Black Music Matters Festival

Randy Rogers Band

Live At Billy Bob's Texas – 2005 (Smith Music Group)

Reviewed by Robert Wooldridge

CDs by Randy Rogers Band

The Randy Rogers Band has an interesting mix of sounds on this live release. There's a hard edge to many of the arrangements, Rogers' lead vocals recall those of alt.-country icon Steve Earle, plus there's pleny of twang in place.

The set kicks off with "Somebody Take Me Home," co-written by Rogers with Radney Foster, which has the feel of Foster's mainstream work of the late '80s and early '90s. "Like It Used To Be" has a similar retro feel, with Rogers adding the tag line "country music, that is" to close the song. Foster also co-wrote the ballads "Love Must Follow You Around" and "Tonight's Not The Night (For Goodbye)." Elsewhere the band rocks hard, particularly on "Again" and "This Time Around," co-written by Rogers and Cody Canada of Cross Canadian Ragweed. The finale is a fine cover of Gary Stewart's "An Empty Glass (That's The Way The Day Ends)." Instrumentally most impressive is Brady Black, whose fiddle maintains the country feel throughout, and Geoffrey Hill, who provides tasteful riffs on lead guitar.

With this stellar live collection, and a deal with Mercury, the Randy Rogers Band seems prepared for a larger spotlight.