Randy Rogers on His Band's New Album, Getting Inked and the Best Advice Willie Nelson Ever Gave Them

Randy Rogers Band
Courtesy Photo

Randy Rogers Band

Since releasing Like It Used To Be, their 2002 debut album, Randy Rogers Band has developed a loyal following. Their past four discs have all hit the top 10 on the Country Albums chart, with the past two (2010’s Burning The Day and 2013’s Trouble) also hitting that same mark on the Billboard 200. On Jan. 15, the band released their first album in three years, Nothing Shines Like Neon, which is already garnering strong acclaim with a strong collection of honky-tonk weepers such as “Pour One For The Poor One.” Rogers spoke to Billboard about the famous country star he inked on his arm, Alison Krauss and Jamey Johnson guesting on their album and the best advice that Willie Nelson ever gave him.

Exclusive Song Premiere: Randy Rogers & Wade Bowen's 'Standards'

Nothing Shines Like Neon is Their Most Traditional-Sounding Disc Yet
“We’ve been wanting to make a traditional country album for years. I grew up in Texas playing the Opry circuit and wearing Brush Poppers, starched jeans, and a black hat while singing George Strait songs around my little hometown. That was the music that I grew up on," says Rogers. "I later discovered Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson. That set me on a journey to find Lefty Frizzell and Bob Wills. The man I am now is still that kid who wanted to be George Strait. That’s the music I grew up on. For me, it’s a full circle to the music I’ve always enjoyed and liked and wanted to emulate.”

Jamey JohnsonAlison Krauss and Texas Icon Jerry Jeff Walker Are Guest Stars
“We’ve got Jamey Johnson on the album, and he’s arguably the most country voice we’ve had in a long time. Anytime you can have Alison Krauss singing on the record with her beautiful voice, that means the world to me. She’s so amazing. We were so glad she was willing to put her voice on this album. That’s something that I never would have dreamed of. I went to so many Jerry Jeff Walker shows in college that I lost count. I couldn’t tell you how many. I jammed to him so much then, and still at every party that I’ve ever been to. Just having his presence as a vote of confidence, with him being from Texas means the world to me.”

Rogers Is a Merle Haggard Superfan (and Even Has a Tattoo of Him)
“I have a Merle Haggard tattoo. I got that on my arm last summer. His music just puts me in a good spot. If we’ve had a long week, when we come off the stage, we turn on some Haggard, and it just seems to set the mood for me. Sometimes, I’ll also listen to some before the show. It’s just what I like listening to. My favorite all-time song would be 'Misery and Gin.' I’ve probably covered 'Stay Here and Drink' or 'Workin’ Man Blues' more, but that is one of the best country songs ever written.”

Darius Rucker on His Life as a Family Man: 'I Want to Play the Music and Raise the Kids'

After Four Albums With Universal, the Band Went Indie With Their New Release
“It’s interesting for us, because we’re promoting and paying for it ourselves, but we’re getting back in the swing of things. I’m kind of a control freak, so it’s nice to be able to determine when the album comes out, how you’re going to promote it, and who you’re going to hire. I like working hard and making your own luck, and I think that getting out there and doing it is so beneficial. Waiting around for something to happen can kind of leave you in a bad spot.”

Willie Nelson Gave Them Great Advice They Still Follow
“We still have so much fun on stage. It’s been the same five guys on stage for thirteen years. We still get along as good we ever have. Knock on wood, it’s just been a miracle. We’ve never had any problems with drugs, alcohol, or the law. We actually hang out with each other when we’re not on the road, and our kids are friends -- we just try to treat it like a family, something we learned from Willie Nelson. We try to take care of each other, and have the others’ backs. It sounds crazy, but I think we got really lucky.”

Upcoming Randy Rogers Band Tour Dates:

Jan 23, 2016 - JK Northway Coliseum  Kingsville, TX
Jan 28, 2016 - Gillioz Theatre Springfield, MO       
Jan 29, 2016 - Riverwind Casino Norman, OK             
Jan 30, 2016 - Uptown Theater Kansas City, MO
Feb 05, 2016 - Hurricane Harry's College Station, TX          
Feb 06, 2016 - Midnight Rodeo Amarillo, TX             
Feb 12, 2016 - Humble Civic Arena Humble, TX              
Feb 13, 2016 - Charley B's Lubbock, TX    


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