Rod Moag: The Pickin'-Singin' Professor

Texas a la Moag - Picture Of Rod Moag with lots of guitars and mandolins

Rod Moag and Texas Grass

Texas Grass is Rod’s bluegrass band, based in East Texas where the culture is Southern and the bluegrass fans are almost as numerous as in Kentucky.

Core members:

  • Rod on mandolin, fiddle, lead and harmony vocals
  • Rod’s singing partner Shirley Smith - guitar, lead and harmony vocals
  • Randy Rogers - bass and harmony vocals

First Album: Rod, Shirley, and Randy did all the vocals on their 2002 album, Come and Dine, save for the guest lead vocal by Mack Smith on one track. Following Rod’s custom of enlisting the best possible sidemen, instrumental support on that project was furnished by 2000 national banjo champion Matt Menefee and guest fiddler Earl Garner. The project was reviewed in Bluegrass Unlimited and distributed nationally by County Sales.

Notable Gigs: On May 5, 2005, Rod Moag and Texas Grass performed by invitation at a National Day of Prayer celebration held in the football stadium in Crawford, Texas. Crawford’s best-known citizen was not in attendance—he had been called away to Russia — but those present responded with tremendous enthusiasm to the bluegrass gospel music, rushing up to the stage and clapping in time to the music from beginning to end during their set.

In addition to gigs in East Texas and Crawford, Rod Moag and Texas Grass have also played bookings in and around Rod’s home base of Austin, including the Georgetown festival in 2002 and 2003 and at Artz Rib House, famed gathering place for Austin bluegrassers. Rod and Shirley were brought in as the opening act for a performance by international bluegrass and oldtimey star Tim O’Brien. There they received an unprecedented encore, something which simply doesn't’t happen for an opening act.

Audiences and promoters alike have learned that they can rely on this group for a solid traditionally oriented bluegrass show. When one of the acts failed to show at the Canton Valentine’s Day festival in February, 2005, Rod and Shirley were called on to put together a set on five minutes notice to keep the schedule running.

Church Programs. One of the group’s favorite type of gig is the gospel music church programs they have given in Henderson, Mixon and Waco. Contact Rod if you would like a bluegrass gospel program at your church or other institution.

New Album. The group has now finished their second album project, Bluegrass From The Heart, available now on the Discography Page with futher information on the News Page.

Upcoming Season: Rod and Shirley and the rest of Texas Grass are looking forward to playing bluegrass festivals and other venues in the 2006 season. They are already booked at the Overton Festival on Saturday, June 10.


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