Music

Hear “Comal County Line,” a New Song from Randy Rogers Band

Plus: The Texas country band shares their favorite Lone Star State venues

photo: Allen Clark

Randy Rogers Band, from left: Johnny Richardson, Les Lawless, Randy Rogers, Geoffrey Hill, Brady Black, and Todd Stewart.

“If it wasn’t for Texas, there would be no Randy Rogers Band,” jokes the band’s frontman, and while Rogers is mostly making a wry George Strait reference, it’s also the truth. For Rogers and his bandmates, it all started in Lone Star State dives and dance halls, and their ceaseless touring over the last two decades has built an army of die-hard fans. Their new Dave Cobb-produced album, Hellbent, out April 26, capitalizes on the chemistry of those live shows—”Crazy People” is a nod to Rogers’s conservative upbringing, and the Guy Clark cover “Hell Bent on a Heartache” seems destined to become a set-list staple.

Meanwhile, “Comal County Line,” which G&G is excited to exclusively premiere, is a love letter to the Texas community that birthed them. “Being on the road, I missed home so bad,” says Rogers, who penned the track with fellow country songwriter Sean McConnell. “On those long bus rides, time just drags on and on and on. ‘Comal County Line’ was about going back to where we live, and where we love.”

The song rolls through basement hangs, hometown gossip,  and early days on the road playing for tips at the Golden Light Cantina—one of the many Texas dives that helped the band find its audience. So we asked the group’s members for a few more of their favorite Texas venues:

 

Billy Bob’s Texas, Fort Worth, Texas

“It’s the world’s largest honky-tonk, and it feels like a five-million-square-foot building,” Rogers says. “I grew up dreaming of playing there, thinking that if I’d ‘made it’ in Billy Bob’s eyes I’d ‘made it’ in the music business—and when I’m up there playing, it’s everything I wanted it to be when I was 16.”  billybobstexas.com

 

Schroeder Hall, Victoria, Texas

“At a lot of venues now, you don’t get that old-dance-hall feeling,” says fiddle player Brady Black. That’s not the case at Schroeder Hall, the second-oldest dance hall in Texas. “Everybody’s coming out there to dance. They’re there to have a great time, and forget about everything else.”  schroederhall.com

 

John T. Floore’s Country Store, Helotes, Texas

“Before I even knew what Texas music was, the first album I ever bought was Robert Earl Keen Live at Floore’s,” says drummer Les Lawless. When he finally saw the venue for the first time, it didn’t disappoint. “There’s no bad night at Floore’s,” he says, and the band members all agree on the best part: the tamales. liveatfloores.com

 

Cheatham Street Warehouse, San Marcos, Texas

Rogers was so in love with this venue, he became a part owner in 2016. “It’s one of those old places you’ve got to grab a beer at,” he says. “It’s a legendary dance hall that started the careers of Ace In The Hole and George Strait.” Founded in 1974, Cheatham Street Warehouse launched Rogers’s career, too—the Randy Rogers Band recorded their debut album at the San Marcos venue in 2002.  cheathamstreet.com


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