The Randy Rogers Band is gearing up to release their 7th album on January 15th entitled Nothing Shines Like Neon, and the word on the street is that fans should expect a traditional country effort. And with contributions from Jamey Johnson, Alison Krauss, and Jerry Jeff Walker, calling it traditional doesn’t sound like too much of a stretch. A more traditional sound also sounds feasible since the band will release this new record independently after releasing their last four albums through MCA/Mercury Nashville.
A common criticism of Texas country is that it has become a kissing cousin to Nashville’s Music Row over the last few years, especially with so many of the region’s top acts, including the Randy Rogers Band, signing with Nashville-based outfits. But the band returning to their independent roots is a good sign they will make whatever album they wish, without the influence of Music Row’s commercial interests.
Signing up for the producer role on Nothing Shines Like Neon is Buddy Cannon, who is known most recently for working with Willie Nelson and Jamey Johnson. Cannon also helps co-write a couple of the songs for the album.
“The band and I had a lot of fun recording at Cedar Creek in Austin,” says Randy Rogers. “Being close to home, family and friends made the process all the more enjoyable for us. We brought Buddy Cannon on board to the produce the album and hoped ‘Neon’ would build upon the traditions of the country albums we grew up listening to. It’s country. We’re proud of it. We hope our fans enjoy it.”
Seven of the songs from Nothing Shines Like Neon are written or co-written by Randy Rogers and the band, with the balance coming from friends in the greater Texas country scene. The album is said to open with a fiddle-driven traditional tune called “San Antone.” The duet with Alison Krauss is called “Look Out Yonder,” and the Jamey Johnson collaboration, which is said characterized as “hell-raising” is called “Acting Crazy.” Jerry Jeff Walker appears on “Taking It As It Comes.”
Compounding interest and excitement for Nothing Shines Like Neon from the ranks of traditional country fans is 2015’s Hold My Beer Vol. 1—a collaboration between Randy Rogers and Wade Bowen. Unexpectedly classic and country, the album has been considered one of the best all year in certain traditional country circles.
More and more Texas country artists are coming home after years of recording in Nashville and reconnecting with their authentic roots to release career efforts. Here’s hoping the music of Nothing Shines Like Neon holds form.