Randy Rogers Band rolled out its eighth studio album, Hellbent, at BMI in Nashville on Tuesday, February 26th.
Joined by their producer, six-time Grammy winner Dave Cobb, the nearly two-decade-old band…dubbed a “perpetual live favorite” by Rolling Stone… gave a select group of journalists and industry insiders a sneak peek of five of Hellbent’s 11 tracks at a luncheon presentation hosted at the famed PRO’s Music City home base.
During a panel Q&A moderated by veteran music scribe Deborah Evans Price, the six-member band shared anecdotes from the studio, and hinted at what to expect from the group in the coming year.
We call it ‘The Never-ending Tour’ — we never stop working,” said Randy, with a laugh. “Our career is based upon touring and it’s the way we make our living. So you can expect more shows throughout the rest of the year — we never really stop. It’s crazy!
And this is the year of ‘yes,’” he continued. “I told my wonderful publicist and my management and all of the people who take care of us that I’m going to say ‘yes’ to absolutely everything for them this year, so there’s probably lots of work in my immediate future.”
Lauded by the New York Times for their consistent, unfailing delivery of “good music and a good time” at their live shows, the band can’t wait to play Hellbent’s tracks on the road for their ever-growing fan base.
I believe in this record. I believe in these guys. We’re in our prime,” said Randy. “We’ve been doing this for so long. We needed a really great record — that’s why this record took a while to make. The fans that come out don’t want to see the same show. So we needed songs we could actually take with us on the road and use and play live… so I’m super excited about having new music for that reason.”
Working with Dave Cobb…who boasts an enviable collection of vintage gear…was a dream come true for guitarist Geoffrey Hill, who used several of the producer’s instruments on Hellbent’s tracks.
I played a pre-CBS Stratocaster from like, the late ‘50s on one of the tracks, I played a ’59 gold-top Les Paul on one of the tracks — just a bunch of stuff that could easily be in a museum. And he’s just got ‘em ready to play!” he marveled.
Drummer Les Lawless recalled feeling a bit overwhelmed upon entering RCA’s legendary Studio A, especially knowing they were about to work with Dave, whose masterful influence was expertly weaved throughout the highly-anticipated new record.
Everything was very signature — from fill melodies, guitar melodies, down to the drum fills,” Les shared. “Dave was like, ‘I want this drum fill — we’re going to start the song with it. Every time we go into the chorus, I want that drum fill every single time.’”
Joked Dave, “That’s the only drum fill I know!”
When asked if he prefers studio recording over playing for a crowd, Brady Black (fiddle)…dubbed the unofficial “Mayor” of the band for his outgoing charm and electrifying stage presence…chose live. “I love being on stage… that’s my bag,” he shared. “Honestly, if we could record in front of a live audience, that’d be awesome.”
Hellbent Complete Track Listing:
- Drinking Money
- I’ll Never Get Over You
- Anchors Away
- Comal County Line
- Hell Bent On A Heartache
- You, Me, And A Bottle
- We Never Made It To Mexico
- Crazy People
- Fire In The Hole
- Wine In A Coffee Cup
- Good One Coming On