9 P.m. Friday and 7:30 p.m. Saturday
Wormy Dog Saloon
311 E. Sheridan
$50 Friday, $30 Saturday
Not all metro music fans want to spend their New Year’s Eve with The Flaming Lips; some seek something a little more grounded in reality. That’s where red-dirt favorite Randy Rogers Band steps in, with two weekend shows at Wormy Dog Saloon.
“There’s a relatability here,” Rogers said. “My songs aren’t too complicated, just about the everyday life of an everyday guy with his everyday truck. I feel like people can relate to us as individuals. We’re real men. We’re real people.”
Regional audiences based around Oklahoma and the band’s home state of Texas had been clamoring for the group’s brand of oiled-up country tunes for nearly a decade now, but national audiences are getting their first big bite.
Although it took a little time for the five-piece to stretch its legs, it’s in a full sprint now. Randy Rogers Band released its fifth album, “Burning the Day,” in August, landing at No. 2 on the Billboard country chart. It took a lot of blood, sweat and beers to reach that point, but Rogers said that’s what you do when you want something.
“Our whole movement has been really grassroots,” he said. “It wasn’t just waiting for someone to make things happen. It was all about going out there and doing it for ourselves.”
That attitude is true-bred Texas; sitting idly by is against his and his fellow bandmates’ nature, so they made it happen through heavy touring, exhaustive songwriting and plenty of late-night driving.
“When you’re from Texas, you kind of have that sense that you can do what you want, when you want, the way you want to do it,” he said. “There’s a lot of pride that comes from being from Texas, and we definitely carry that on our shoulders.”
It came from other people and places, too — namely, Seattle.
“I listen to Merle Haggard every night before I go onstage. Willie Nelson, those type of guys, they made their own way and did their own thing,” he said. “Even bands like Pearl Jam and Nirvana, those types of people who went against the grain inspire us.”
Even being the mavericks they’d like to believe they are, the guys still know where their limits lie and keep the bad behavior to a minimum.
“We may not be as rebellious as we would probably like to think that we are,” Rogers said, laughing. “We’ve managed to not get sent to rehab or prison or get into much trouble in general. But we follow our own little drum and make something we can stand proud on.”
Many people have followed that drumbeat along with them. Randy Rogers Band boasts a rabidly loyal fan base, enamored with the group’s way of spiking its good-ol’-boy anthems with a little grit and twang. With that in mind, Rogers said they aim to load their sets with as little filler as possible, jamming in as many as 25 to 30 songs at each gig to quench audiences’ thirst.
“We don’t banter too much. We try to pack the set with a lot of music instead of bullshit. I know what I’d want, and I know what they want. They come for the music, and I love giving it to them,” he said. “This should be a New Year’s to never forget.”