For years, especially since the release of 2004’s Rollercoaster, the Randy Rogers Band has been converting many a disciple with their zeal-intensive, Texas country music. The prime traits of sin-ravaged Saturday nights and redemption-filled Sunday mornings have many more similarities than your typical pastor might care to admit. Randy Rogers, a preacher’s son himself, has no problems spotting the similarities.
“A good thing about the Good Lord is that he forgives you. That’s how I was raised, at least,” begins Rogers, as he enjoys a rare day off from the road. “I think my parents are proud. I mean, standing up on stage isn’t really that much different than preaching every night. I don’t think me playing in a honky-tonk band has disappointed them.”
Family isn’t the only institution that Rogers aims to carefully respect. Rogers, who, in live performances, often uses breaks between songs to proclaim the glory of traditional country music, even while his band shows off a reasonable amount of polish to go along with a revved-up sonic, makes no bones about his desire to be a part of a tradition.
Clearly, it’s the theme of heartbreak and the drastic finality such a feeling has on one’s life that captivates Rogers when he aims to honor the tradition in his own way. The strongest songs in Rogers’ already sterling catalog spring up from the well where the tears have run dry.
“If you go back and look at most traditional country music, many of those songs aren’t about happy things,” explains Rogers. “They are about losing a girl and her being gone forever and drinking too much, in order to get over it. I’ve always liked that style, so I’ve always tried to write simple country songs. I think that if you’re going to play in a country band, there should be plenty of country themes. I’m just trying to not break something that doesn’t need to be messed with.”
Look for Part II of my chat with Randy, in a couple of days…
Kelly Dearmore is a freelance writer, mean pot of chili maker and opinionated music lover. To read more about what Kelly is listening to, visit him here on The Squawker weekly or daily on his personal music blog, The Gobblers Knob