Kit Rogers and the Plan Drift Toward MOR on Self-Titled Debut

Kit Rogers and the Plan

Kit Rogers and the Plan

The Plan isn't eclectic just for the sake of eclecticism, but the Knoxville band's mix of influences adds an edge to what might otherwise be a benign and inoffensive collection of mid-tempo adult alternative rockers. Pianist/guitarist/auteur Kit Rogers, a veteran of the singer/songwriter circuit, leads the trio, delivering a set of 12 smart and well-crafted songs. The band kicks into gear most ably on piano-driven tracks "Watch it Drown" and "This Stuff," while the guitar-oriented songs aren't quite as remarkable. Rogers is a capable singer with a nice range, but his voice lacks a certain something. Concerning the timeworn topics of life and love, Rogers' songs are, at their best, stylistically reminiscent of Elvis Costello or Ben Folds. Unfortunately Rogers' songs occasionally wander into the less-interesting musical terrain occupied by Sting, Shawn Mullins, and even Dave Matthews. Ouch!

Thankfully the Plan's rhythm section—percussionist Dustin West (ex-Boy Genius) and upright bassist Brandon Cottongim (an alum of the Rumble Seat Jitters, the Twilight Sentinels, and Torture Kitty)—manage to rein in Rogers' drift toward the middle of the road. Always locked into a tight groove, West and Cottongim deftly ratchet up the musical tension just enough to steer the band back on course. In terms of musicianship, this group is hard to beat. Here's hoping that West and Cottongim's presence will be more salient in future releases, adding color and energy in a way that makes Rogers' songs more Joe Jackson and less Jack Johnson.