Roger Creager is one of the finest showmen in Texas music. With a new live album on the horizon entitled “Live Across Texas”, and the release of his first major label record “Long Way To Mexico”, Roger is poised to take his career to new heights. A fan favorite with a first class band, check out what Roger’s up to in this edition of 20 Questions!
1. What’s new and on the horizon with the Roger Creager band?
We’ve got the Ziegenbock shows coming up and of course, the release of my new record “Live Across Texas.” This is our first live record and after all these years it’s exciting to finally make one.
2. You’re quite the accomplished musician having within the past year or so added trumpet playing to your stage show. How many instruments do you play? Are there any you haven’t picked up yet that you would like to try?
I play the trumpet, guitar, piano, and fool around with a few others. I’m not really great at any one thing.
3. Name association:
–Kevin Fowler – Buddy
–Dub Miller – Deep
–Jack Ingram – Good
–Randy Rogers – Here he comes!
–Pat Green – Rich
–Cory Morrow – Funny
–Radney Foster – Smart
–Jason Boland – Waylon
–Brandon Rhyder – Beard/goatee
–Charlie Robison – Tall
4. Early on in your career you had a cover band with Justin Pollard of the Pat Green Band. What were you least favorite songs that people requested?
We didn’t take requests. We didn’t really know enough songs to just start pulling old standards on request. But, we did ALL have input on the songs that we played. That sucked for me because it may be one thing to play a song you don’t like, but another to have to sing it and sell it to the crowd. I really hated three or four of the songs we did.
5. Related to that, you’re known as a helluva live performer. What role did those early shows in College Station have in shaping your rowdy and fun stage persona?
It let me make my rookie mistakes and hit the learning curve in front of extremely small crowds. There are only a few people out there that really hate me for dumb stuff I did back then because only a few people saw it. Being on stage is a learned talent that I was not born with. The more I do it, the more comfortable and the better I feel on stage. I’m still trying to get better.
6. You take an annual trip to Mexico with the band and your fans. There are a ton of horror stories about bands/musicians crossing the border down there. Do you have one?
Hell no. It’s perfect down there.
7. Stories behind the following songs you’ve written:
-I Got the Guns- True story
-Movin’ On- Screw that bitch!
-Fun All Wrong- Summer of 1996
-Good Old Days-Live it up.
-Love is Crazy-Song about being in love and playing grab-ass in the grocery store.
-Storybook-Day-dreaming out loud
8. Set the record straight, Pat Green really does an awesome job on that “Everclear” song doesn’t he?
In Alabama they think he does!
9. The first time I saw you perform was several years ago. About halfway through the show you and the whole band took tequila shots and switched instruments with you reverting to the drumkit. How did that part of the show start? And will we ever see that again?
When we play for less than 400 people…anything goes!
10. You lived in the corporate world for several years before jumping back into music. Describe those years of being an accountant in Houston. Were you writing during that time period? What was the final shoe that fell to make you come back to music full time?
I hate waking up early in the morning. Thank God I’m out of that. Working sucked.
11. Favorite touring memory of the following towns/clubs:
Too many to list!
-Executive Surf Club
12. You’re an avid fisherman. What’s the biggest fish you’ve caught? And where? Where’s your favorite place to fish? Also, what you’re best fishing joke.
It was about this big (I’m holding my arms out) I only fish in the ocean. Once you hook into a 70lb yellow fin tuna, lake fishing just doesn’t cut it anymore.
Fishing joke? Let’s see:
What did the fish say when it swam into a wall? ……………..DAM!!!
13. How cool is it to have your dad come onstage and work the crowd into a frenzy during “Rancho Grande”?
He steals the show every time. Sometimes I think to myself when the crowd isn’t getting wild enough, “In two songs my dad is going to get up here and kick all your asses!”
14. You probably have the most eclectic band in the scene. They’re really tight and able to perform several different genres. Talk about them and how the transition from Jason and Scotty to Matt and John has gone.
Much smoother than I thought possible. I thought for sure my ship was sunk each time I had to replace one of those outstanding guys. But, we continue to make strides and get better. I think the band has really enjoyed the fact that I push them in so many directions, musically. It keeps our music from sounding the same as everyone else.
15. I really dig your cover version of Guy Clark’s “LA Freeway” on the first record. What made you decide to cover that song? And are there any other similar songs that you’d like to cover on a record
There are lots of songs I would love to cover. I won’t get around to all of them, but I’m very glad I did that one. A bitter-sweet triumphant home-coming.
16. Give an example of a perfect gig you’ve had. And an example of a gig from hell.
Perfect – Gruene Hall
Hell – Tyler
17. Are brisket and beer really the secrets to life?
I know, but I can’t tell you. It’s a secret!
18. Rapid Fire:
-Favorite fast food joint on the road? Whataburger
-What city has the most avid, wild and crazy Roger Creager fans? Houston, College Station, San Marcos, Austin.
-5 albums everyone should own:
Jimmy Buffett – Songs You know by Heart
Lyle Lovett – Anyone of his!
Frank Sinatra – Songs for Swingin’ Lovers
Jerry Jeff Walker – Viva Terlingua
Willie Nelson – Take your pick.
-Do you have any pets? Only dead ones.
-What’s the last movie you saw at the theater? E.T.
19. Favorite George Strait song.
“Under These Conditions” and “The Only Thing That I Have Left”
20. Compare/contrast the music you and your peers are making with the more mainstream stuff coming out of Nashville.
We try to make songs. They try to make radio hits. I want my records to be just as listenable in twenty years. I think much of what is coming out of Nashville is disposable music. I’m not saying its bad, it just lacks depth and honesty and when it’s not a hit anymore, it will fade away like a passing fad. This is a whole can of worms that I spend hours on. I think there are great artists in Nashville right now. I also think there are terrible Texas guys. You should just judge it on a case-by-case basis. I will do my best not to judge it at all. I’m trying to quit.