One of my favorite memories of seeing Tyler Rogers live was a year or two ago at the Frisco Rail Yard. Right before he was to go on stage, I remember very dark clouds surrounding Toyota Stadium looming and almost taunting us. The chance of rain and a possible storm was growing stronger by the minute.
Tyler asked me if we were still going to set up and play. My answer was a simple “I hope so” and sure enough, he continued to set up and started to play early just to be safe. What happened after this was one of those “you had to be there” moments.
As Tyler started his first set, the clouds grew darker and the thunder began. The dark ominous sky was now over the entire city of Frisco. Tyler continued to play as people moved under the protection of the bar roof and watched from a distance.
By the third song the skies opened up and the rain poured. Tyler started to grab his stuff but instead of calling it a night, he talked to the Rail Yard staff about playing at the bar. After all, it's covered and can be enclosed in a matter of minutes.
The staff and even guests worked quickly to move tables and chairs as the wind picked up and the rain kept coming down. It didn't take long for the bar to turn into a dance party with Tyler Roger mixing in Johnny Cash, Sublime, Blackstreet, Snoop Dogg, and more. This was a night that could have ended in disappointment, but instead, turned into a fun memorable moment where Tyler Rogers played longer than his scheduled time.
I connected with Tyler recently to learn more about his history as a musician, his favorite live music venues, and what's coming up.
Lifestyle Frisco: How long have you been playing music, and what inspired you to get into it?
Tyler Rogers: Somebody asked me this the other day and the answer kind of surprised me. I’ve been playing guitar for somewhere around 15 or 16 years and I’ve been playing in bands for nearly as long. I joined my first band when I was in 7th grade or something. My sister got me the gig and it was an awesome experience that lasted a few years.
I grew up with my Dad and his friends singing around fires or passing the guitar around in a living room. My Dad would write songs too, so for me, it was always something that existed. It was something that was always possible. Oh, and girls, of course. I mean that's music, right?
LsF: What are some of your favorite venues to play?
TR: I think in general my favorite venues to play are the ones that treat you right and have your back and show support. Hank’s in McKinney has been my home spot really ever since I moved back to this area. I’ve probably played on their stage more than anybody else (I host a weekly songwriter spot there on Wednesday’s). I can never thank my Hank’s family enough for all they've done for me.
Filthy McNasty’s in the Ft. Worth Stockyards is another place I've been playing for years and has always done us right, I love those guys. Magnolia motor lounge in Ft. Worth is another great spot that we love to play when we can.
Both The Blue Light in Lubbock and The Blue Light Dallas. Blue Light Dallas just opened recently in Deep Ellum and is quickly becoming a place where we feel like family, mostly thanks to their Monday night songwriter night that's hosted by Zac Wilkerson and our boy Marc (shout out).
The Lubbock Blue Light was really where I was inspired to take music and songwriting specifically during college. My current band has only played there once but I would love to go back.
Bubba’s Brewhouse in Durant, Oklahoma is definitely a place that makes you feel like family right off the bat and the owner Paul and his whole crew are great people and a lot of fun. He’s really creating something special up there in that town and it is always a pleasure to make some noise up there. There are a lot of other great places that we play, but those are definitely some of my favorites off the top of my head.
LsF: Who are some of the bands/artists that you are listening to or going to see around town?
TR: My number one go to will always be my girl Gorden. She's one of my best friends and one of the most unique individuals and artists that I know. Please go listen to her music, it’s amazing. My buddy Tanner Usrey also recently released a single “Daytona Nights” and it slaps. Check him out he’s a great singer/songwriter. My homie Beth Mason also stays really busy around town and is quickly becoming quite the songwriter…check her out as well.
LsF: Do you have anything in the works as far as new music/albums?
TR: New music, yes. So, we're about a year and a half out from the last and final Tyler Rogers Band release. I’m currently working on a solo record that's a bit more soul and r&b than the last couple of records and I also have a side project with my drummer (Dan Heidt) and bass player (Chris Medrano) that we're still accumulating content for. My number one priority is getting new music out on both fronts as quickly as we can without compromising the quality of our content.
LsF: What's the weirdest, strangest or coolest thing that has happened to you at a show?
TR: Ok, weirdest thing that’s happened. There are a few but, the first one that comes to mind happened in Houston. We were playing some gig outside and part of the entertainment for the night was a bikini contest and they asked us to help judge, so we did.
They did their contest in the middle of our set, we helped judge, they declared a winner, and we started playing. But as we started you could kind of tell there was a disagreement between some of the ladies and eventually it got physical and spilled on to our stage (which was only slightly elevated). I guess they didn’t agree with the way it had been judged and decided to take it into their own hands! Honestly, it was pretty funny, nobody got seriously hurt, and we played right through the fight until the security sorted it out.
There was also this time a very large shirtless man tried to kick his sandal at my bass player and then almost got tased in the streets of Port A, but maybe we’ll save that for another time. You see a lot of weird things when you travel and play different venues.
Tyler Rogers recently played at Bottled in Bond and he hosts the Wednesday Night Song Swap at Hank’s with a different guest each week. You can also see catch him at the Open Mic/Open Jam at The Celt every first Tuesday in McKinney.
Sample the Tyler Rogers Band's music here.
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