While I ran into similar issues the last weekends already, Friday 8th May 2020 was even special in regards of album reviews: three out of four albums I prepared for review originally planned to be published that day (dates which had reconfirmed before a couple of times, of course…) were postponed to later dates due to Covid-19. This especially meant that I did not have any more country music release on my list. Thus, I was really thankful to Randy Rogers and Wade Bowen (whom I saw on stage in August 2019 in Cologne the last time) as they stuck to their initial release plans and released their second edition of Hold My Beer, their collaboration, which was already quite successful in its first edition. Here is my view of their album.
Randy Rogers – About The Artist
Randy Rogers is a Texas-born artist, who is touring with his Randy Rogers Band since 2000. Already with their third album, Just a Matter of Time, the band reached the US Country Album Top 10 and made it there with five more ones, Their latest long-player, Hellbent, did not make it to the charts, though. The band has not produced too many successful singles, the most well-known is likely the 2012 One More Sad Song.
Wade Bowen – About The Artist
Paul Wade Bowen, is 1977-born country music artist, who is having a quite parallel career: he is active since 2000, first playing in a band called West 84, but then pursuing a solo career. His debut album was the 2002 Try Not To Listen, but his breakthrough was the 2008 one, If We Ever Make It Home, which ran up to the 29th rank in the album charts. The 2012 album The Given, which also contains Bowen’s so-far most successful single, Saturday Night, was the first one to make it to the Country Album Top 10. The first edition of Hold My Beer with Randy Rogers, placed fourth in the US album charts in 2015.
Hold My Beer, Vol. 2 – Track by Track
The album contains 12 songs and runs 42 minutes.
An AM station on an FM road… The album definitely starts with a cool track, modern country with classic elements. Absolutely love that track.
2. Rodeo Clown
The Rodeo Clown was one of the tracks which have been released before the album. A breakup song which just makes you smile – happy ending of a relationship? 🙂
She told me it was over
With a suitcase in her hand
When she said she’d met a cowboy
I was picturin’ the Marlboro Man
Well, it wasn’t her leavin’, hell it wasn’t even
The fact that she was runnin’ around
What hurts me the most is
She left me for a rodeo clown
Habits is slower than the two tracks before, swinging, very melodic – and thus , the track sounds very classic and traditional. If you like that kind of country music, Habits will likely make you quite happy.
4. Let Merle Be Merle
Again, a song, which feels great to have a beer with some friends, enjoy yourself or just sing-along. I like traditional country, as long as it does not sound too old-fashioned and out of time. In my point of view, Rogers and Bowen hit this balance quite perfectly.
This song is one of my favorites in the current Flyctory.com New Country Hits playlist. One of the best vocal collaborations on the album in my point of view as well.
6. Ode To Ben Dorcy
Ben Dorcy is the first person to be introduced to the Roadies Hall of Fame. Dorcy, who died in 2017, worked with big names like Elvis Presley or Willie Nelson. This song is amazing praise to this – Big Ben’s a living legend and he outlive us all! Unfortunately, he did not.
7. Mi Amigo
You’re the best amigo I have found are the last words of this very quick song, which feels like a Wild West movie saloon track. Without gunfire of course, it is a friendly one.
8. This Ain’t My Town
This Ain’t My Town is a very melodic track, which turns it to be one of my favorites of this album.
9. Warm Beer
I got a warm beer and a cold women – I wish it was the other way around – many songs of this album have this wonderful word plays and ironic phrases. It just makes me enjoying what I am listening to in this album. Nice 🙂
10. Speak to Me Jukebox
If the beer is warm and the girls are cold anyway, the jukebox is sometimes your best friend. I love this sequence of songs. A very well produced traditional song, which I could likely not stand too well, if I would not love to listen to that story. It makes me smile – that’s good indeed. Will start talking to my jukebox Alexa as well, maybe.
Interesting story about two friends talking about the lady of the house. Not my favorite track on the album, but worth a listen… and a smile.
12. Hold My Beer
Here we go, finally… Close to two albums later, at the end of Volume 2, the title track – which is quite modern with electric guitars and quite some power – a great finish… Though you just have to pray that Rogers and Bowen hold their beers for a third time.
Hold My Beer, Vol. 2 – Spotify
Here is the pre-listen widget to the album:
Hold My Beer, Vol. 2 – My View
Maybe it is not Covid-19 and the lack of potential to promote new albums – maybe it is just that the other artists were afraid of this second edition of Hold My Beer? Randy Rogers and Wade Bowen just do an excellent job and put traditional country sounds into a modern environment. Thereby, they tell a lovely range of stories, from the outstanding Ode To Ben Dorcy to the hilarious Warm Beer. Just feels like two men sitting at the bar, exchanging stories while having a couple of drinks – just like suggested on the cover. No doubt this album goes into the Top Pick! area of ratings.
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