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Rogers: ‘My roots run pretty deep in this town’

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    Country music artist Matt Rogers sings his hit single “Peaches and Pecans” at the Plaza Arts Center in downtown Eatonton on Friday, May 7. LANCE McCURLEY/Staff ntown Eatonton on
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    Guitar player Nick Reed performing during a concert on Friday, May 7. LANCE McCURLEY/Staff
  • Article Image Alt Text
    Matt Rogers talking to Eatonton residents during a meet-and-greet before his concert on Friday, May 7. LANCE McCURLEY/Staff

Country music artist Matt Rogers returned to playing live concerts last weekend as he performed three shows at the Plaza Arts Center in downtown Eatonton.

Rogers, a Putnam County native, said it was special to return to his hometown for a weekend

“Honestly, one of the last shows we played in 2020 was last year here in town,” Rogers told the Eatonton Messenger. “I released a song called ‘Tailgate Town’ which is about Eatonton. And, we had a full spring tour booked all the way through the end of May. We were looking forward to doing a bunch of cool things, until we got three weeks into that tour, and then the world shut down.”

Rogers admitted that he was optimistic about things returning to normal around May of 2020, although the pandemic and rise in the number of positive COVID-19 cases kept getting worse.

“We learned to adapt,” he said. “So, after that I had to figure out what the next moves were. I actually had a bunch of songs that I was writing, which needed to be finished, too. So, I hit the studio and did some recording on some songs I wanted to finish up.”

During the start of the pandemic, Rogers also began to write new songs and was starting the process of developing his first full length record album.

It wasn’t until after a few months that he and his team started talking about playing a socially distanced show in Eatonton. The critically acclaimed artist said it was his first time visiting the theater in the Plaza Arts Center since it’s renovation a couple of years ago.

“I haven’t been back in a couple of years and it looks wonderful,” Rogers said. “ ... It really is a beautiful room. We’ve had a wonderful experience and it’s special being home, obviously. I just signed my first record deal about a month ago and I am getting to test out some of the new songs that nobody’s heard yet this weekend.”

Rogers said that most of the people in attendance last weekend were the ones who were supporting him since the beginning of his career.

“That’s a special moment to share with them before we pack it up and hit the road again,” he added. “We’ve got a few things sprinkled through the summer, this month isn’t as bad, but next month is pretty busy.”

According to Rogers, he will be playing several shows in Dublin and Helen later this month. Then, he will travel back to Nashville before playing the Georgia Peach Festival in Fort Valley from June 4-5.

Despite not being able to visit as much as he would like, Rogers said that he was able to hit some of his favorite hometown spots while back in town.

“Today was great because we got to go and see Ms. Georgia down at the Uncle Remus museum,” he said. “My buddy Nick and guitar player, he’s from North Georgia and has a little two-year boy. He wanted to get his son some Joel Chandler Harris books, so we went and visited her. And, she (Ms. Georgia) makes the experience all the better.”

Rogers also said that he and some friends went fishing on some land he owns within the county.

“It was nice to re-center,” he added. “It was good to hit the reset switch before things get super hectic again. My mom and dad live here, with a lot of friends and family that live here, too. It was good to see them and catch up a little bit. Make a stop here, make a stop there. It’s been a really good reset for me.”

In an interview with The Country Note, Rogers admitted that he was in the medical field before pursuing his dream of moving to Nashville to play music. Then, in 2017, Rogers packed up his bags and headed to the Music City to chase his dream.

Now, nearly four years later, Rogers plays a weekly show at Blake Shelton’s ‘Ole Red’ bar on Broadway, and is currently signed with a record label. However, even though he’s moved to a new area code, the writer of hits like “Peaches and Pecans” and “She Was Everything” still remembers where he came from.

“My roots run pretty deep in this town,” he said. “My mom’s side of the family has been here for seven or eight generations. So, there’s a lot of history here all the way back to the Resaws, which was my grandmother’s maiden name … The community has always been really strong here … The people here have helped mold me and made me who I am. I’ve always said that what I want to do is make my hometown proud. So, when you come get to come back here and do things like this, it is really, really nice.”