I really enjoyed “Honkytonk Hitman”. It was produced very well and Mike's songs were well chosen and offered a diversity of styles. It has all the makings of the traditional country CD. It sings of drinking, prison, loving and leaving. What more do you need ?
Mike Rodgers is a frequent performer on Broadway and Tootsie's Orchid Lounge. Mike is a traditional country artist with an added touch of a modern flair yet he doesn’t lose the country roots sound.
[Thanks again glide for reminding me of Mike Rogers career in boxing. The following is a bio that is from his web site.]
A man moves to Nashville, Tennessee, from Little Rock, Arkansas, to pursue his lifelong dream of becoming a country-music star. After living out of his car for a week, he ventures into the world of professional boxing to earn rent money. He doesn't know if he can recapture his past ring glory as a distinguished amateur boxer. Much to his own surprise, he wins bout after bout, culminating in a world championship. One may imagine this scenario outlines the plot of a fictional, Hollywood screenplay from the fertile mind of a creative genius. But it is not. Rather, it represents the life story of Mike Rodgers, a former country music singer and professional boxing champion. ****
When he first came to Nashville, Rodgers lived out of his car. "I came to Nashville with a beat-up car, a guitar, three garbage bags full of clothes, and a great big dream," he says. The story of his pro career is nothing short of legendary. Upon his arrival, Rodgers learned about weekly professional boxing shows held at the notorious Music City Mix Factory. Because his car was his home, Rodgers’ first professional boxing license bears the address of a local honky-tonk bar. He still keeps that license in his wallet to this day as a reminder of his painful struggles.
Rodgers entered the boxing ring at the Mix Factory with a pair of tennis shoes, swimming trunks and his cowboy hat because he refused to pay a $30 rental fee that all of the opponents were charged to wear the same boxing trunks and boots. Before his introduction, a drunk in the crowd yelled: "Hey cowboy, who are you supposed to be, the Honkytonk Hitman?" When Mike knocked out his 6'6" opponent in the first round, the nickname stuck and the legend of the Honkytonk Hitman began.
The promoters had thought Mike would serve as a tomato can, a mere opponent for pampered prospects, unaware of his extensive amateur boxing career (155 wins - 26 losses) in which he compiled numerous State and Regional Golden Gloves titles 8 years earlier. Instead, the underdog became the crowd favorite and a local folk hero after kayoing a string of foes in dramatic fashion. "I went from homeless to hero with one punch," Rodgers says. As his song “Honkytonk Hitman” tells his fans, he fought his way up the WBC rankings and continued to make a name for himself in the sport of boxing. Mike Rodgers professional boxing career has been covered in magazines like “Ring” and “International Boxing Digest” and featured in books like “Boxing’s Most Wanted” and “The Encyclopedia of Combat Sports”.
Rodgers reached his ring aspirations when he won the WBF World Cruiserweight championship with a 2nd round knockout over Art Jimmerson while legendary boxing trainer of Mike Tyson, Kevin Rooney worked his corner. Those knowledgeable about combat sports may know that Jimmerson was not only a world class boxer but also the first professional opponent in the octagon for mixed martial arts legend Royce Gracie back in the first (UFC) Ultimate Fighting Championship Tournament.
Mike had the bloodlines for success in both boxing and music. He is the son of Hall-of-Fame, world-class cutman and amateur boxing legend Ray Rodgers and a descendant of Hall-of-Fame country artist Jimmie Rodgers. Mike has lived and breathed country music and boxing all of his life.
After retiring from the sport of boxing with a shoulder injury and a record of (25 wins - 2 losses), Rodgers continued to pick up his guitar and perform. Rodgers had critically acclaimed success with respected producer and hit songwriter Robert Ellis Orrall who produced a record on Rodgers for Infinity Cat Recordings (ICR) appropriately titled “Honkytonk Hitman”. Rodgers music won waves of fans across the country and around the world with his rich baritone vocals and truly traditional sound. Music Row Magazine called Rodgers "this decade's Dwight Yoakam" and "the last real country singer in Nashville". Country Weekly Magazine quickly named Rodgers their "Who's New" artist, the same issue that Keith Urban made the cover for the first time in his career. Later, Rodgers was inducted into the Georgia Country Music & Gospel Hall of Fame along with T.Graham Brown.
Rodgers hosts the annual “Honkytonk Hitman’s Indie Outlaw Show” during CMA Fest that features several talented independent singer/songwriters and a few National acts. The show is for charity to raise money for the boxing programs and will be in its 9th year in 2012. Michael Peterson, Bret Michaels, Chris Cagle, Jeffrey Steele, Trent Tomlinson, Ray Scott, john Arthur martinez, Billy Yates, and Buddy Jewell are all previous performers on the show.