Laying It Down
The first full LP by Mark Rogers.
I abandoned my LA country rock band in 1983 and moved back home to DC. In doing so, I subordinated the dreams of writing the songs and making the records that would be worthy of my heroes and that of my calling. And why wouldn’t I? KROQ (rock of the 80s. and. the. 90’s), home of Duran Duran, certainly wasn’t playing the Doug Sahm/Gram Parsons inspired cosmic twang that we were playing. We were simply, out of time. Only years later would I realize that, no, we were exactly at the right place and at the right time to be doing exactly what we were doing. It might have been 15 years since “Sweetheart of the Rodeo”, but we were still six years ahead of “No Depression”. Unbeknownst to me, guys like Dwight Yoakam, Alejandro Escovedo and Chuck Prophet were lurking around in the same clubs we were.
But I went back home. Broken, hungry and bummed out. To a place once described by Lowell George as “rock and roll heaven” that had since given way to Ronald Reagan’s conservatism. “I killed the beast”, as I used to say. My music was relegated to hobby status, brought out periodically to pacify my kids.
Fast forward 30 years. One day I pulled my D35 out of its case and picked out a Jesse Winchester song. Then, for reasons unknown, I started singing an early 50’s/Hank Snow-styled country melody in D. Damn if it didn’t turn out to be a pretty good song. But more importantly, the first real composition I’d written in decades. That led to another. And then another. By 2015, the gates had opened wide, and it was, just as it had been in the early 80’s, uncontrollable. My music had returned.
I’ve waited a very long time for the songs on this album to arrive. Each hatched first with a melody, typically captured on an Android recording app. Gibberish wording gives way to budding coherence that becomes more and more reflective of these bountiful experiences lived on planet Earth.
So here it is. With the economy and precision that only time will allow. It’s all yours now. I hope you’ll look after it. If only for about 45 uninterrupted minutes.