Roger Creager

For more than a decade, Roger Creager built a reputation on his distinctive brand of hard-core, rabble-rousing Texas Country music, on his rich, full-bodied voice that can carry a tune for miles, and on his exceptional ability to work thousands of Texans into a rabid frenzy with his voice and guitar, in the great concert tradition of Jerry Jeff Walker and Robert Earl Keen. Along the way, he's been writing some mighty fine instant classics about family heirlooms, fields of bluebonnets, and late night trips to Mexico. Four albums, hundreds of thousands of road miles, and an ever-expanding fan base later, Here It Is has Roger Creager laying his cards on the table with thirteen songs that are arguably his best batch yet.

"It's been five years since I've put out anything new," Roger says. "So it's five years of evolving and maybe even maturing, although it's still me." Actually, it's more of him than ever. For the first time, he's written or co-written every song on the album.

The first single, "I'm From the Beer Joint" plays to Creager's honky-tonk wildcat image informed by his live album, as he declares his preference for independent drinking establishments. "It's not going to change any lives, but it sure is fun," Creager laughs about the sing-along, before turning serious. "But who wants to listen to a whole album of that?" He's aiming for something higher.

"I hope there's a song here that penetrates your soul, too," he says, leaning forward. "There's a few that may do just that. I aimed with a shotgun. I really did try to mix it up. There's love songs [Missing You], drinking songs [the aforementioned "Beer Joint"], up-tempo dancing songs [I Love Being Lonesome], groovy little tunes [Tangle Me in You], one about a man who's screwed up and he's driving like hell through the middle of the night to get home [Driving Home]. 'I Loved You When' is my best story song yet. It doesn't even tell the whole story. It doesn't have to. It gives you just enough to know there's a history there. It's all you need to know."

The two catalysts behind the album were Lloyd Maines, the go-to producer who produced Creager's first albums, and Radney Foster, the Texas kid from Del Rio, whose songs and productions have established him as one of country music's most innovative and edgy operators. Radney teamed up with Justin Tocket, a talented producer himself, to co-produce this project. But Roger himself is the biggest catalyst of all.

The Corpus Christi native was raised on songs like Guy Clark's "Desperadoes Waiting For A Train" and Gary P. Nunn's "You Ask Me What I Like About Texas" and under the influence of Jerry Jeff Walker, Lyle Lovett, Robert Earl Keen, and Jimmy Buffett, along with Willie, Waylon, Cash, Merle, and even Sinatra.

He graduated from college and spent two years in Houston working a 8-5 gig. He finally listened to his heart and moved back to College Station to pursue a life in music. Working without a paycheck was liberating. "I'd always been a slacker," Roger admits, "and I could easily see myself failing in music because I wasn't trying hard enough. So I promised myself that would be one excuse I'd never use. I just got out there and busted my hump."

In 1998, he released Having Fun, then blew open the doors two years later with I Got the Guns. The title track, a striking piece about his granddad and his family, became a staple on more than 200 radio stations programming Texas Country Music. Long Way To Mexico and Live Across Texas grew his audience beyond state lines.

Here It Is speaks to those broadening horizons. "I was in 14 countries last year," Roger says. "I want to take our music to a wider audience without compromising the integrity of the music. I'm taking some of who I am to where I'm going."

"I've always tried to make records where every song is different so I can listen to them over and over again instead of forty five minutes of essentially the same song," he says. With Here It Is, he can do just that. This go-round, he's staying on for the whole ride.

Cole Porter Band

Cole Porter Band is a genre melting pot based out of Southwest Missouri with Ozark roots and a sound as distinct as their home.They refuse to be put in a box but they embrace the red dirt mind set as they brew their own blend of country, rock, and southern rock just the way they like it. Their ability to fuse the sweet spots from these genres has attracted a fan base of welcomed diversity that is spreading throughout Missouri and making its way into Oklahoma and Arkansas.

Cole first got his start as solo artist at the Snorty Horse Saloon at just 19-years old. The Snorty Horse had been hailed as the "best little roadhouse in Missouri" and was the first venue to bring red dirt music close to home. Every weekend hundreds of people that were sick of the cookie cutter music coming from their radio, tired of the status quo, and starving for something real sought refuge in that old road house on the outskirts of Mt. Vernon, Missouri. A lot of great artists like Jason Boland, Billy Joe Shaver, Randy Rogers, and Charlie Robison had graced that stage, and Cole was given the chance to sing one song standing right where his heros had stood. Well aware of the shoes he was trying to fill, Cole was nothing short of amazed when the crowd went wild as he tore into the chorus of his song "Little S.O.B." That moment instilled a passion for performing and writing music in Cole that is stronger than ever today.

Cole landed a weekly gig at the Snorty Horse shortly after that night and spent the next five years playing acoustic shows, dialing in his songwriting, and learning to grow from his mistakes. He gained a loyal following during those years that still remains today. In the spring of 2011 Cole decided to take his show to the next level and formed the Cole Porter Band comprised of dedicated musicians Derek Compton on lead guitar, Chris Hef Heifner on bass guitar, & Jamison Case on drums. The band really hit their stride after Kendra Edmonds came on board with her gripping harmonies. The band has since played over 130 shows and has shown relentless dedication .They've been on stage with acts like Stoney Laure, Reckless Kelly, Jason Boland, Mark Chesnutt, Dirty River Boys, and Turnpike Troubadours. They've had the honor of playing notable venues such as George's Majestic Lounge, Knuckleheads, and the legendary Wormy Dog Saloon in OKC.

Cole teamed up with two-time grammy winning engineer, Jim Caruana, in mid 2011 to record his first EP. The track "A Love Goes Cold" has received some radio play on Springfield's Q102.1 FM and spent more than six weeks at no. 1 on the Live Local Countdown on KBFL 99.9 FM. The EP is available on Itunes and most online distributors. The band is currently making plans to record their first full length album so stay tuned and expect great things to come.

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Roger Creager with Cole Porter Band

Friday, October 25 · 9:00 PM at Outland Ballroom

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