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Randy Rogers Band rocks on, ACM ‘Vocal Group of Year’ nominee finds its roots on the road

Randy Rogers doesn’t mind working for a living.

In fact, the front man of the Randy Rogers Band will perform for nearly 200 country crowds in 2011. But the country rocker is used to it.

Originally earning their road-warrior reputation in dives and bars across their home state of Texas, the Academy of Country Music nominees have become household names far beyond the Texas music scene.

Gigs on the illustrious Grand Ole Opry and appearances on late-night talk shows “Conan,” “The Late Show with David Letterman” and “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” have catapulted the group to country superstardom.

“It’s a dream come true,” Rogers said of the band’s recent success.

He remembers the group’s first performance on country’s most historic stage.

“It’s a big deal to play the Opry. I was so nervous. My hands were sweating. I think the strings on my guitar died as soon as I touched them,” he joked.

The band’s recent late-night appearances are just as rewarding.

“It goes by so quick,” Rogers said. “You sit around and wait all day, and your three and a half minutes go by quicker than you really want it to. Those shows are a dream come true, too. I still get excited and giddy when I find out we get to play those.”

“Burning the Day,” the Randy Rogers Band’s third release on UMG Nashville/MCA, has been the topic of interest at each of the group’s esteemed performance stops.

Nashville producer Paul Worley, who’s known for his work with the Dixie Chicks, Lady Antebellum and others, produced “Burning the Day,” an 11-song representation of the Randy Rogers Band’s countless years on the road.

“Paul really put me under the gun,” Rogers said. “I wrote more songs for this album than on any previous record. We really made an effort to bring as much to the table as we could before going into the studio.”

Preproduction also included testing the songs where the Randy Rogers Band has always found its success, the road.

“We went to a practice studio to work up the songs with Paul for six to seven hours a day. After a few weeks, we took them back to the road and started to play them live. The roots of this band are in the road,” Rogers said.

The band will soon hit the road to the Academy of Country Music Awards; they are nominated for Vocal Group of the Year.

“It’s fun to go to those events, and it’s fun to be voted in by your peers,” said the three-time ACM nominee. “We played ‘Conan’ the night before they read the nominees. So it was kind of extra sweet to get those things back to back.”

To show their appreciation for the fans they perform in front of every night, the band gave two lucky fans two round trip tickets to Las Vegas and hotel accommodations to see the ACMs.

“It gives back to the people that got us here,” said Rogers. “We’re so thankful for them. I hope people understand that we’re so thankful that they dig us.”

The 46th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards, broadcast live at 7 p.m. from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas Sunday, April 3.CBS.

“Burning the Day” is in stores now.

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