In a recent interview with the Boot, Texas Country band, Randy Rogers Band claimed that they wanted their new album, Nothing Shines Like Neon to build on the traditions of country music that influenced them when they were young. To quote Randy, “It’s country”. As you can tell by the bold, that sentence makes this critic very happy. While there are some Texas Country acts who have decided the underdog status isn’t good enough (cough Granger Smith cough), the Randy Rogers Band are setting out to make a stone cold Country record. I can certainly believe it, as the last time we heard from Randy Rogers was when the solo man teamed up with Wade Bowen for their Hold My Beer. Vol. 1 album, which while we never got to actually review, was highlighted in our midyear list. Anyway, I can certainly believe the country argument, as Hold My Beer was undeniably Country sounding. Anyway, in addition to a Country sound, this album also promises duets with critically acclaimed artists such as Alison Krauss, Jamey Johnson, and Jerry Jeff Walker. With all of this in mind, the lead single from the album, the (sort of) title track, “Neon Blues” is currently sitting at #19 on the Texas Country Music Chart, and you better believe it’s damn good Country music y’all.
The song’s subject matter is definitely familiar, meaning that it breaks no new ground. But guess what? The familiar theme is the beauty of the song, and something that bolsters Roger’s claim that he wanted this album to reflect what he grew up, as this is the type of stuff country music was built upon. The song tells of a woman in a bar. She’s there all alone and doesn’t want to be bothered by any interested male as she just recently got over a (presumably) cheating ex-boyfriend. To quote the chorus:
She’s got the neon blues, she ain’t in the mood for anymore lies or pick-up lines
The narrator of the song warns any man who tries to hit on her that it’s no use. In a way, the song reminds me a lot of Gary Allan’s “What Kind Of Fool”. I will say that I wish I knew what the narrator’s part in the story is. Is he just someone who notices the woman in the bar night after the night? Is he the one who hurt her? We don’t know, but it’s something I would have liked to find out. This is merely a minor gripe however.
As for the sound, it sounds just like a true country song should, with fiddles and a smokey atmosphere. Even if the subject matter is a little too dry for you, the sound is a huge plus and something that makes this critic smile.
Overall, the Randy Rogers Band are off to a great start with their new music. Not only does it deliver in terms of quality, but it also serves as a great appetizer for their album in January. If you’re looking for some true country music, I highly recommend checking out “Neon Blues."
Listen: “Neon Blues”
Author: Zackary Kephart