“Peter Rogan is one soulful cat- a deeply thoughtful songwriter and musician. ”
— Phil Madeira
“I really enjoyed playing on Peter Rogan's new album---enjoyed the guitar interaction, the good soulful songs---Peter has something special going on!”
— Will Kimbrough
“this guitar work is superb and rocks out, and the entire album…ranges widely and elegantly from the soulful “Sweet Baby Blues” to the Coltrane-like “Song for Keith” to the bluesy-funk of the title track. ”
— Henry Carrigan-NO DEPRESSION
“...there is a confidence and swagger to this release. Highly recommended.”
— Paul McGee-LONESOME HIGHWAY
Files for Download
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 2019
CONTACT: Karen Leipziger/KL Productions
(615) 297-4452, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
FROM THE STEEL MILL TO NASHVILLE
PETER ROGAN PROVES HE’S STILL TRYIN’ TO BELIEVE-MARCH 1, 2019
Reading, Pa.-Melt Shop Records is proud to announce the release of guitarist/singer/songwriter/steelworker PETER ROGAN's debut recording, STILL TRYIN' TO BELIEVE on March 1, 2019.
STILL TRYIN' TO BELIEVE features 11 original songs blending modern Americana, vintage rock and blues. The basic tracks were recorded in Nashville, with vocals and overdubs done in Pennsylvania and Baltimore. Rogan, a two-time finalist and one-time winner in the Great American Song Contest, wrote or co-wrote all of the songs on the album. A supporting cast of 17 musicians and backup singers helped him realize his lifelong dream of releasing a full-length record.
Rogan’s collaborators include Phil Madeira, the Nashville songwriter and session musician whose credits include Alison Krauss, Emmylou Harris, Buddy Miller, and the Civil Wars; and Will Kimbrough, who has written songs for Jimmy Buffet and most recently produced Shemekia Copeland’s latest album, “America’s Child”.
The title track, “Still Tryin’ to Believe”, builds on a country-funk rhythm guitar. Rogan complements the spiritual wandering expressed by the song’s protagonist with expert session players and backup singers who add a psychedelic swirl to the transcendent chorus. “To those who can dream, no place is far away,” he sings. “Knock and it will be opened to you.” He duets with Baltimore singer Allison Dietz on “The Only One,” the album’s most country-oriented song. They sing about a man who laments his faltered dreams only to realize the tradeoff was the best thing that ever happened to him. It features a mesh of acoustic string instruments, including fiddle and dobro to accompany the duo’s smoothly blending harmonies.
“Kickin’ the Can”--a song about procrastination at every level of society--mixes rapped verses with a funky, infectious groove and huge pop-rock chorus. It features guitar solos from Will Kimbrough and Rogan respectively. “Now I’m upside down, no light in the tunnel,” Rogan sings. “And this big machine is like a giant funnel, takin’ every dollar bill I’m ever owed. Now I’m kickin’ that can on down the road." “River Man” is a swamp-blues portrait of a grizzled boat captain, who meets his fate on his beloved Chesapeake Bay waters.
Playing out the daily grind of the steel mill, the propulsive “Rolling Mill Blues” shows the Rolling Stones’ blues-rock impact on Rogan. The influence of Stones’ front man Mick Jagger on Rogan’s vocals runs through the album. It’s especially evident in the Madeira/Rogan tongue-in-cheek blues number “Big Green Rambler." "Mercy”, the album’s darkest and most introspective song (co-written with Nashville poet, Kenneth Robinson), evokes a Quentin Tarantino vibe and features Rogan on a scorching guitar solo. Speaking about the song, Rogan said: “We’re all born into some kind of dysfunction passed down through our families. The question is — what do we do with that?”
Rogan’s versatility shows in the tender love song, “Beautiful Honey,” and “Song for Keith,” a jazz ballad written for a late friend and a Top 5 winner in the 2017 Great American Song Contest’s instrumental category.
An electrician by trade, Peter Rogan clocks in five+ days a week at a Pennsylvania steel mill. Despite his day job, the 57-year-old musician worked nearly every day for 18 months on this labor of love.
A professional guitarist in the Philadelphia area for three decades, Rogan didn’t make writing songs his priority until the past few years.
Rogan’s career began in rock bands when he was a teen. In his early 20s he discovered folk blues, acoustic music and jazz. During that time he opened for Doc and Merle Watson and Tom Paxton. In the mid '80s, Rogan moved to NYC and studied jazz with Leni Stern, John Abercrombie, and others. Moving back to Pennsylvania he worked numerous gigs in wedding bands, jazz duos, trios etc. and started a family. He entered the workforce in 2000 as an electrician at a steel mill and helped put his three children through college.
In June 2014, Rogan participated in a songwriting camp in Maryland with Phil Madeira, Dan Navarro and Wyatt Easterling. “I honestly didn’t know what to expect,” he said. "I had only written a handful of songs at that point and wasn’t sure if they were any good or not. But everyone was very positive and Phil, Wyatt, and Dan provided feedback and insights which were immensely helpful. Which in turn gave me the confidence to move forward with my musical ideas.”
Inspired, Rogan vowed to write enough songs to make an album. “Some people at the songwriting retreat had made records or were in the process of making records at the time," he said. "I seemed so far from that because I only had a few songs written. But, I realized then that my ultimate goal all along was to make a CD. When I made that decision to finally make a record, things started clicking into place.”
In late 2016, with the completed songs in hand, and the help of Phil Madeira (guitars, organ, piano, lap steel), Rogan (guitars, vocals) loaded up his van and drove to Nashville for the recording sessions. Madeira rounded up Will Kimbrough (guitars, dobro), Chris Donohue (bass) and Dennis Holt (drums/percussion) to join Rogan at John Prine and David Ferguson’s Butcher Shoppe Recording Studio.
Rogan took the resulting instrumental tracks home to Reading. After he selected the best takes and edited them, he added extra guitar parts, Hammond organ, various percussion tracks, and lead and background vocals.
With the encouragement of Phil Madeira, Rogan produced the record himself. “I had to figure out all the things involved in producing a record; how to use Pro Tools, how to edit instruments and vocals, how to add parts that compliment what’s already there, etc. I kept going until I felt it captured some of the feel of the records I loved as a kid,” he recalls. “I feel very fortunate. The tracks that we laid down in Nashville were so solid and grooving that I had great takes to work with right from the start. And the songs ended up working together in a real complimentary way. It was quite an intense learning curve, but well worth all the time and effort I had to put in to bring it all together.”
In regards to the title, STILL TRYIN’ TO BELIEVE, Rogan explains, “Well, it’s related to faith and how hard that can be sometimes. Faith in God, faith in our country and others, but faith in one’s self and one’s dream especially.”
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, REVIEW COPIES OR TO ARRANGE AN INTERVIEW, PLEASE CONTACT: Karen Leipziger/KL Productions (615) 297-4452, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com