RANDY ROGERS BAND
with Joey Hyde
Friday, Nov 16, 2012 9:00 PM CST
(7:00 PM Doors)
Joe's on Weed Street, Chicago, IL
21 years and over
When the Randy Rogers Band’s last project debuted as the most-downloaded country album on iTunes, plenty of the industry “insiders” on Music Row were left scratching their heads: Who are these guys?
The Nashville elite may not have known about the five-piece band, but much of America already did. Rolling Stone magazine ranked them alongside such artists as U2 and the Stones in its list of Top 10 Must-See Artists in the summer of 2007. They earned $2.5 million—a staggering total for a still developing act—on the tour circuit in a single year. Willie Nelson, the Eagles, Gary Allan and Dierks Bentley all picked them as opening acts for their concerts. And more than 2,200 people showed up and bought the bands album at an appearance at Wherehouse Music. The fans’ exuberance was shared by USA Today, which praised the band for having “loads of grit, swagger and heart.”
The Randy Rogers Band built its audience by combining forces: It’s a dynamic live act centered around songs that fit the rowdy, party vibe of the concert circuit, but their songs also say something.
That’s particularly true in the new album, The Randy Rogers Band, in which a dozen persuasive tracks give the listener plenty of reasons to want to down a celebratory brewski. But the songs also maintain a depth that makes them powerful and provocative even beyond their edgy arrangements and tough-guy sound.
Rogers’ various performances reflect the wide-ranging influences that snapped together in the process, evoking at times the sneer of Steve Earle, the soul of Bakersfield’s Monty Byrom (formerly of Big House) and the vulnerability of Keith Urban. With its infectious hooks and daring attitude, the album underscores the iTunes popularity of the Randy Rogers Band, its critical appeal and its significance on the nation’s concert circuit, where they’ve broken attendance records at numerous clubs across the heartland. Even Kenny Chesney, who consistently places among the top-selling tours, saw the group’s blue-collar connection when he covered Rogers’ “Somebody Take Me Home” for the album The Road And The Radio.
Each of the five members recognizes his contribution to the Randy Rogers Band’s overall unity, and they repeatedly make choices—creatively and personally—that keep that all-for-one-and-one-for-all solidarity intact.