Wednesday with Randy

It’s no secret that Jarred and I frequent a local coffee shop close to our apartment on occasion. Positioned along our route sits The Show Box – an entertainment hot spot normally featuring, shall we say, an eclectic variety of talent. I’m sure Rebel Souljahz, Big Boi, Dude York, Disturbed and BadBadNotGood (to name a select, appropriately named few) are all phenomenal; just not our particular cup of tea. However, as we strolled along the dark sidewalk one morning in early January we were shocked to read a name on the marquee we actually recognized – Randy Rogers Band.

 

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In the 10+ years that Jarred and I have been an item, listening to live music together has become a favorite pastime. Small venues headlining red dirt artists have always been on the top of our list. While living in Oklahoma we had a plethora of opportunities to get our fix, however in Seattle they are few and far in between. That is why despite my exposure to Randy Rogers Band being limited to the fact that we danced to one of their songs at our wedding, a show within walking distance (plus Jarred’s enthusiasm) was too good to pass up.

 

 

On the evening of Wednesday January 17th, with Jarred sporting his cowboy boots for the first time since our move, we traipsed through the rain to see Shane Smith & The Saints open for RRB. I actually knew and liked a couple of Shane Smith’s songs from hours spent in the 4Runner listening to jbabe’s Spotify playlists. However, after they sang a new track titled “Oklahoma City” I was instantly converted and now consider myself a devoted fan.

 

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As Randy Rogers and his band prepared to make their grand entrance I mentioned to Jarred that I’d never seen Randy before and wouldn’t be able to identify him; Jarred replied that he looked a lot like Josh Abbott (who we’ve seen in concert numerous times). From our vantage point, it turned out that Jarred’s comparison was spot on. Obviously they aren’t identical twins by any stretch, but there are differently noticeable similarities. Throughout their performance I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of songs that were familiar.

 

Everything was going swimmingly until they finished their one song encore; which is kind of ludicrous in and of itself – either don’t do an encore at all or play at least three songs. Everyone knows that rule of concert etiquette (except apparently Randy Rogers). The issue at hand was that they omitted the one song I had come to hear – One Woman. As I was voicing my dismay a couple standing next to us mentioned that they were in the exact same predicament; Randy hadn’t sang Vanessa and Luke’s wedding song either. Due to the fact that the Randy Rogers Band clearly owed us (if not everyone in attendance) two more songs I knew we needed to find a way to right this wrong.

 

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A little back story here, when it comes to red dirt concerts in Seattle I am no stranger to meeting the performers post concert. Two and half years ago, with the assistance of Jarred and my sister-in-law, I met {read: tracked down} Josh Abbott after a concert. The specifics of that particular ambush aren’t important, what’s important is that I know how to gain an audience with an artist without receiving a restraining order and I planned on putting those expert skills to the test yet again.

 

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Selfie with Josh Abbott in 2015

 

The plan was concocted: Vanessa and I were going to meet Ran-dog (as we were lovingly referring to him) and request that he sing both our wedding songs. In my experience it can take a while for the headliners to emerge so in the interim we met and chatted with Shane Smith. This not only provided the perfect alibi for our lingering, but also solidified the fact that Shane Smith might be the nicest artist in the world. If you aren’t familiar with his music – I highly recommend it.

 

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Before our endeavor was completed we were asked to vacate the venue. To clarify, everyone had to evacuate due to closing time, not just the stalkers. As we exited The Show Box I saw a large tour bus parked outside and knew staying within it’s vicinity would prove advantageous for our mission. Previous experience is such a valuable ally in circumstances like this.

 

At last a Josh Abbott lookalike emerged from the shadows wearing a scarf and a flat bill. I immediately whispered to our foursome, “guys, its Ran-dog!” and we initiated our plan. Things were off to a fantastic start; Vanessa greeted Randy and expressed her sadness caused by not hearing her wedding song during the concert. In response Randy kindly sang a couple words. It wasn’t a full-length rendition, but we were moving in the right direction.

 

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Halfway through my similar monologue, unbeknownst to me, I made the worst possible mistake someone can make while conversing with Randy Rogers. I casually mentioned Ran-dog’s resemblance to Josh Abbott (although to be fair, he looked significantly less like him off stage than he had while on stage) and he was not pleased to put it mildly. My comment triggered a heated myriad of defenses including (but not limited to) separate political affiliations, tattoo sleeves on Randy’s arms, ostrich boots on his feet and the fact that he absolutely was not involved in a fraternity in college. I didn’t have the heart (or the guts) to tell him that none of the points he so passionately presented had anything to do with his actual appearance. As far as I can tell, the biggest distinguishing factor between him and his doppelgänger is the fact that Josh Abbott was a really nice guy when I met him.

 

For reasons I cannot fathom, Ran-dog didn’t serenade me with One Woman. When the tense discussion ended our posse of four, plus the addition of Randy’s guitar and bass player, continued the evening at The Blarney Stone listening to karaoke. I don’t think Randy and I are on our way to becoming fast friends anytime in the near future, but I did get his band members to agree that similarities between the two artists definitely exist (they may have also mentioned that I was by no means the first person to point the comparison out to Mr. Rogers). However, a word to wise – if you happen to stumble into Randy Rogers one day whatever you do, DO NOT mention Josh Abbott in his presence. Lesson learned.

 

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