The Randy Rogers Band delivered an early contender for 2016 best-of lists with their sixth studio album, Nothing Shines Like Neon, and among the project’s highlights is the excellent new single “Neon Blues,” which impacts radio February 22nd, 2016.
Told from the point of view of the bartender, the record describes the story of a woman recovering from heartache who walks into a bar every night looking to ease her pain. The narrator tells the story with equal parts compassion and curiosity, as he wonders what exactly her ex did to put her in this position, while also feeling a sense of grief on her behalf. It’s a compelling way of storytelling, and one that many others would do well to adopt. He then proceeds to inwardly advise other men on how to handle this woman, warning them that her heart is still with another man, and that they best not try to win her over because it’ll take “more than you got”. The shift from a moving storyline to a cautionary tale only adds to the effect of the lyric. All held together by a strong title hook of “she’s got the neon blues / she ain’t in the mood for anymore lies or pick up lines”, the songwriting holds up as the single’s strongest element.
In addition to the strong lyrical content, “Neon Blues” holds up as a particularly strong record due to its simple yet elegant production, driven by little more than a guitar, a fiddle, and (real) drums. The stripped down feeling adds to the rawness and reality of the lyric, and gives it a more organic feel than it already did. Throw in Randy Rogers’ gritty-yet-tender performance, as well as an almost soothing melody, and you have a song tailor-made for repeat listens.
While it likely won’t make a splash at radio – Rogers has joked about his lack of chart toppers – “Neon Blues” is an absolutely fantastic listen, and well worth your time. The entire album is superb, and this track stands out as a highlight. It’s real, it’s country, and most of all, it’s damn good.