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Out & About in The Cape: Grayson Rogers Band
It has always been a dream of Josh Grayson to perform in front of thousands of people.
It was not until two and a half years ago, the Cape Coral resident began working toward his dream of putting a band together. Through putting ads on Craigslist and auditioning dozens of musicians, soon the dream began to take shape.
First it was coming up with a name. Grayson did not have to look far for inspiration in that regard, using a combination of his last name and the last name of a famous relative, “I am a distant relative of Roy Rogers. So, I decided to use his name as a sort of a tribute.”
In March 2012, the Grayson Rogers Band took the stage to play their first show. Since then it has been nothing short of a rocket ride for the members as they have quickly become one of the fastest growing bands in Southwest Florida playing high energy shows to thousands of loyal fans.
Today, the band members include; Grayson (lead vocals), Jeff Scheeler (guitar), CJ Sutton (bass), Jay Phoenix (drums), Eric Rule (guitar), and Rick Cantrell (pedal steel guitar and fiddle)
The band has spent the past year, not only playing some of Southwest Florida’s hottest nightclubs but has also opened for such mainstream stars as; Alan Jackson, Aaron Tippin, Sara Evans, and others.
The band has also participated in some of Cape Coral’s biggest events like Cape Coral Bike Night, the Coconut Festival and the most recent Cape Coral Red, White & Boom.
Looking back, Grayson says his favorite show as right here in Cape Coral, “It was opening for Dustin Lynch at the Dixie Roadhouse. There is something different about playing shows inside. Everybody is up close and personal, especially that night. They were jumping and screaming. It was great.”
The band has used shows such as those to build its fan base. Currently they have over 2,800 followers on their Facebook page and groups of people who come to all of their shows across the area, “That loyalty is amazing,” says drummer Jay Phoenix. “Having been in bands my entire life seeing the support we have gotten from our fans is just amazing.”
With all of the local experience and building fan base in such a short amount of time, the band is looking to duplicate their success outside the area, “We want to start building our fan base out,” says Grayson. “We are building up grass roots support throughout the region.”
In addition to shows in Tampa, West Palm Beach, Grayson says the band is working on dates in Miami and Jacksonville. Later this month, they will play their play its first show outside the state when they play a venue in Georgia, “We are also working on getting into Alabama and North Carolina.”
While the past year has provided the band immense experiences and highlights, it has also had a few dark times. One of those times happened in July when guitarist Eric Rule suffered a near fatal accident while swimming at home, “He was swimming in the pool and dove too far, hitting his head on the bottom of the pool,” explains Grayson. “He fractured two vertebrae and sternum. The doctors said he was amazed he made it.”
Not only did Rule survive the accident, but the band says they expect to have him back on stage in September, “He is doing great. We attribute his quick recovery to his drive. This is always something he has wanted to do,” says bassist CJ Sutton.
With Rule back in the fold, the band is looking forward to building on the success of the past year. In September, the band hopes to release its first single “Too Loud”.
Sutton says the band has already written six original songs and hopes to have more in the near future, “Our goal is not just to be a local cover band. Long term we want people like us covering our songs in nightclubs and bars.”
The band is also scheduled to play its largest show to date at the end of September when they participate in the annual Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam, in Panama City Beach. The band landed the gig after winning a nationwide competition of independent bands from across the nation. Over 1,600 bands submitted their names for the contest. After the event whittled the field down to the final 38, the band with the most fan votes would receive a coveted spot on the stage during the final day of the festival.
After the votes were counted, the Grayson Rogers Band came away with a dominant win, “They told us we won by far,” says Sutton. “Most of the bands we were up against are already touring and have records on the radio. It was a great honor to win.”
With the win, the band will now share the stage in September with such country music heavyweights as Toby Keith, Trace Adkins, and the Charlie Daniels Band, “We are extremely excited. This will be a great opportunity to hit a large number of people and broaden our base even more,” says Sutton.
Grayson and the rest of the band hopes the exposure from the event will open them up to more festival style concerts and eventually make them household names like those headlining the national festivals, “This type of venues hits a very large number of people and just broadens the base even more.”
Even though they seem to be on the cusp of big things, the band says it still treasures the shows they play locally and look forward to participating in the upcoming concerts held at local events during the season, “If they ask us we will be there,” says Grayson.
Looking back over the past year, Grayson marvels at the experiences shared by him and his bandmates, and hopes it is only the beginning for bigger things to come, “If you would have told me a year ago about some of the stuff we have done, I would have said you are crazy. It has been an awesome experience. I can’t wait to see what the next year holds.”
For more about the Grayson Rogers Band click here to visit their Facebook page.
To hear their latest single “Too Loud” and other original material click here.
*photo courtesy of Grayson Rogers Band