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Premiere: Cannon Rogers – “Abel’s Blues” (Ear Bonez Session)

Cannon Rogers is a singer-songwriter from Athens, GA who at just 24 years young already has more road-dog experience than many musicians ten years his senior. Much of his experience came as the pedal steel player and tour manager for SUSTO, but he’s also spent plenty of time on the road with his own indie rock band, CannonandtheBoxes, and others.

However, with the release of the debut Cannon Rogers single, “Abel’s Blues,” CannonandtheBoxes is laid to rest, and Cannon embarks on a new journey in the world of country music. The single drops on Friday, May 10th, but this morning we’ve got the exclusive on a live video, courtesy of Ear Bonez Studio.

Cannon is on tour this month supporting the single release and commemorating this new chapter in his music career. He stops in Charleston on Friday, May 3rd for a show at beloved DIY venue, Stuart’s House with Allen Duggar and Dustin Price.

Enjoy the live video for “Abel’s Blues” below, and read on to learn more about Cannon Rogers.

Cannon Rogers – “Abel’s Blues” (Ear Bonez Session)

The End of CannonandtheBoxes

Cannon explains how CannonandtheBoxes was his first attempt at starting a band, back in high school, and his musical tastes have evolved as he’s gotten older. CannonandtheBoxes play what Cannon describes as the “Athens emo thing,” while Cannon Rogers is now more interested in being a honky-tonk band.

“I put out something like 30 tunes with that band,” Cannon explains. “We put out a record last year, and I’m really proud of that record, but it felt like a cool place to end it and try something new.”

On “Abel’s Blues”

“Abel’s Blues” was the first song that Cannon wrote for his solo project, after three years of being a pedal steel player. Learning the instrument led him down the path of getting into country music, including artists like George Jones, John Prine, Lyle Lovett, Todd Snyder, and more.

“I didn’t necessarily hit the mark because — my voice — I don’t sound like George Jones or Sturgill Simpson, you know what I mean? But I think the intent is there and I was really happy with the story that the lyrics tell. It’s all first person vignettes of observational comedy, trying to make light of the stuff around me.”

Cannon explains how he loves the sincerity of the aforementioned songwriters, paired with a lighthearted outlook on life despite often writing about heavy subjects. This is what he was going for with “Abel’s Blues,” which tells stories about different people in his life, coupled with observations about human nature, through the biblical lens of Cain and Abel.

Touring & Playing Live

In December, Cannon opened for Justin Osborne’s (SUSTO) project Sequoyah Prep School at Columbia’s New Brookland Tavern. It was a sold out crowd who talked through most of his set, but he says that when he played “Abel’s Blues,” a few people in the audience actually paid attention and engaged with him.

“When you’re playing solo acoustic in front of a sold out crowd, they don’t really give a fuck about what you’re doing,” Cannon explains. “That was the only song in the set that a couple people shut up and paid attention to, or maybe chuckled at a lyric.”

That experience gave Cannon the motivation to go for it, and now he’s got a full setlist worth of Cannon Rogers songs that he’s ready to take on the road, record, and release. These songs will end up on an album called Road’s Scholar, which he says is almost done. The title is inspired by his time on the road, learning from all these experienced professional musicians.

“I know exactly what I want to do, I’m going to work to get there because I fucking believe in these songs. Like if these songs can make people at a Sequoyah Prep School show chuckle and come talk to me at the merch table afterward, that’s all I need. I believe in that, you know what I mean?”