Want to go?
WHAT: Matt Rogers & Keesy Timmer at The Listening Room
WHEN: 6 and 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26 and Saturday, Oct. 27
WHERE: The Listening Room (located inside the OurGuest Inn & Suites), 220 East Perry St., Port Clinton
COST: free (two drink minimum)
INFO: 419-734-7050 or thelisteningroompc.com
While others – as in, everyone else in The Music City – strives for stardom, this eastern Pennsylvania native is about making a career as a songwriter while others take the limelight. So far so good for Rogers, who co-wrote Jordin Sparks’ song, “You Gotta Want It,” which was featured on Official Gameday Music of the NFL, Volume 2. Rogers also co-wrote bluegrass single “Coal Minin’ Man,” cut by two-time ICM Vocal Duo of the year recipients The Roys and landed in the top 5 on the bluegrass charts.
Now after four rousing shows this past August at The Listening Room, Rogers returns to the area with Keesy (pronounced Casey) Timmer for shows Oct 26 and 27 in Port Clinton. Funcoast talked to Rogers about his unique sounds, career and name.
Funcoast: Wow, you played The Listening Room roughly two months ago and you’re back already. What gives?
Matt Rogers (MR): I’m actually coming back for a repeat performance [laughs]. It was great, man. But it was also weird. When we got to The Listening Room, we were like, “OK. It looked like a hotel conference room.” Truthfully, the crowd was fantastic. They were so embracing of me and Adam (Craig). We did four shows over the course of Friday and Saturday and by our last show Saturday night the place was packed. It was absolutely an awesome experience. It’s one of the best sounding rooms I’ve ever played. The acoustics are fantastic.
Funcoast: How obscure is a venue like The Listening Room where the show is geared around hearing new music from new artists?
MR: It’s a very intimate room. When you look at the room before the crowd arrives, it looks very sterile. When you’re in Nashville, usually when you’re playing a gig there’s a bar and neon signs everywhere that’s very conducive to live music where The Listening Room in Port Clinton is kind of deceiving. You walk in and there’s really not a whole lot there until basically the crowd shows up and starts getting some drinks and they dim the lights.
Funcoast: Tell us a little bit about your current gig in Nashville.
MR: I’m a staff songwriter for Better Angels Music Group and basically my job is they pay me a salary to write songs. So I write songs, and we have a song plugger and publisher and they pitch the songs outward. So if this artist on a major label is looking for an up-tempo song, I’ll write it and they’ll pitch it and hope it gets picked up.
Funcoast: Do you have any aspirations to be a solo artist?
MR: Truthfully, my goal is to be a successful songwriter and my ultimate goal has always been to have multiple songs on multiple charts at one time because I write pop, bluegrass, country and rock. I’ve had cuts in all of those genres. It’s a very lofty goal to have but that’s always been my goal because I’m a multi-genre songwriter.
Funcoast: Musically, what will we be hearing from you and Timmer?
MR: We’ll be performing a lot of stuff we have written together. Keesy is a very boisterous, loud personality. I think the audience will really take to him. He writes a lot of comedy music and also is a very intricate songwriter.
Funcoast: Finally, are you mad “American Idol” hopeful Matt Rogers took your name?
MR: I wish him the best, but I hope his name has sort of dissipated into the archives of “American Idol” history and people don’t associate me with that guy. But I specifically like to be referred to as Matthew J. Rogers because when I signed up for ASCAP there were a lot of Matt Rogers. I try to use my full name. It sounds a little bit pretentious but it’s about the only way I can differentiate myself from the population.