Latest news


Googling cover redo 1400New songs/videos:
We Used to Be Birds

JPR 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 Emmylou Harris, Norman Blake, the Milk Carton Kids, Brandi Carlile, and Elvis Costello


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.

2015 Sammy Award for Best Americana

Almost There album cover

Almost There is here! 

Featuring “Eight Days in January,” with Rani Arbo on fiddle and harmony vocals

“Spot-on work from an American wordsmith”Patty Larkin

“Mind candy for the listener to chew on”—Syracuse New Times

“Deft commentary…a call to be ornery but sympathetic—cautionary but optimistic.”Kenneth Pattengale (the Milk Carton Kids)

“Genre-defying folk rock”NYS Music

“Understated raw beauty”Minor 7th

Learn more about the album.

Norman Blake on writing new songs that sound traditional

AG 271 Norman Blake

I know a lot of old ones and I’ve done a lot of old ones. Sometimes if you feel inclined to write something, you take something that you’re comfortable with. A lot of people have said that my stuff sounds traditional. Down through the years in anything I wrote, I always wanted to try to write something that would be as good as the old stuff that I knew. That was my guideline. I didn’t want to write something I’d consider substandard.—Norman Blake

From an interview in Acoustic Guitar magazine, July 2015.