Randy Rogers Band ‘Trouble' (MCA Nashville)
Lone Star State mainstays the Randy Rogers Band make their most daring and emotionally wrenching music yet with “Trouble.” Due out Tuesday, the album's cover depicts a jailhouse fingerprint card, which is appropriate since this one will leave a mark with Texas country fans.
The five-piece country-rock outfit — vocalist/guitarist Rogers, guitarist Geoffrey Hill, fiddler Brady Black, drummer Les Lawless and bassist Jon Richardson — teamed for the first time with inventive producer Jay Joyce (Eric Church, The Whigs), and the new partnership clearly renewed the group's creative drive.
Soper native Ray Wylie Hubbard's off-kilter guitar groove, wonky hot dog rack percussion and precision songsmithing by Shane McAnally, Trevor Rosen and Josh Osborne make the bluesy new single “Fuzzy” a particularly sharp post-party yarn. Likewise, detailed songwriting from Rogers and Hill fuels the rollicking road romp “Trouble Knows My Name,” featuring Willie Nelson's distinctive drawl.
Gary Allan and Rogers both specialize in delivering heartache but they join forces to pour pure joy into the buoyant ballad “Flash Flood,” while big electric guitars rev up upbeat love song “Goodbye Lonely.”
Rogers' outlaw everyman vocals are at their best when he's wearing a broken heart on his sleeve, even when it's dressed up with Heartland rock hand claps on the deceptively up-tempo “Don't Deserve You” or with soaring choruses on surprisingly shimmery “One More Sad Song.” He makes his anguish apparent as the small-town guy unable to escape his ex in “Speak of the Devil,” his regret palpable on the waltz “I Never Got Around to That” and his resignation obvious with the torch song “Had to Give That Up.”
On Friday, the Randy Rogers Band will headline the 22nd Annual Calf Fry at Stillwater's Tumbleweed Ballroom. For more information, go to www.calffry.com.
— Brandy McDonnell