Tommy Mann Jr.
The Orange Leader
PORT NECHES, Texas —
Mother Nature may bring a brisk cool down to the local weather but the entertainment line-up for this year’s Port Neches Riverfest is red hot.
The Port Neches Riverfest is back for another great extended weekend of boat racing action, food, fun, amusement, and, of course, live music. The festival opens today and continues through Sunday, May 5 at Port Neches City Par, 620 Grigsby in Port Neches, Texas.
The music line-up features Grammy Award winner Wayne Toups at 9:30 p.m., today. Opening the show will be local variety cover band, the Sabine River Band at 7 p.m.
The headliner on Friday, May 3 will be none other than the Randy Rogers Band at 10:30 p.m. Wade Bowen will perform at 8:30 p.m. and opening the music event will be Chris Latiolais at 7 p.m.
If you're looking for a dance party, then it’s definitely Saturday at Port Neches Riverfest as Champagne Room kicks out the tasty jams beginning at 9:30 p.m., immediately following the massive fireworks display at 9 p.m. Twangster’s Union will perform at 7 p.m.
The Randy Rogers Band is no stranger to Southeast Texas as the group has performed locally numerous times during its more than decade-long career. The group is touring in support of its new CD, “Trouble,” the band’s eighth, which was released this past Tuesday. The album title, according to vocalist Randy Rogers, is aptly named.
“We always seem to get ourselves into some pretty compromising positions on the road,” Rogers explained in a telephone interview. “We’ve been very lucky to get out alive sometimes, much less escape and lucky we haven’t been arrested on occasion. It’s usually the good kind of ‘trouble’, but stuff happens.”
The band has also experienced its share of unfavorable “trouble” as well over the past couple of years, including the death of a band friend and brother to bassist Jon Richardson.
“The recording process for this album was a bit like therapy for us,” Rogers added. “But it’s all green pastures for us now. We’ve really become closer than ever and we’re even more like family than ever before.”
The new album features 11 songs, including the debut single “One More Sad Song” which marked the first time ever for the band that a song has cracked the Billboard Top 40 singles chart.
“Boy, it was nice to finally have that happen,” Rogers said. “But our goal is to get our music out to as many people as possible. I don’t get excited too much anymore about how high a song is charting or how many stations are playing it. We just want to make the best album we can, and I think we did. This album should allow us to keep touring for a few more years at least.”
Rogers was excited about the opportunity to perform at Port Neches Riverfest on Friday because of the atmosphere and charm festivals have over beer halls and clubs.
“I love playing fairs and festivals because they are more family-oriented,” Rogers continued. “They are bigger than any one show we play, typically, and it allows us to reach a different demographic than we might get otherwise. Hopefully, we’ll make a few new fans in Port Neches.”
The future looks bright for the Randy Rogers Band. The group is just now hitting the road in support of “Trouble” and is expecting to be very busy this spring and summer with festival shows and headlining concerts.
“There’s a lot going on for us right now, and it’s exciting,” Rogers said. “We will get to play at the Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado for the first time, and we’ve got big plans for later in the summer. We’re going out on tour around the U.S. with Miranda Lambert and Dierks Bentley. It’s a good time to be in the Randy Rogers Band.”
Visit www.randyrogersband.com for more information on the band and its new album or visit www.pnriverfest.com for more information on this weekend’s festival.