Roger Blevins Jr.

Roger Blevins Jr.

BandPop

As the bandleader, vocalist and guitarist for the award winning group Mingo Fishtrap, Roger Blevins, Jr. taps into his lifelong love affair with Stax, Chess and Motown for inspiration. As a songwriter, Blevins adds a touch of that soul to every genre he throws himself into.

Biography

Born in Jackson, Mississippi into a musical family, Roger Blevins, Jr. was brought up with an encyclopedia of American music.

"My grandmother had two uncle's that ran a little radio station in the 30s. She used to go to their house every Sunday for a gospel jamboree. I think music was her escape from the daily grind of farm life; the only place where she was really free to be herself. She passed that love down to my dad and on to me. She actually taught me how to play my first instrument - a dime store ukulele!"

Blevins spent summers with his father, a professional bassist since the age of 13, often sitting onstage in the corner during gigs and rehearsals. "My first 'gig' was the tambourine player with Chris Flowers and the Louisiana Express. I was 5 years old and I was hooked." Years later, Blevins would often set in on guitar with the various groups with which his father played. "Pops would call out the [chord] changes and I'd try to keep up. It was a good way to get over stage fright. Trial by fire, for sure. The guys that played in those bands were my first 'guitar heros'. There are some amazing guitarists in Louisiana - versatile and tasteful and I'm glad I was exposed to that early on."

While attending the University of North Texas' College of Music, Blevins put together Mingo Fishtrap. The band started out playing the soul, funk and R&B covers he had grown up listening to his father's groups play. "I needed an outlet - away from classes and school related performances. It turned out to be much more than I had intended or expected." Over a decade, a million miles, five CDs, a performance DVD and a handful of Austin Music Awards later, Mingo Fishtrap is still going strong and gaining fans across the country and beyond. In a poetic twist of events, Blevins' father, Roger Sr. now holds down the bass chair for Mingo. "It's an interesting dynamic, and I think it's one more reason to feel continually invested." Both Sr. and Jr. were recently honored by being added to the Fender Roster of Artists.

Blevins spends much of his musical life on the road with Mingo Fishtrap, but when time allows, he operates a project studio in Austin, recording and producing, as well as co-writing with a wide variety of artists and groups. "I really enjoy the challenge of getting into an artist's head and understanding their point of view. I don't want them to feel like, as a producer or co-writer, I'm from a different planet. If it's a genre I'm not as familiar with, I'll ask them for suggestions and emerge myself in it. I guess it's a method-actor mentality. The fringe benefit is I get exposed to such a wide cross section of music and musical culture that, in my 'normal' life I likely wouldn't come across. I think that helps me to keep focused on the message of the tune, not just lyrically, but from the arrangement and production side as well. From that first sound you're making a statement about who the artist is and what they're all about. I take that trust seriously and try to keep my own ego out of it!"

Lyrics

Home To Me

Written By: Roger Blevins, Jr.

Eighteen years he’s waited for a chance to find his something more
So Sunday morning he’s headed off to school
As they pack his last box in his mother’s eyes are watering
It ain’t that easy to let your family go
And just before he shuts the door of that ’84 Chevelle
He turns ‘round to his mother, says there’s something I should tell you

No matter where I am you know my home is always here
No pretty smile or country mile could change that fact, my dear
And though there’s things in this big world that I just got to see
Wherever you are, that’s home sweet home to me

His orders came through Friday night; he’d have to go and join the fight
God, family, country – that’s just how he was raised
And though she kept her feelings in, he knew that she was worrying
Their last night together he got down on bended knee
Said I know my timing ain’t that great and I hate to make you have to wait
Would you do me the honor of being my one and only love

No matter where I am you know my home is always here
There ain’t no ocean wide enough to change that fact, my dear
And though I’ve got to go and do my part to keep us free
Wherever you are, that’s home sweet home to me

And a candle burns on her windowsill
You know she’s still waiting for her man
And it won’t be long, ‘cause I’m coming home today

No matter where I am you know my home is always here
There ain’t no way that I would ever let that change, my dear
And though I’ve got to be gone for a while in time you’ll see
Wherever I go, I want you to know
You’re on my mind, honey all the time
Wherever you are, that’s home sweet home to me

On Our Way

Written By: Roger Blevins, jr.

Honestly, where’d you think that you might be
Looking back ten years from now recalling this reality
Where is the light you followed through the darkest night
Followed to the highest hill with no ambition to fulfill

All I really need to know before I hand my heart to you
Twenty years on down the line will your love for me be true
With all that life could throw our way
Can you confidently say we’re on our way

I don’t mean to doubt the way you care for me
Always been right there for me every time I’ve been in need
We both know sometimes love don’t work for sure
But here we are again and I would love to take a chance on you

All I really need to know before I hand my heart to you
Twenty years on down the line will your love for me be true
With all that life could throw our way
Can you confidently say we’re on our way

When the worlds align and it all turns out fine
We go about our daily lives, but it shouldn’t be that way
We should hold on to the day and let each other know
That we’re on our way for sure

All I really need to know before I hand my heart to you
Twenty years on down the line will your love for me be true
With all that life could throw our way
Can you confidently say we’re on our way

Discography

SUCCOTASH - full length CD
FROM THE PRIVATE BAG - CD w/ studio & live tracks
EP2 - 2 song EP with "enhanced" content
YESTERDAY - full length CD
MINGO FISHTRAP, LIVE AT THE GRANADA - live performance DVD
EP3 - 5 song EP