Tag Archives: Randy Rogers

Album Review: Randy Rogers Band–Nothing Shines Like Neon

Rating: 9/10

Following the excellent 2015 collaboration with Wade Bowen, Hold my Beer, Volume 1, Randy Rogers is back with his band for Nothing Shines Like Neon. This album marks the return of the Randy Rogers Band to Texas after some albums in Nashville, and it was preceeded with news that it would be an album of traditional country, complete with appearances by Alison Krauss and Jerry Jeff Walker. Well, the album is available today, and I can safely say it lived up to its expectations, and it is the first great album of 2016.

The album opens with “San Antone,” a nice ode to Texas that celebrates coming back after their years away. Songs about Texas are common in Texas country, but this one stands out after the band’s years in Nashville and works perfectly. It is a fitting opener for the album, and right away I can see that the promise of traditional country rings true. Fiddle, steel, and acoustic guitar are prominent here, and will continue to be throughout the album. “Rain and the Radio” is a catchy, upbeat song about a couple enjoying being with each other when the power is out. They don’t need anything but the rain and the radio; this doesn’t stand out as one of the best songs on the album, but it is a song that gets better with each listen and earns its place quietly. “Neon Blues,” the album’s first single, is a classic song about a woman in a bar drinking away the pain of a past relationship. Much like “Rain and the Radio,” this one is catchy and gets better with each listen. It is unclear here whether the narrator is the one who hurt her, the bartender, or just someone in the bar, but he has observed this woman and is advising someone else not to waste his time pursuing her. It was certainly a good single choice.

“Things I Need to Quit” sees a man listing all the habits he needs to rid himself of: alcohol, cigarettes, but most importantly, the woman who has him in this position. Randy Rogers sings of a girl who is getting dressed and waiting for a cab–“she looks a lot like you, ain’t that a shame. Girl, I’m all messed up, and you’re to blame.” It’s a very honest and relatable song that will connect with many. “Look Out Yonder” is one of the best songs on the album. Featuring Alison Krauss and Dan Tyminski, it tells the story from a brother’s point of view, as he looks out at the road and sees his wayward brother finally coming home, guitar strapped to his back. The instrumentation, lyrics, and harmonies blend beautifully in this song, and it is really one that you should hear. “Tequila Eyes” sees the narrator seeking out his friend, who is trying to find comfort in a bar. Apparently this is quite unlike her, and this narrator is broken, trying to tell her that tequila won’t hide the pain. Randy Rogers delivers the emotion in this song wonderfully, and the fiddle in this song is excellent. After the rawness of “Tequila Eyes” comes the expertly placed “Taking it as it Comes.” This is one of the most fun moments on the album, and the fiddles and rock guitars on this song remind me of a Turnpike Troubadours track. Jerry Jeff Walker is featured here, and basically this song is just about taking life as it comes and not letting life get to you; it’s just a fun song.

“Old Moon New” is probably the best song on Nothing Shines Like Neon. Here, a man sings about writing a woman clich├ęd love letters and giving her eleven roses “just to shake it up.” He says he knows that “there’s nothing new under that old moon” but “girl, you make that old moon new.” It’s a beautiful song and stands out in contrast to all the songs about back roads and moonlight we’ve been hearing from mainstream country music. “Meet Me Tonight” is another standout on this album; it reminds me of an earlier Randy Rogers Band song, “One More Goodbye.” Here, a man is asking an old love to meet up with him one last time; he knows it won’t last, but he still misses her. The Randy Rogers Band really seem to have a knack for capturing the emotion in these types of songs, and I think this is one that while having the unfortunate placement after “Old Moon New” will surpass it in quality with more listens.

“Actin’ Crazy” is an instant personal favorite. If “Old Moon New” is the best serious song, this song is the most witty. Featuring Jamey Johnson–has Jamey Johnson ever lent his voice to a bad song?–this song tells the story of a man writing a letter back home to Texas, presumably from L.A. or some other city. This man is living a life that is “one chaotic wreck” and knows he is getting nowhere. Some of my favorite lyrics are present here, among them “these folks make me proud to be from Texas” and “the rent’s as high as Willie.” This song also makes me ready for that Jamey Johnson album we’ve been hearing about forever. The album closes with “Pour one for the Poor One,” your classic country song about a man drinking away his troubles after his woman has left him. They promised traditional country, and this song is a perfect way to close an album of such music.

Overall, this is a truly enjoyable album. The Randy Rogers Band balance serious and fun songs well, and the light and dark material combine to make this an album that is not only critically great, but listenable and relatable as well. They promised an album of traditional country, and that is what this album delivers. Nothing Shines Like Neon is a great start to 2016 for country music.

Listen to Album

Country Exclusive’s Essential Songs of 2015

I thought long and hard about this, and since Country Exclusive did not come into existence until halfway through the year, and therefore did not do as many reviews as other sites, I am not going to name a 2015 Song of the Year. There are surely songs that I did not review which would make this list if I had reviewed them; in fact, a few on this list were not covered here. As for the album list, I will have nominees and an Album of the Year, as I did cover most of the essential albums of 2015. But here is a list of songs from 2015 that I feel everyone should definitely check out! If you have overlooked any of them, please correct this now. They are listed alphabetically, and not by any sort of rank.

Essential Songs of 2015

1. “After the Storm Blows Through” by Maddie & Tae
2. “Ashes” by Lindi Ortega
3. “Be my Baby” by Whitney Rose and Raul Malo
4. “The Bird Hunters” by Turnpike Troubadours
5. “Bienville” by Jason Boland & the Stragglers
6. “The Blade” by Ashley Monroe
7. “Bound to Roam” by The Black Lillies
8. “Bramble Rose” by Don Henley, featuring Mick Jagger and Miranda Lambert
9. “Burning House” by Cam
10. “Cost of Living” by Don Henley, featuring Merle Haggard
11. “David” by Cody Jinks
12. “Dixie” by Ashley Monroe
13. “El Dorado” by Randy Rogers & Wade Bowen
14. “Fall out of Love” by Turnpike Troubadours
15. “Ghost Town” by Sam Outlaw
16. “Good ‘ol Boys’ Club” by Kacey Musgraves
17. “Half Moon” by Lindi Ortega
18. “Has Anybody Ever Told You” by Ashley Monroe
19. “Heartland Bypass” by Jason Boland & the Stragglers
20. “House on a Hill” by Kasey Chambers
21. “If the Devil Don’t Want Me” by Ashley Monroe
22. “Just Some Things” by Jamie Lin Wilson, featuring Wade Bowen
23. “Knives of New Orleans” by Eric Church
24. “Long Drive Home” by Turnpike Troubadours
25. “Need for Wanting” by Courtney Patton
26. “Oh Grace” by Kasey Chambers
27. “Pageant Material” by Kacey Musgraves
28. “Record Year” by Eric Church
29. “Roots and Wings” by Miranda Lambert
30. “Shut up and Fish” by Maddie & Tae
31. “So This is Life” by Courtney Patton
32. “Somebody to Love” by Kacey Musgraves
33. “Something More than Free” by Jason Isbell
34. “Speed Trap Town” by Jason Isbell
35. “Standards” by Randy Rogers & Wade Bowen
36. “Suffer in Peace” by Tyler Farr
37. “Traveller” by Chris Stapleton
38. “Too Late to Save Me” by Kasey Chambers
39. “War of Art” by Courtney Patton
40. “When I stop Dreaming” by Don Henley, featuring Dolly Parton

There are many more, but I had to stop the list at some point!

Texas Music From Oklahoma: A Look at the Texas Music Chart (October 19th)

Texas Music Chart

1. Randy Rogers & Wade Bowen–“Lady Bug” (up 2)
2. Bart Crow–“Life Comes at You Fast”
3. Curtis Grimes–“Smile That Smile” (up 1)
4. Casey Donahew Band–“Loser” (up 1)
5. Mike Ryan–“Girls I Date” (up 2)
6. Kevin Fowler & Deryl Dodd–“Damn This Ol’ Honky Tonk Dream” (down 5)
7. The Statesboro Revue–“Undone” (down 1)
8. TJ Broscoff–“Phone Calls” (up 1)
9. Josh Grider–“You Dream I’ll Drive” (up 2)
10. Stoney LaRue–“Easy She Comes” (up 3)
11. Roger Creager & Cody Johnson–“If You Had to Choose” (up 4)
12. Jon Wolfe–“Don’t It Feel Good” (up 7)
13. Mario Flores–“Beer Time” (up 3)
14. Uncle Lucius–“Don’t Own the Right”
15. Saints Eleven–“I Don’t” (up 3)
16. Reckless Kelly–“Real Cool Hand” (down 8)
17. Turnpike Troubadours–“Down Here” (down 7)
18. Zane Williams–“She Is” (up 2)
19. JB and the Moonshine Band–“Shotgun, Rifle, and a .45” (down 2)
20. Chance Anderson Band–“245 Miles” (up 1)
21. Jason James–“I’ve Been Drinkin’ More” (up 1)
22. William Clark Green–“Ringling Road” (up 5)
23. Josh Ward–“Whiskey & Whitley” (up 16)
24. Jason Boland & The Stragglers–“Holy Relic Sale” (up 6)
25. Dalton Domino–“Jesus & Handbags”
26. Luke Robinson–“Roses on the Radio” (up 3)
27. Green River Ordinance–“Red Fire Night” (up 13)
28. Miles Williams–“Teasin’ Me” (down 16) [biggest loser]
29. Casey Berry–“Blood of the Lamb” (up 2)
30. Cameran Nelson–“Nothing’s Got Nothin'” (up 18) [biggest gainer]
31. Bri Bagwell–“My Boots” (up 2)
32. Ray Johnston Band–“Small Town Square”
33. American Aquarium–“Losing Side of Twenty-Five” (up 3)
34. The Damn Quails–“Just a Little While”
35. Cody Jinks–“Loud and Heavy” (up 2)
36. Micky & the Motorcars–“Tonight we Ride” (down 1)
37. Pat Green–“While I Was Away” (down 11)
38. Cody Joe Hodges–“One More Drink” (up 4)
39. Paul Thorn–“Everybody Needs Somebody” (down 1)
40. Josh Abbott Band–“Amnesia” (up 3)
41. Jason Cassidy–“Rest of Forever” (up 4)
42. Aaron Watson–“Getaway Truck” (entering top 50)
43. Blue Water Highway Band–“Medicine Man” (up 4)
44. Kaleb McIntire–“Ozark Mountain Stomp” (down 16)
45. Breelan Angel–“She Made Your Bed” (up 1)
46. Tori Martin–“Woman Up” (down 5)
47. Prophets and Outlaws–“Country Music Gold” (entering top 50)
48. Parker McCollum–“High Above the Water” (up 1)
49. Folk Family Revival–“I Drew a Line” (entering top 50)
50. Zach Coffey–“Love Will Lead me Back to You” (re-entering top 50)

  • New #1: “Lady Bug”
  • next week’s #1 prediction: “Life Comes at You Fast”
  • Aaron Watson is back on the charts with “Get Away Truck,” entering at #42

Source: Texas Music Chart

Texas Music From Oklahoma: A Look at the Texas Music Chart (October 12th)

Texas Music Chart

1. Kevin Fowler & Deryl Dodd–“Damn This Ol’ Honky Tonk Dream” (up 4)
2. Bart Crow–“Life Comes at You Fast”
3. Randy Rogers & Wade Bowen–“Lady Bug” (up 3)
4. Curtis Grimes–“Smile That Smile”
5. Casey Donahew Band–“Loser” (up 2)
6. The Statesboro Revue–“Undone” (up 2)
7. Mike Ryan–“Girls I Date” (up 2)
8. Reckless Kelly–“Real Cool Hand” (down 7)
9. TJ Broscoff–“Phone Calls” (up 3)
10. Turnpike Troubadours–“Down Here” (down 7)
11. Josh Grider–“You Dream I’ll Drive” (up 2)
12. Miles Williams–“Teasin’ Me” (down 1)
13. Stoney LaRue–“Easy She Comes” (up 2)
14. Uncle Lucius–“Don’t Own the Right” (up 2)
15. Roger Creager & Cody Johnson–“If You Had to Choose” (up 3)
16. Mario Flores–“Beer Time” (up 3)
17. JB and the Moonshine Band–“Shotgun, Rifle, and a .45”
18. Saints Eleven–“I Don’t” (up 6)
19. Jon Wolfe–“Don’t It Feel Good” (up 1)
20. Zane Williams–“She Is” (up 2)
21. Chance Anderson Band–“245 Miles” (up 6)
22. Jason James–“I’ve Been Drinkin’ More” (up 1)
23. Kyle Park–“What Goes Around Comes Around” (down 9)
24. Cory Morrow–“Old With You” (down 14)
25. Dalton Domino–“Jesus & Handbags” (up 3)
26. Pat Green–“While I Was Away” (down 1)
27. William Clark Green–“Ringling Road” (up 2)
28. Kaleb McIntire–“Ozark Mountain Stomp” (up 3)
29. Luke Robinson–“Roses on the Radio” (up 6)
30. Jason Boland & the Stragglers–“Holy Relic Sale” (up 7)
31. Casey Berry–“Blood of the Lamb” (up 2)
32. Ray Johnston Band–“Small Town Square”
33. Bri Bagwell–“My Boots” (up 8) [biggest gainer]
34. The Damn Quails–“Just a Little While” (up 2)
35. Micky & the Motorcars–“Tonight we Ride” (down 1)
36. American Aquarium–“Losing Side of Twenty-Five” (up 2)
37. Cody Jinks–“Loud and Heavy” (up 3)
38. Paul Thorn–“Everybody Needs Somebody” (up 5)
39. Josh Ward–“Whiskey & Whitley” (entering top 50)
40. Green River Ordinance–“Red Fire Night” (up 7)
41. Tori Martin–“Woman Up” (down 2)
42. Cody Joe Hodges–“One More Drink” (up 2)
43. Josh Abbott Band–“Amnesia” (entering top 50)
44. Cody Johnson–“Proud” (down 2)
45. Jason Cassidi–“Rest of Forever” (entering top 50)
46. Breelan Angel–“She Made Your Bed” (down 1)
47. Blue Water Highway Band–“Medicine Man” (down 1)
48. Cameran Nelson–“Nothing’s Got Nothin'”
49. Parker McCollum–“High Above the Water”
50. Josh Fuller–“On the Radio” (re-entering top 50)

  • new #1: “Damn This Ol’ Honky Tonk Dream”
  • next week’s #1 prediction: “Lady Bug
  • Josh Abbott Band’s “Amnesia” enters at #43 this week

Source: Texas Music Chart

Texas Music From Oklahoma: A Look at the Texas Music Chart (October 5th)

Texas Music Chart

1. Reckless Kelly–“Real Cool Hand” (up 1)
2. Bart Crow–“Life Comes at You Fast” (up 2)
3. Turnpike Troubadours–“Down Here” (down 2)
4. Curtis Grimes–“Smile That Smile” (up 1)
5. Kevin Fowler & Deryl Dodd–“Damn This Ol’ Honky Tonk Dream” (up 1)
6. Randy Rogers & Wade Bowen–“Lady Bug” (up 1)
7. Casey Donahew Band–“Loser” (up 2)
8. The Statesboro Revue–“Undone” (up 3)
9. Mike Ryan–“Girls I Date” (up 4)
10. Cory Morrow–“Old With You” (down 7)
11. Miles Williams–“Teasin’ Me” (down 1)
12. TJ Broscoff–“Phone Calls” (up 6)
13. Josh Grider–“You Dream I’ll Drive” (up 2)
14. Kyle Park–“What Goes Around Comes Around” (down 6)
15. Stoney LaRue–“Easy She Comes” (up 2)
16. Uncle Lucius–“Don’t Own the Right” (up 4)
17. JB and the Moonshine Band–“Shotgun, Rifle, and a .45” (down 1)
18. Roger Creager & Cody Johnson–“If You Had to Choose” (up 11) [biggest gainer]
19. Mario Flores–“Beer Time” (up 3)
20. Jon Wolfe–“Don’t It Feel Good” (up 4)
21. Whiskey Myers–“Shelter From the Rain” (down 7)
22. Zane Williams–“She Is” (up 1)
23. Jason James–“I’ve Been Drinkin’ More” (up 4)
24. Saints Eleven–“I Don’t” (up 1)
25. Pat Green–“While I Was Away” (down 6)
26. Cody Canada and the Departed–“Easy” (down 5)
27. Chance Anderson Band–“245 Miles” (down 1)
28. Dalton Domino–“Jesus & Handbags” (up 6)
29. William Clark Green–“Ringling Road” (up 10)
30. Matt Kimbrow–“Livin’ the Good Life” (down 18) [biggest loser]
31. Kaleb McIntire–“Ozark Mountain Stomp” (down 1)
32. Ray Johnston Band–“Small Town Square”
33. Casey Berry–“Blood of the Lamb”
34. Micky & the Motorcars–“Tonight we Ride” (up 4)
35. Luke Robinson–“Roses on the Radio”
36. The Damn Quails–“Just a Little While” (up 1)
37. Jason Boland & The Stragglers–“Holy Relic Sale” (up 7)
38. American Aquarium–“Losing Side of Twenty-Five” (up 3)
39. Tori Martin–“Woman Up” (down 8)
40. Cody Jinks–“Loud and Heavy”
41. Bri Bagwell–“My Boots” (up 1)
42. Cody Johnson–“Proud” (up 5)
43. Paul Thorn–“Everybody Needs Somebody” (up 3)
44. Cody Joe Hodges–“One More Drink” (down 1)
45. Breelan Angel–“She Made Your Bed” (up 3)
46. Blue Water Highway Band–“Medicine Man” (down 1)
47. Green River Ordinance–“Red Fire Night” (up 3)
48. Cameran Nelson–“Nothing’s Got Nothin'” (up 1)
49. Parker McCollum–“High Above the Water” (entering top 50)
50. Zach Coffey–“Love Will Lead me Back to You” (entering top 50)

  • new #1: “Real Cool Hand”
  • next week’s #1 prediction: “Life Comes at You Fast”

Source: Texas Music Chart