Twenty-five years ago Mike Rogers was in high school in Myrtle Beach, SC, playing drums in a band called Perfect Tommy.
Now as a regular on the Grand Ole Opry stage playing with Craig Morgan he still remembers the first time he played there on April 15, 2002.
Mike is an accomplished songwriter and multi-instrumentalist.
Breedlove: You’ve had such a wide variety of experiences – what stands out to you?
Mike Rogers: I would have to go with writing my very first top 10 hit “Bonfire” which was released by Craig Morgan back in 2009.
BL: How long have you been playing with Craig Morgan? And what has that been like?
MR: I started playing with Craig back in 2003. At the time I was his drummer but also played acoustic guitar for his acoustic shows. I sort of took a break from Craig in 2010 to pursue some other musical options in the Bluegrass world (singing tenor and playing acoustic guitar with Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver), but joined back up with Craig in 2013 as his full-time acoustic player.
I throw a little steel guitar and banjo into his show too. Playing with Craig has been amazing. I’ve played every state in the US (including Alaska and Hawaii) and been to a bunch of different countries too. Craig does a lot of USO shows and I love getting the chance to travel to those countries but also playing for our troops. What an amazing feeling!
BL: You get to play venues most artists dream of, like the Grand Ole Opry. What’s your favorite?
MR: OK, I’m not gonna lie, out of all the venues I’ve played all over the world, nothing compares to The Grand Ole Opry. I’ve played so many shows on that stage and I still get butterflies right before I go on.
BL: You’re also a big songwriter and have written or co-written songs for Craig Morgan and Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver amongst others. What’s your process like?
MR: It’s pretty much the same process for me each time I write. A lot of times I write at my house and I have a couple of guys that I mainly write with, Tom Botkin (co-writer on “Bonfire”) being one of them. We tend to come up with our melody first and then our lyrics.
BL: How did you discover Breedlove guitars?
MR: A good friend of mine Colt Prather was playing them and after hearing his, I knew I had to have one.
BL: Most recently you have been playing our Pursuit series. What sound do you get from that guitar that works for you?
MR: The guitar I'm playing now sounds like I've got a mic in front of it! It's the guitar and the pickup combo that sounds so good. It's killer and all I do is just plug it in. The EQ is flat but it just works for every style of music!
BL: Do you find you need a different guitar or sound when you’re playing solo acoustic shows vs playing with a full band?
MR: Whether it’s an acoustic show or full band, I don’t switch up anything. I get the same results every time no matter what.
BL: What are you most excited for in 2015?
MR: I’ve got a couple things I’m really looking forward to. We’ve got a few dates coming up this summer in Europe, not to mention all over the country and I’m also finishing up my own Bluegrass CD. Also, I’m really looking forward to getting some more of my songs out on the radio and really just making music wherever I can. Hope to see everyone out on the road!!!!
Follow Mike on Facebook to keep up with his touring with Craig Morgan and solo gigs.