It’s not everyday a gas station offers to promote your song. Matt Rogers, a country musician and songwriter based in Nashville, recently had Golden Pantry reach out to him after an employee of the franchise discovered in an interview that Rogers had a love for their biscuits. Rogers said this unusual encounter blossomed into something more than he could imagine.
“I was in a publication last year, and they were asking about what was our favorite gas station food on the road for me and the band. I told her Golden Pantry biscuits, and a few months go by and I actually get an email from Brenda McGee, the Golden Pantry Director of Marketing, who had stumbled across the article,” Rogers said. “She told me of their plans to expand, and I told her that I was already kind of writing this Georgia state pride kind of song.”
That song — which was released on Aug. 30 — is called “Peaches and Pecans.” It talks about, among other things, Golden Pantry biscuits and watching the Georgia Bulldogs play football. Golden Pantry now has a deal on the table where Rogers’ new song will played at Georgia home games in Sanford Stadium, he said.
“They helped me get it to UGA to play at the home games and we’re going to have some radio play with it in the state,” Rogers said.
Alan Thomas, associate athletic director of external operations at UGA, said the songs that play during UGA football games usually appeal to a large audience.
“[The music chosen] typically is a mix [of] what is going to be good for a wide variety of crowds — popular, current songs to classic, other songs to genres that maybe teens have an interest in hearing,” Thomas said. “There’s not an exact science to it ... It goes by feel, with what fits best for the event.”
With all this talk of state pride in “Peaches and Pecans,” it makes one wonder why Rogers is so passionate about Georgia. Originally from Eatonton, he said the reason why he loves his home is not all about all about what there is to do and see.
“The people make the South. The folks that are here are always [try] to help one another and they’re always looking out for one another — there’s a special group of people that live here,” Rogers said. “It’s funny how during football season, rivalries can get taken so seriously, but at the end of the day, everybody’s good people.”
Rogers moved to Nashville to pursue songwriting several years ago. He said the change was made easier by the Tennessee capital’s connection to Georgia.
“There are so many folks from Georgia that are up here that have made it [in music] — your Luke Bryans, your Zac Browns, [Jason] Aldean — all these guys are kind of taking over the scene,” Rogers said. “I was coming up every other month to write, to record, to meet people. I actually knew quite a few folks, especially just from Georgia, when I moved up here so it wasn’t that bad of a transition.”
While Rogers does have a successful music career of his own, he still largely writes songs for country artists. He said songwriting isn’t all about emotion — as with most things, it takes practice.
“I do write for a living, so being kind of a commercial songwriter, you have to write all the time — that’s how you get better at it,” he said. “It’s like a muscle: if you don’t use it, you lose it.”
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated “Peaches and Pecans” had not been released yet. The song was released on Aug.30. The Red & Black regrets this error and has fixed this mistake.