The entertainment business can work in mysterious ways. Musicians and singers can go from touring and recording music one day to performing in top-notch headlining productions the next. Reagan Browne is one such musician who has recently reinvented himself thanks to a fresh gig.
A few years ago, Browne spoke with Totalprestige Magazine about his recording, touring, and acting career, and the success he had achieved. After three albums, Brown had found his niche in music, but things have changed.
Thanks to a twist of fate, Browne landed a role in Las Vegas strip show Vegas Gone Country. The gig has given Browne new life after over a decade of recording music, playing shows, and touring.
Vegas Gone Country has become one of the most popular live shows on the Las Vegas strip. Browne is at the heart of the show and new opportunities continue to pop up thanks to his outstanding showmanship.
With the show’s rising popularity, Browne and company may be hitting the road soon to play around the United States.
Reagan, since the last time we spoke you relocated to Las Vegas and you are now performing in Vegas Gone Country. How did you get involved with this great Las Vegas strip production?
By total chance actually. I was recording a cover of the Etta James classic song “At Last” in a studio here in Vegas at a friend’s place that is a main fixture on the music scene around town. My goal was to do a cover of the song, but a country version just to hear what it would sound like, because I came from the rock world. To my surprise, it came pretty natural to me singing in that style, so my friend brought up that they were starting a new musical production on the strip soon called Vegas Gone Country that he thought I’d be great for. He happened to know the musical director putting it all together, so that helped make the connection.
Can you tell us about Vegas Gone Country and what audiences can expect from the show?
Vegas Gone Country is the only tribute act based 100% on country music, and the performers we’re paying respect to. They have everyone from Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, George Strait, Tim McGraw, Reba McEntire, Shania Twain, Garth Brooks, Miranda Lambert, and Ronnie Dunn, from Brooks and Dunn, who I happen to be playing. We sing a medley of five of their classic songs with a full, amazing backing band in character down to the costumes they wear, and their singing styles, obviously. It’s a family friendly, very fun show that runs for about an hour at 5:30 at Planet Hollywood Hotel on the Vegas Strip. We also come out afterwards to take pictures with the audience and say hello. I’m happy to say that it’s been nominated in two categories for Best of Las Vegas under Best New Show and Best Tribute Show.
Browne has found his time in Las Vegas to be very different than recording and touring. The Vegas Gone Country show performs five nights a week and Browne must be on his ‘A-Game’ every night of the week. Although the pressure is high, the change to Las Vegas has been incredibly refreshing for the musician.
Performing in Las Vegas is obviously different than recording and touring. Have you enjoyed the difference?
Yes, very much so! Being a part of a high-end production like Vegas Gone Country is the ultimate goal for most singer/musicians living here, and I was able to accomplish that in a little under a year of moving here. Las Vegas has many wonderful opportunities that Los Angeles didn’t have, so I’m happy I made the move.
How big of a change is it to perform in a Las Vegas show compared to what you were used to in the music industry?
Well for me, all my shows in the past were based around the solo thing, and my band performing my original rock material in clubs around Hollywood or wherever I happen to be touring. It’s a lot more consistent regarding performing in Vegas to where I may sing four to five nights a week, so really have to be on my ‘A-Game’ with taking care of myself and being professional. If I’m feeling sick or just run down, I have to get up on that stage regardless and give people their money’s worth. It’s taught me to be more of a pro because I’m getting paid to take tourists away from their stressful realities that they want to get away from by coming to Las Vegas. It’s been a challenge, but always up for it!
Has moving to Las Vegas and starring in Vegas Gone Country been refreshing after years or recording and playing concerts?
Absolutely! It’s nice to be paid as a musician. Something we aren’t a lot of times (laughs). It’s very nice performing in front of a packed theater every night with people that are loving what you’re doing. I was lucky enough to have that with my music, but didn’t get to perform nearly as much as I do here. In the past, I’d book maybe two or three shows a year around Los Angeles and spend months promoting the show with the hopes that I sold all my tickets. It’s nice to not have to do everything on my own with little to zero help from others since I’m a solo artist.
Unlike being on the road touring or playing shows around his home in Hollywood, a lot of work goes into the Vegas Gone Country show. The production of the performance is immense and playing in front of new audiences every night is an incredibly appealing aspect of playing music for Browne.
In terms of the show, what goes into the production of a show in Las Vegas compared to touring around the country?
It has to be a very well-oiled machine that runs down to the minute of when it starts and ends. The theatre where we perform has several other shows that go on right before or after us, so we really have to make sure we’re running on time. There’s a lot that goes into the production from the lights, sound, special effects and performance with a big team behind us making it all happen. I’m blown away by everyone’s professionalism and kindness here.
The last time we spoke, you told us about your acting career and working on performing more in film and television series. How is the acting side of your career going and will we see you in anything new soon?
Acting has become more of a second career type thing for me through the years to where it’s taken a backseat to music, but I still do go on auditions with the hopes that I’ll land something. Nothing in the future for now, but that can change overnight.
Browne has released three albums of original music. Although he has taken a sabbatical from his solo performances, he hopes to get back to recording original songs very soon. Performing in Vegas Gone Country has influenced him to add new and different elements into his repertoire and advance his musical sound.
It has been a few years since your last album. Are there any plans of recording new music and releasing another album?
Yes, for sure. I’m in the writing process now, and hope to have my first single out by the time this edition hits newsstands. I’m making some changes to my sound blending in more country music and southern rock, so people that may know my older music will definitely hear the difference from what I was doing before. It’s still going to rock, but it’s going to have some country music vocal styles and different instrument styles like pedal steel or mandolin to accompany my newer sound. I’m excited for people to hear what I’ve got in store.
With the way music has changed in recent years, does it make recording and touring completely different for you than 10 years ago?
Ten years ago, people still bought albums, CDs, and even downloaded music off of iTunes. Now, people aren’t really doing that much anymore. They stream music on Spotify or other streaming services, so it makes it a lot more difficult for artists to want to record new music when they aren’t making money off of it. Bands today are almost releasing new music as a platform for touring. Sadly, rock music is becoming a dying breed and less and less people are supporting that genre, so a lot of us are looking elsewhere like country music or pop. For me, it wasn’t a hard decision or one that I didn’t want to make, because I grew up on country music in Texas and always loved it. My childhood had George Jones, George Strait, Waylon, and Willie, just as much as it had Van Halen and Led Zeppelin. I’m really liking the change, and feel like I have a fresh start with something that has welcomed me with open arms.
With so many people seeing Vegas Gone Country, have there been new doors open for future shows, tours, or other opportunities?
Yes. I was told they’re working on having it seven nights a week instead of five like it is now. They’re also talking about taking it out on the road which would be a dream come true for me performing it in cities all over the country. It’s opened up other opportunities for me as well and that has been one of the many things that makes Las Vegas so great. Because of the success of Vegas Gone Country a band with me and several other cast members called Red Dirt Rodeo is being put together right now of covers and original material that we plan on performing all over town. I’ll be duetting with a wonderful singer name Kylee Skye Lynn who’s also from Texas singing everything from Hank Williams to Heart. We have some very talented people a part of this band and think we’re going to be in a league of our own with the music we play.
You have achieved a lot of notoriety in the entertainment industry. What can fans expect from you in the future?
Well, luckily for me, I’m keeping busy with Vegas Gone Country, and Red Dirt Rodeo, as well as auditioning for acting roles or modeling gigs, but it is still important to me to release my original music, so fans can expect new songs from me in the near future. I’m hoping that the new band Red Dirt Rodeo will keep me busy as well with gigs all over town in clubs, casinos, theaters, and bars. It’s challenging juggling all these things, but I wouldn’t have it any other way getting to do what I love.
Browne is riding an unbelievable wave of success in the entertainment business. He is proof that anything can happen in the entertainment industry.
After years of touring and recording new songs, Browne has now found a new life in Las Vegas. It has allowed him to discover another avenue in the entertainment business and it is already opening new doors for the future. Due to his notoriety in Sin City, Browne is set to relocate to the capital of country music, Nashville, Tennessee, in the coming months. The sky’s the limit.
The singer/songwriter is happy to continue riding his current wave and let it take him as far as possible. Browne’s career is proof that anything can happen in the entertainment industry for those who have the talent to succeed.
Images credit Patrick Rivera