Bleu Edmondson, Mark McKinney and Buckshot Bradley, with the Randy Rogers Band headlining.
The show is sponsored by Lonestar 92.9, Bud Light and Master Truck and Trailer.
Lonestar General Manager Terry Hucks is checking updated forecasts for Saturday constantly. "The weather looks great," Hucks said. "It's going to be nice and cool."
Hucks says he expects about 5,000 to 6,000 people to attend the show. "We're a little station. We're not supposed to be able to put on this kind of show," Hucks said.
Hucks promises a good show and fun for the whole family with the festival. "We've got a sanctioned chili cook-off, and there will be beer specials all day. We're also going to be a 'green' event. We'll have the U.S. Marines on hand to help us recycle" and to help with the crowds.
The Standard-Times spoke to a few of the artists slated for the festival.
Randy Rogers Band
Randy Rogers, frontman of the Randy Rogers Band, was sitting in an interview with a Dallas Morning News reporter late last week before a show outside Dallas. That's just one sign the band is moving up in the country music world, with videos on GAC and radio play increasing.
Rogers and his band mates play more than 200 shows a year and earned $2.5 million on tour last year. Rolling Stone Magazine ranked them as Must See Artists in 2007, alongside the likes of the Rolling Stones and U2.
Their star is climbing, but hometown shows are still a rush for the guys.
Rogers is looking forward to returning to San Angelo to headline the Lonestar Music Festival and the venue.
"I love me some San Angelo," Rogers said, "I think any kind of stage is a good stage, and that San Angelo loves country music and it feels great to jump onstage there."
"Country music's a big family, and any time we get to play a show like this, it's nice to be able to see your fellow artists onstage," Rogers said.
The band's latest album, titled "The Randy Rogers Band," was released Tuesday, with nine of the 12 tracks co-written by Rogers.
The new single "In My Arms Instead" will be featured on CMT and is No. 5 on the Texas Music Chart.
The band is loving every minute of its rise.
"We're on the cusp of the Billboard charts now," Rogers said.
IF YOU GO:
What: Lonestar Music Festival.
Who: Randy Rogers Band, Bleu Edmondson, Mark McKinney, Texas Renegade, Darren Kozelsky, the Zach Edwards Band, Cody Hughes Davidson, Carrie Rucker, Sunny Sweeney, Buckshot Bradley and Brazos Stone.
When: 11:30 a.m. Saturday.
Where: Bill Aylor Sr. Memorial RiverStage.
Cost: Advance tickets are $31.50 and can be purchased at Blair's Western Wear, 4230 Sherwood Way; Elite Physique, 3109 Knickerbocker Road; or Coliseum box office, 50 E. 43rd St. Tickets may also be purchased by calling (325) 658-6464. Tickets at the gate will be $36.50. Children 12 and younger will be admitted free.
SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS NEWS
Three Texas artists release new albums
Sept. 24, 2008
Somehow, the stars aligned in the musical heavens above Texas in August and September for a flurry of albums from leading artists on the Texas Music scene.
This latest batch comes from the Eli Young Band, the Randy Rogers Band and Wade Bowen, and each raises the bar from their previous work.
Like other generations of artists, these guys are friends who help each other, from co-writing songs to plugging albums other than their own on their Web sites.
“I don't know if it's different than the Nashville scene or Seattle or whatever,” Bowen said. “It's honest music and honest friendships. On my Web site, I'm helping to promote Brandon Rhyder, Roger Creager, Randy Rogers Band, Eli Young Band, everybody who has a new record out right now.”
“It's important to help each other out. The more we join together, the more fun it is for us and our fans, and it will benefit us all to stay in this thing and see it through instead of seeing this scene die off and wait another 20 years for it to happen again.”
The cross-promotion is unique to the Texas scene, Rogers said.
“I'm real proud of Wade Bowen and really pumped about his and Eli Young Band's records coming out the same time as mine,” Rogers said. “It's important to respect the music. We're all out to change the world, to change the way country music is today.
“By supporting each other, that will be a lot easier.”
Rogers' single “In My Arms Instead” moved up to No. 5 and Bowen's “You Had Me at My Best” is at No. 7 on the Texas Music Chart.
Casting a wider net
The Randy Rogers Band had a big year in 2007, too. Rolling Stone named the quintet among its top 10 must-see artists last summer, along with the likes of the Rolling Stones and U2, and their tour grossed $2.5 million.
Plus, “Just a Matter of Time,” their 2006 major-label debut, beat Rascal Flatts for the honor of most-downloaded country album on iTunes.
Unlike that album, which was recorded over about five months, “Randy Rogers Band” (Mercury Records Nashville, in stores this week) is more hard charging and more focused, with the group holed up with producer Radney Foster for a week at Dockside Studio on a remote bayou near Lafayette, La.
“There was no cell phone service, and we didn't see another human being besides us for an entire week, frontman and primary writer Rogers said. “So this time, we felt freer and more creative.”
While “Just a Matter of Time” was more about falling in and out of love, Rogers' fourth studio album casts a wider lyrical net to capture human emotion, from redemption in “Wicked Ways” and blessings in “Better Than I Ought To Be” to the exuberance of youth in “Never be That High.”
“I just tried to be conscious of writing songs about broad topics and not the beginnings or ends of relationships,” Rogers said. “I wanted things people could relate to across the board.
“Plus, this is a deeper musical record for us. Stylistically, we tried some things we haven't done before.”
Like the Eli Young Band, the Randy Rogers Band is a collaborative effort among bassist Jon Richardson, guitarist Geoffrey Hill, fiddler Brady Black and drummer Les Lawless.