The son of a preacher who can rock with the best of them, Randy Rogers was raised by his parents Danny and Donna in Cleburne, Texas. It was a pretty typical upbringing, Mom was a teacher’s aid in special education and Dad was a Baptist Preacher. From an early age, music was an everyday part of his life. His Dad and best friend regularly played guitar and sang in the house and Randy’s Great Grandmother Ruth taught him how to play the piano when he was six years old. By age eleven, he was writing songs and teaching himself to play chords on guitar.
Randy’s love for music grew over the years as he began to listen to artists like Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Don Williams, The Beatles and even Pearl Jam. He began experimenting with his live show when his high school garage band performed a Stone Temple Pilots cover in a talent show.
Rogers went on to play as a sideman for several years – playing guitar and singing harmony vocals. His first two years as a sideman made him realize that he wanted to form a band and treat each member as an equal. “I was in a band before as a sideman and was treated as a side guy – I hated it,” said Rogers. “These guys are up there with me night after night, they deserve to be factored into the big decisions.” This notion was catalyst for the beginning of the Randy Rogers Band. After years of playing the songwriter circuit in San Marcos, Texas and playing with friends and fellow musicians – the Randy Rogers Band began to take shape.
Upcoming Randy Rogers Band Concerts
A classic return to form and a brave new direction, Burning the Day refuses to be put on pause, stays in your car for weeks on end, and the songs cannot be turned on low. The album feels like a late, warm summer’s afternoon drive with the top down that ends up lasting long after the sun goes down. Burning the Day is their third release on UMG Nashville, and Randy Rogers Band is out to leave a lasting mark with collection of 11 rock-country fire-branded songs.
The Texas-born-and-bred crew, who earned their road-warrior reputation in bars and dives across the American West, still spends more than 200 days on the road a year, breaking attendance records at venues on each tour. But they aren’t just hitting red dirt dens anymore, they’re opening for the likes of Willie Nelson and The Eagles, and landing spots on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno and Late Show With David Letterman. Their two previous albums debuted at No. 1 on the iTunes Country Chart and in the Top 5 on the Billboard Top Country Albums Chart. They earned two ACM Vocal Group of the Year nominations and were named Country Album of The Year in Playboy magazine for their last studio effort. All of these signs point to success, but on the road map of the band’s career, their route has yet to take them to a major win on country radio—that changes with Burning the Day.
Randy Rogers Band lays it all out on the line with this album. “This is an important album,” Randy Rogers reiterates. “I wrote more songs for this album than on any previous record. The rest of the band was writing a song a week as well; we really made an effort to bring as much to the table as we could before going into the studio.” On top of songwriting, they continued their relentless touring schedule, while several of the band members, including Randy himself, started families.
Teaming up with Grammy-award winning producer Paul Worley, RRB carried their work ethic and friendships into the studio to be tested. “Paul really put me under the gun,” Rogers says, “He pushed me to focus more than ever on my songwriting.” Worley also embraced their style, “Paul was pretty excited that we were actually a band. He was fired up about our approach; with everyone in the band writing and filling out their-own parts.” Rogers exclaims.
In the studio, Worley often threw out the adage, “if you think too much, you stink,” to the guys and encouraged the band to bring the electricity of their stage performance to the studio.
RRB never shies away from a challenge. We went to a practice studio to work up the songs with Paul for 6 to 7 hours a day at SoundCheck in Nashville. After a few weeks, we took ‘em back to the road and started to play them live—the roots of this band are in the road,” Rogers explains.
Burning the Day is an album built not only with sweat of the band, but also alongside their fans. Anyone familiar with the group knows of their dedication to the people they tirelessly tour in front of. It’s natural, almost reflexive, that RRB would want to see what works for their community of diehards before hitting the studio again.
“Interstate” (R. Rogers & S. McConnell) kicks off the album like the magic hiss of a lighted fuse before a burst of summer fireworks.
“Interstate” stands out as a driving song that scorches the blacktop with Brady Black’s signature fiddle and a Rogers led anthemic chorus and harmonies. The crowd’s response was immediate. “Crowds are already singing along to it,” the band reports. “The day after Sean and Randy wrote it, we knew we had something special,” says guitarist Geoffrey Hill.
“Too Late for Goodbye” (R. Rogers & S. McCo
nnell) makes a strong run at “break-up song of the year.” It’s a tune that will howl through many car stereos on their way out of the driveway, kicking up clouds of dust and gravel. The song’s raw and direct storytelling are pushed upward by the energy of one of the band’s best studio performances to date. “Too Late for Goodbye” signals a theme for the rest of the album in terms of songwriting making it the perfect choice as the lead single for the record.
Rogers and the band set out to write an album filled with real country songs from start-to-finish. Their aim is true, to write about relationships, about loves lost and regained, about joy and sorrow and the poetry of life that unfolds in front of us everyday. They’re songs that cause synapses to fire, especially at their shows.
“Steal You Away” (J. Middleton, M. Mulch & M. Mulch) elicits yet another unique reaction from the crowd. Bass player Jon “Chops” Richardson illuminates, “We heard this song, and we were blown away. It was something we didn’t have written for the record; we had rockers, two-steppers, but this is a great ballad: a guy sees a girl with guy who doesn’t deserve and think, ‘I should just take her away.” The band attests they’ve seen it happen—during the song, from the stage—a number of times already. Any song that’s gets under folks skin like that is a keeper.
“Just Don’t Tell Me the Truth,” is quite possibly one of Rogers’ proudest moments on Burning the Day because he got to write it with one of his heroes, a master songwriter if there ever was one, Dean Dillon. Sung from the perspective of a man who can’t let go, but knows it’s over, sends chills and tugs all the right heartstrings; it’s like it fell off an old jukebox.
Yet Burning the Day’s strength rests not solely in the individual songs, but again, on the entire album. It’s an album that can be started any point, and you’ll keep on listening till the very end, then hit repeat.
An authentic country band like RRB doesn’t rely on radio singles or a good run of download and ringtone sales, they create traditional country albums overflowing with narratives and emotions, and songs that stand up on their own; It makes for an album stacked with songs that could each be released as singles, rather than easily forgotten fluff. It’s a traditional way to look at writing albums; it’s a way that often times can be more time-consuming because the process requires weaving strands of heartache and elation through each song, rather than bookending an album with a couple singles.
Burning the Day is an album meant for old and new fans alike. It offers a taste of their live show: moments where a chorus sweeps you away, singing along word for word, and verses with consummate attention to personal imagery and songcraft.
It’s all on the line here. Randy Rogers Band put everything they’ve got into Burning the Day. It represents the years of hard work, hard livin’ the band members have put themselves through to make genuine, unflinching rock-country music. Everything is under the hood in this machine and waiting for the listener to turn that key—RRB guarantees a wild ride.
I really love Geoffrey Hill. . I am really a fan of him. . he’s a good guitarist. . thanks for featuring them. . Loved it! – said learn guitar on Oct 23, 2008