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Roger Creager shows he's more than about beer, trucks

Big Texas Dancehall & Saloon, Spring, Texas, April 1, 2010

Reviewed by Michael Sudhalter

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Roger Creager has built a reputation across the Lone Star State for fun-loving, party songs, and it's helped him earn atop the growing Texas Music scene. But the Corpus Christi native's live performance shows that he's about much more than drinking beer and driving pick-up trucks.

Creager performed his old hits like Having Fun All Wrong , Love Is Crazy and the poignant I Got The Guns over 90 minutes, but he also played a few songs on the keyboard, traded in his guitar for a saxophone and covered songs from Billy Joel to Johnny Cash.

His keyboard player in the five-piece band also used the accordion on songs like the Texas Tornadoes' What Were You Thinking and Creager's own, Long Way to Mexico

It was all part of a fun-loving effort of what Creager calls "drinkin' beer, goofin' off and playin' my music."

And it also includes family. A staple in Creager's live show includes inviting his father, Bill Creager, on stage to sing Rancho Grande together - in Spanish. The song usually gets one of the largest applauses of the night, and it was no different on Thursday. It seems as if the only one having more fun on the stage than Creager is his dad.

From his latest album, released in late summer 2008, Creager has charted four number one hits on the Texas Music Charts, including his latest, Driving Home, which is about leaving California because his sweetheart's in Texas.

At one point, Creager said that every song he'd played was one he'd written, so he delved into an impressive string of cover songs and did an impressive take on Roger Miller's Chug-A-Lug followed by an even better cover of Jerry Jeff Walker's Redneck Mother. That's not a surprise given the fact that Creager is deeply influenced by Walker's music.

Piano Man was a bit of a surprise, but a pleasant one. Creager showed his talents on the keyboard by performing this classic.

While Creager's versatility separated the show from the average Texas country show, it's his high-energy, in your face, tongue-in-cheek music that has made Creager a household name in Texas.

Early in the show, he performed the country-rocker, Love (Ain't What This Song's About), which has also been a sing-a-long favorite for his fans, and had a nice, long intro into Things Look Good Around Here, an upbeat song about life on the road as a musician.

When it was time to do his signature song, The Everclear Song, Creager sang Cash's Cocaine Blues between choruses and sang a couple of bars of David Allen Coe's You Never Even Called Me By Name after the song.

Interjecting other songs into your own seems to have become a trend recently, but Creager did a good job picking a couple of classics to complement his most popular song.