CD Review: Mark Rogers “Qualifiers”

Virginia/DC-based singer-songwriter Mark Rogers had, at one time, taken some time off from music in order to focus on his family. But when the right time came around, Rogers found the desire to create music and resumed his songwriting. Since returning to songwriting, Rogers has created a few releases of original music that has incorporated Folk, Folk-Rock, and even a little Bluegrass influence. The most solo recent release from Mark Rogers is a six-song EP entitled Qualifiers.

For his newest release, Mark Rogers seems to have drawn from a certain section of his influences. While the previous release entitled Rearranged found the singer-songwriter drawing from many of his influences, the EP of Qualifiers features Rogers as he creates music with a style that recalls a lot of the music that had been around during the seventies and into the eighties.

The latest EP entitled Qualifiers from Mark Rogers begins with the track “No Bigger Fool”. With this track, Rogers has created a song in the same way that songwriters were creating Rock and Roll back in the fifties, sixties and even a little bit of the seventies: combining several different musical influences together in order to create the music. The result is a track in “No Bigger Fool” that seems to have all but bled the various Rock and Roll influences that were found in the music back in the seventies. And luckily for the listener, Mark Rogers and the rest of the band who helped to create the Qualifiers release chose the more upbeat styles of music from the era to use as influences. While the track contains an upbeat approach to its energy, the listener can easily hear the Folk-Rock influences that run through the track, which add to the seventies feel to the music.

Mark Rogers and band continue their latest EP with the title track of the EP. The song “Qualifiers” finds Rogers and band staying in a rather mellow mood with the musical direction on the track. However, instead of staying with the seventies influences, Rogers and the rest of the band move the feel of the track up a little to give the track more of an eighties approach. Like the track before it, “Qualifiers” takes the listener back in time. With the track “Qualifiers,” not only do Mark Rogers and the rest of the group create a sound that feels retro in style, the lyrics to the track also have a rather retro feel to them, setting the entire feel of the track somewhere within the seventies/eighties era of music. The track easily has a sound that would have fit on radio at that time and would be perfect for anyone looking for music that seems to be from that era.

The Qualifiers album continues with the song “Imagining”. With this track, Mark Rogers creates music that feels very familiar in its musical direction. The track features Country-flavored music that would easily have been right at home on AM radio back in the seventies. The music and lyrics bring to mind the sound and style of one of the more popular bands from the seventies, The Eagles. The song’s guitar work brings to mind the kind that would have appeared on songs from The Eagles such as “Your Lying Eyes”.  And while “Imagining” does draw comparisons to songs from The Eagles, the song itself is still “fresh” enough for today’s radio formats.

While “Imagining” from Mark Rogers contains a relaxed feel to the music, it is the next track on the singer-songwriter’s new EP that comes with perhaps the easiest pace to the music. The song “The Blues Are Passing By” has a feel to the music that will have the listener questioning the title. The track itself sounds and feels very much like a song with a Lounge Jazz approach. This track sets itself apart from the rest of the album simply because of the easy feel and approach of the easy feel to the music.  The piano and easy playing of the organ help add to the Lounge Jazz feel of the music. Add in the easy approach of Rogers’ vocals and you have a track in “The Blues Are Passing By” that would fit more in a Jazz format than a radio format with Pop music.

For a different feel, the track “You Can Lead Me On” finds Mark Rogers and band creating another unique track on the EP. With this song, Rogers and company combine equal parts Rock and Roll and Folk music to create a track with a definite Americana feel to the music. The slide pedal steel guitar and the mandolin on the track combine to give the track its unique feel.  Together, “You Can Lead Me On” is easily one of the most commercial tracks on the six-song release. 

The new release of Qualifiers from Mark Rogers comes to a close with the track “The World Changed Forever”. For this last track, Rogers creates a folk-like feel to the music with just his vocals and an acoustic guitar. The result is a track that features a simple folk singer feel. The track features lyrics dealing with the aftermath that occurred after the death of former Beatle John Lennon.  “The World Changed Forever (When John Lennon Died),” as it should be called, brings to mind the best folk singers as the track comes complete with a strong message, the way the best Folk songs of the past always did.

Qualifiers from Mark Rogers is the second release for the Virginia/DC-based singer-songwriter. When comparing Qualifiers to the previous release of Rearranged, Rogers seems to have stepped up his game, musically speaking. Having made a stronger release in Qualifiers, it seems like it is only a matter of time before a full-length album is created.  

For more information, check out Whiplash PR & Management by clicking on the logo for the company. 

 

 

 

 

The new release of Qualifiers from Mark Rogers has yet to be released. However, the EP’s release party is in the very near future. Check out the singer-songwriter’s Facebook page to stay updated about upcoming date for the release of the EP. 

For music from Mark Rogers, check out his BANDCAMP profile.