Roger Creager needs no introduction in Texas Country circles. While he has proven his versatility as a songwriter over the years, the average listener will know him for fun singalongs like “Love” and “The Everclear Song.” Creager’s latest album shows that he still knows how to have a good time. Best of all, it showcases his band’s ability to handle a variety of instruments and styles while staying true to the country sound.
I was fortunate enough to catch Roger Creager live for the first time a few months ago, and it was a memorable show. He was even kind enough to stick around afterward and meet new and old fans. I can’t help but think that most of the new songs were cut with the band’s signature live sound in mind.
Because Road Show contains just 7 tracks, a song-by-song review seems appropriate:
1. “Road Show” – This song is an appreciation of life on the road, and the diverse characters that make it a unique experience. The subject matter reminds me of “Things Look Good Around Here” with the line “come one, come all, step right up!” Sonically, this is about as full as it gets for Creager, but he pulls it off with jazzy layers of piano and brass.
2. “Where the Gringos Don’t Go” – One of the coolest fixtures of the Texas scene is appreciation for the blending of Texan and Mexican cultures. Creager takes that a step further on this ballad by acknowledging his own heritage and seeking out a new experience. It’s a tad reminiscent of Robert Earl Keen’s “Gringo Honeymoon,” but he makes it his own by providing some tasteful accordion play.
3. “River Song” – Currently sitting at #1 on the Texas Music Chart, this song perfectly encapsulates the Texas tubing experience of relaxing with friends, drinking beer, and somehow always losing your flip flops. Regardless, I think it’s one of the weaker tracks of the bunch because it’s already been done. Props on breaking a world record for the largest float, though.
4. “Different Than I’m Feeling Right Now” – Another party tune with upbeat piano, horns, and even some saxophone. Creager’s vocals are also impressive here, but it really falls short lyrically. I just can’t get past “whatever it takes to get this farm boy plowed.”
5. “I Love You When I’m Drunk” – The title is far more straightforward than Eli Young Band’s “Drunk Last Night,” but the idea’s the same. Who among us hasn’t sent that regrettable text or Snapchat to an ex after we’ve had a few too many? While the song is relatable and the tone is sincere, it leaves some substance to be desired.
6. “Forever in Your Eyes” – Like the previous song, this one captures a deep emotion in a small moment in time. It’s a heart-warming love story set to a nicely complementary arrangement. A bit out of place in the context of the rest of the album, but a standout track, nonetheless.
7. “Little Bit of Them All” – Creager closes the album on a high note with this salute to his vast array of personal influences. As much as we may try to resist, we are all products of our environment and experiences. Instead of apologizing for his lifestyle or trying to impose it on others, Creager demonstrates that what matters is taking the best of all worlds to make yourself the best you can be. It’s a delicate level of pride that others would do well to emulate. If you haven’t figured it out, this is one of my favorites.
Rating: 3.75 / 5
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