A number of folks on the Texas red-dirt scene are wondering if the album can break him nationally, but nobody’s hoping for that result more than Randy himself. Randy recently chatted with On the Streets host Suzanne Alexander about his unique brand of country music:
The group played its first gig 10 years ago in San Marcos, Texas, at the Cheatham Street Warehouse, one of the venues George Strait played frequently on his way up. RRB built up a significant following in the Lone Star State with a series of independent albums and got noticed in Nashville, where they signed five years ago this month with Mercury Records. Both of their previous albums for the label hit the Top 10 on the Billboard country albums chart — particularly impressive because the band has never had a bona fide hit.
Don’t think Randy and his crew aren’t aware that they haven’t quite cracked that radio-play nut. They’d like nothing more than to follow in the footsteps of Jack Ingram, Pat Green and the Eli Young Band — all of whom hooked a ton of fans in Texas, then successfully took the next step to national prominence. The first Burning The Day single, “Too Late For Goodbye,” has spent three weeks at the top of the Texas Regional Radio Report chart. The Randy Rogers Band would like to see it get a shot everywhere else, too.
“I’ve always said this business is like the plateau thing, where you move up and sometimes maintaining that plateau proves to be the most difficult part,” Randy notes. “But I feel like it’s time for us to move up a little bit. And that’s just really natural. It’s not ‘cause we want some kind of accolades or big money or anything like that. It’s just natural. We’re gettin’ so big in Texas that we have to have lights and more production, but then we get outside of the state and we could do without five of us on the road to make the show work [financially]. It’s a little bit weird spot to be in, where in Texas we probably need a couple big rigs and we get outside the state, we would be wasting money if we had [them].”
Burning The Day is released Aug. 24, and it’s worth picking up. Randy’s voice is like a male version of Tammy Wynette — there’s a little hitch in his phrasing that adds authenticity to the band’s tough, honky-tonk roots. He’s a good, unique singer with a great band around him and a solid set of songs. And they can become pretty addictive.
Of course, if you live in Texas, you probably already know that.