Randy Rogers and his band have been making music since the turn of the millennium. They’re a contemporary country band, though not necessarily modern country. Of their 12 singles, only one has broken into the Top 40 and generated radio airplay, last year’s “One More Sad Song,” evidence that they’re not regular radio material.
His four-piece band is stellar, starting with fiddler Brady Black, who added much energy, musically and physically, all night, and the drummer with a notorious name, Les Lawless. They come off like the country boys they are, in ball caps, unkempt beards and boots, way more Zac Brown then Kenny Chesney or Rascal Flatts.
The Rogers band has released five albums, three of them since they signed with big label Mercury Nashville in 2006. All three of those have hit the top 10 on the country charts. In April they’re scheduled to release another, “Trouble.”
They performed most of the songs that skimmed the edge of the country charts, twangy ballads and anthems, most about love and relationships, like “Lonely Too Long,” and country-fried rockers like “Down and Out” and “Last Last Chance.”
Rogers has a warm, resonate voice, one that adapts to his band’s shifts in styles, which evoke the sounds of everyone from Ronnie Milsap to Steve Earle, Dierks Bentley and several Southern rock bands.
The crowd this evening, especially those who filled the floor in front of the stage, hooted, hollered and sang-along all night, evidence that a guy can generate a substantial following without a lot of help from radio. They joined in on songs like “Last Last Chance,” a rocker filled with fiery fiddling from Black and lead guitar flourishes from Geoffrey Hill, and the wistful anthem with a big chorus, “Tonight’s Not the Night,” part of a setlist that also included “Somebody Take Me Home,” “Steal You Away” and “One More Goodbye.”
None of it sounded like anything that hasn’t been heard before. It was all well-crafted and well-played, the kind of music that gets a beer-drinking crowd in the mood to sing and dance, the kind of new and traditional country music that deserves attention, from radio and elsewhere.