Sunday, November 15, 2009

20 Days in November - Day 11: The Randy Rogers Band

We returned to our alt-country roots this evening at the The State Theatre for ladies night - actually for a performance by The Randy Rogers Band. But with all the ladies in attendance - if this is what Austin is like every evening it's time to relocate. Randy Rogers is all Texas - as are his fans - heckling each other on which Big 12 school they attended. The band's formation is an interesting tale. Kent Finlay, songwriter and owner of Cheatham Street Warehouse pulled Rogers over after a regular gig in a singer-songwriter circle and told him if he formed his own band - he get's a night all to himself. Two month later, the The Randy Rogers Band was born. I first heard the band on XCountry satellite radio a number of year's back and saw the band live at an Austin City Limits Festival around the same time. At the festival I purchased Just a Matter of Time and that has been my favorite CD from the group. Why? The offer songs with meaning combined with hard driving music - part rock and part what country should sound like. No polished Nashville pop here - just true grit. And wait to you see a live show.

This is a BAND - not a solo artist with a supporting cast. Several members participate in songwriting and often Rogers moves to the back and let's the band take over. Sometimes its bassist Jon Richardson carrying vocals, lead guitarist Geoffrey Hill blaring away, and fiddler Brady Black, everywhere at once. That's one charismatic dude. Along with drummer Les Lawless, the group has been performing with this lineup since 2003 - playing over 200 shows annually. At the end of this night's performance - the band is taking a tour break and heading into the studio to record a new CD. As a result we heard several new songs - "Interstate" will be a good one. Rogers did explain that the band needed to play the new tunes in order to practice - but be patient - the old favorites would come. And he didn't disappoint. They played "Kiss Me In The Dark" and "One More Goodbye" as well as songs from their latest Randy Rogers Band and Rollercoaster: "Lonely Too Long", "Lay It All On The Line", "This Time Around".... Their hard core fans sang every verse to every old song while dancing in the front. I'm really going to look forward to their next release.

Local rock band, Memphis 59 opened the show - and this has allowed me to catch these guys twice in the past month - for they opened for Sons of Bill at the State previously. Like that performance, they can rock - with songs like "Me, Myself, and I" and Girl at the End of the Bar". I hope to catch them this week (November 18th) as they team with Justin Trawick for Pink Jams - The Clarendon Ballroom for a fund raiser for breast cancer awareness.

No comments: