Dixie Melody Boys: Matt Felts, Mike Rogers, Steven Cooper, Ed O’Neal
Past the Press Release is an interview series featuring a new member of a professional Southern Gospel group. It’s a chance to look past the standard “excited to be here” press release comment and learn a little more about them. Meet new Dixie Melody Boys lead singer Mike Rogers, whose hire will be officially announced today!
Later this morning, the Dixie Melody Boys will distribute an official press release announcing that their new lead singer is Mike Rogers. Rogers hails from Sandersville, Georgia. His wife is named Becky, and they have a three-year-old daughter, Coraline. He previously performed with Kindred Spirit. (Here’s a video of him featured on a solo with that group.)
Dixie Melody Boys tenor Matt Felts states that the group received over three hundred applications. He adds: “It was an overwhelming response. We didn’t expect so many men to apply. It proved to me that there is a lot of talent in Southern Gospel music. As we stated, our plan was to audition several men, take them on the road with us and then announce them in September. Sometimes plans change. As I was going through demo’s a voice begin to sing and I knew we had found our next lead singer. Ed listened to his demo and agreed. The moment we met Mike Rogers and heard him sing with us we knew God had brought us the right fit.” He added that they moved up the announcement after the strong response Rogers received at the Absolutely Gospel Fan Fest and at Frank Arnold’s Songfest; they knew it wouldn’t take long for word to get out online.
Daniel: What was your first exposure to Southern Gospel? If you didn’t grow up around it, what individuals or groups introduced you to this style?
Mike: I heard it around my grandparents’ house growing up but I never really connected to it. A few years back I was introduced to the music of Jason Crabb. I thought “If you can sing Gospel music like that, that’s what I want to do.” Michael English has also influenced me along with Jason.
Daniel: What / who inspired you to start singing?
Mike: I actually didn’t start singing until I was in my late teens. I got involved in a community theatre production that required me to sing.
Daniel: Did you have the opportunity to grow up in a Christian home? If not, where along the way did you hear the Gospel?
Mike: Luckily, I did. I started going to church around nine years old but I really committed my life when I was around 19.
Daniel: What group(s) have you sung with prior to joining the Dixie Melody Boys? (I’ve heard about your work with Kindred Spirit, but don’t know if there are any others.)
Mike: The first group I was with was called Saviors Touch. I was with them two years before joining Kindred Spirit this past January. They were dissapointed to see me go but fully supported me. They are thrilled for this opportunity that I have been blessed with.
Daniel: Do you play any musical instruments, or have other musical interests (e.g. songwriting, album production, live concert audio) other than singing?
Mike: I love anything to do with music. I began playing the guitar when I was 12. I also dabble a little with the piano, drums, mandolin and bass guitar. I also enjoy live concert audio and have written a few songs.
Daniel: How about non-musical hobbies?
Mike: I am an avid hunter and fisherman. I love the outdoors. From what I have been told by Ed and the guys, Golf will be my new hobby on the road. lol.
Daniel: Yes, I think that may be safe to assume! Let’s suppose you had the opportunity to go back in time and hear any one Southern Gospel group you’ve never gotten to see in person live. What group would you pick, and what lineup or year?
Mike: I would have loved to hear the Hinsons back in the day. I’m sure that was an awesome show.
Daniel: If you could put together a dream team quartet of any vocalist currently in Southern Gospel, who would you pick?
Mike: Well, I’m pretty blessed to have a dream quartet where I’m at with Ed O’Neal, Matt Felts and Steven Cooper. These guys are great but if I had to pick other guys I would pick David Phelps, Jason Crabb, Joseph Habedank and Tim Duncan.
Daniel: I understand you’re married and have one child. Could you share a little about your family?
Mike: I have a beautiful and supportive wife Becky. We have been married 4 years. I am also blessed with a incredible 3 year old little girl named Coraline. We will be moving soon to Kinston.
Daniel: What are good ways to keep up with you and with the Dixie Melody Boys?
Mike: I have already been blessed to meet some incredible Dixie Melody Boys fans on the road and I am looking forward to meeting more. It’s an exciting time to join the guys. We have so many great things coming up. You can keep up with us at www.dixiemelodyboys.com and on our facebook page.