Fans of Randy Rogers & Wade Bowen’s Hold My Beer, Vol. 1 will be pleased to know that not only has the duo released Vol. 2, but they also get a drinkin’ song anthem in the new volume called what else but – “Hold My Beer.”
“We talked about writing a song called ‘Hold My Beer’ for a long time,” says Rogers. “We even looked it up in the BMI (Broadcast Music Inc.) catalog and there are 50 different songs with that title! We were on the fence about writing it and then on the fence about recording it. I think it shows our personalities, and there might be a few little stories in it about how we’ve raised some hell together over the years.”
Rogers, from the Randy Rogers Band, and solo recording artist Bowen have had a few years to find trouble together. They met in 2003 — both were struggling musicians at the time and, as Rogers relays, “Wade was already in a band, I was in an ’88 Suburban, and we both had the desire. We had each other’s backs and our friendship grew. You can hear the record is real and genuine. We’ve gone through a lot of lives together, the good and the bad, and we’ve been there for each other in our personal lives as well as our business lives.”
When asked how long it took them to find out they had the same sense of crazy humor, Bowen replied, “Pretty quick! That is why we became buddies. The night we ended up playing guitars and singing, and he was kicking people out because they weren’t listening to the music, I thought, ‘I’m gonna like this.’ It’s been fun to be idiots together!”
Randy continues, “We’ve been on tour together for years. There have been a few fist fights between the two of us, a few dance parties … and I have blackmail video on Wade for days and days.”
Hold My Beer, Vol. 2 includes songs co-written by the two that draw on those years of friendship, as well as tunes they heard written by other songwriters that they just had to record.
“We have been writing long enough now so that when it comes time to record, we have a select group of guys we feel comfortable with,” Bowen explains of the songs penned with Jon Randall, Jim Beavers and Will Knook. “We had a pretty good idea of who to go to with this project … we know who to trust and they knew what we were trying to do with our project. We want to maintain the old school country music feel when we record, and it gives these writers a chance to write something a little different than they usually do.”
The duo also drew from a few other hits songwriters, including Dean Dillon and Buddy Cannon, Chris DuBois and David Lee, Waylon Jennings, Adam Wright, along with Casey Twist, Ross Cooper, Josh Abbott and Randall Clay. Interestingly enough, “Rhinestoned,” a tune penned by Lori McKenna, Ryan Beaver and Ashley Ray, is a song Bowen and Rogers say is autobiographical for them. The songs is about a guy who has listened to the good ole days of country music since he was a kid – George Jones, Hank Williams and the other great traditional country greats. He loves the sad songs and they make him feel at home. The words and the stories get his attention and they make it all okay.
“’Rhinestoned’ is our favorite song on the record,” Bowen declares. “It is one of those songs we had to cut, we had to have it. We both grew up going to dancehalls, getting our courage to ask a girl to dance — it’s country music and that is what this album is about. The song is about as country as you can get. When you put on a country song, no matter who it is, we love it and the nostalgia and all aspects of it.”
Another song, co-written by DuBois and Lee, “Rodeo Clown,” is one of the funniest songs out there about a break up. Bowen sings forlornly about his girl leaving him for a rodeo man while Rogers is sympathetic until they discover that the rodeo man is a rodeo clown. The accompanying music video perfectly encapsulates their sense of humor as they react to the surprising news. World Champion Bull Rider Tuff Hedeman makes a guest appearance.
“The writers sent me this song and when I heard it I said ‘Holy moly, we’ve got to cut this,’ “Bowen said. “Our only fear was that we might get knocked around by some rodeo clowns,” he added with a laugh.
“Tuff is a friend of ours, we’ve known him for a long time. We just had to buy him a steak and put him on an airplane and he came and was in the video for us. When he comes to one of our shows, he always jumps on stage to sing with us; he’s always looking for a good time.”
The two didn’t have much input into how the video was going to portray the song, Bowen explained. “We just told them we would be rodeo clowns and let them do up our faces and all. That’s the only thing we agreed to do.”
Rogers certainly didn’t agree to what happened to him when he climbed in his barrel to start the video. “He had like 400 baby spiders in there,” Bowen said. “It was a little weird but Randy toughed it out. I wasn’t about to trade with him; I couldn’t have done it.”
A couple of special songs on the album feature two of the singers’ heroes – Waylon Jennings and Ray Benson of Asleep at the Wheel. Through the magic of recordings, Jennings and his son, Shooter, are on “Ode to Ben Darcy (Lovey’s Song).” Darcy was a roadie for Willie Nelson and was known as the ‘first roadie’ and ‘the world’s oldest working roadie’ because he was still working when he was 90.
“Ben Darcy worked with everyone — his nickname was Lovey, and he would play that song (Waylon wrote about him) for everybody,” Rogers recalls. “Wade called Shooter and I emailed him, and we got the okay to use the song, and Shooter agreed to be on it. Then we just fell into having Waylon to do the intro, which we used from an old work tape.”
As for Benson, “Mi Amigo” is the first western swing song the two have recorded together. “We always have fun with Ray, and we always wanted to write a western swing song,” Bowen said. “We asked Ray before if we ever had one would he record with us. When we told him we had this idea he said ‘I’m in.’ It was cool to write a song just for Ray. It is one of my favorite tracks on the record.
“This record is all about country music and paying respect to our heroes and we are so proud that Ray was on it. It is a huge deal for us because he is a huge part of our lives and we are proud to call him our friend.”
Hold My Beer, Vol. 2 is available anywhere you buy or stream music.