Latest news


Folk AlleyNew Folk Alley Session
Duo video: live at SubCat Studios
Googling: the song you’ve been searching for
We Used to Be Birds video

JPR Band performs in the Emerging Artist Showcase at the 2015 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival (see photos)

Almost There wins the 2015 Sammy Award for Best Americana

JPR and Wendy Ramsay selected for official Quad showcase at NERFA

Interviews with Don HenleyEmmylou Harris, Norman Blake, the Milk Carton Kids, Brandi Carlile, and Elvis Costello


New duo video live at SubCat Studios

In October 2015, I performed with Wendy Ramsay in the Sub Rosa Sessions at SubCat Studios in Syracuse, New York. In this wonderful series, the musicians play right in the main recording room with an intimate audience, and everyone goes home with a limited edition CD. Here is one of the songs from that night–the title track from Almost There.

Don Henley on avoiding writer’s block

Don Henley Acoustic Guitar

I’ve learned you can be too self-critical. I know people who are so critical of what they do that they get writer’s block. So I realized that once I lightened up on myself a little bit, I actually wrote better. There’s a delicate balance between being too critical and not being critical enough, and you have to find that middle ground and then work from there.—Don Henley

From the December 2015 issue of Acoustic Guitar. Read the full interview here.

Folk Alley Session

Folk AlleyI’m a long-time fan of Folk Alley–the 24/7 online radio station as well as the videos and other features they produce in affiliation with NPR Music. So I’m so honored and thrilled to have been invited recently to record a Folk Alley Session up in Saranac Lake, New York. Wendy Ramsay and I performed three songs. The full video/audio session, with an interview, is posted on the Folk Alley website.

New Googling song and video

Here it is: the song you’ve been searching for—with lyrics suggested by Google based on the first few words of each line.

I just released this video today, and the song (my first-ever single!) is also up on iTunesAmazon, Bandcamp, Spotify, etc. Please take a minute to watch, and if you like it, would you share it? I would love to see this song travel far and wide, and you can help make that happen.

Photos from Falcon Ridge

I had such a blast playing the Emerging Artist Showcase at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, with my bandmates Wendy Ramsay, Josh Dekaney, and John Dancks alongside so many talented musicians from all around the country. Here are some images from our main stage performance and from an informal set at the Acoustic Live tent.

P.S. This is a bit of a shot in the dark, but Wendy is trying to find contact info for a woman she met at the festival who had requested a special version of Wendy’s birthday song. If this happens to be you or you know who it is, please email Wendy.

Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers Band performs on Bridge Street

This morning I was in the studios of WSYR to perform with my bandmates Wendy Ramsay and John Dancks. We played the title track off the Almost There album.

This was a kick-off to the Jam at the Ridge festival happening on Sunday, June 26, in Chittenango, New York, with a great lineup of folk and bluegrass bands including the Cadleys, Loren Barrigar and Donna Colton, Rabbit in the Rye, the Bog Brothers, and the Rigs. We will be performing as a five-piece band, with Wendy, John, Josh Dekaney on percussion kit, and Jason Fridley on saxophone.

Woody Guthrie on songwriting

Happy birthday, Woody Guthrie.

AG Woody Guthrie

You are a songbird right this minute. Today you’re a better songbird than you was yesterday, ’cause you know a little bit more, you seen a little bit more, and all you got to do is just park yourself under a shade tree, or maybe at a desk, if you still got a desk, and haul off and write down some way you think this old world could be fixed so’s it would be twice as level and half as steep. . . . It wouldn’t have to be fancy words. It wouldn’t have to be a fancy tune. The fancier it is the worse it is. The plainer it is the easier it is, and the easier it is, the better it is—and the words don’t even have to be spelt right. . . . They don’t even have to rhyme to suit me. If they don’t rhyme a tall, well, then it’s prose, and all of the college boys will study on it for a couple of hundred years, and because they cain’t make heads nor tails of it, they’ll swear you’re a natural born song writer, maybe call you a natural born genius.
—Woody Guthrie, from the introduction to Hard Hitting Songs for Hard-Hit People

Image from my article on songwriting lessons from WG, Acoustic Guitar April 2013.

Emmylou Harris on universal messages in songs

AG Emmylou Harris

I believe that a good song, like a good book or a good film or anything, has to have a universal message. It has to talk about the human story that we all share. The details might be different, but the heart of the story is something that hopefully everyone can relate to.—Emmylou Harris

From the August 2015 issue of Acoustic Guitar. Read the full interview here.