Empty Pockets and a Troubled Mind, the debut album from Texas folk-country artist Rodney Rice, is an album which documents his life story from his time as a young boy learning guitar in his grandmother’s kitchen in West Virginia, to his time recording the album at The Congress House Studio in Austin, Texas. Rodney began playing music twenty-two years ago in his grandparent’s home, listening to the radio and learning how to play songs by legends such as Hank Williams, John Prine, and Bob Dylan. Raised by his grandparents, they were the main source of encouragement for Rodney in his musical pursuits, letting him have long jam sessions in their living room which allowed him an incredible amount of creative freedom to play music.
After graduating high school Rodney took to traveling the road, living and working amongst small towns and rivers from Appalachia to the Olympic Peninsula. He continued to pursue his love of music whenever and wherever he could, in honky tonks and bars, playing music for whoever would listen. Eventually he returned to West Virginia to pursue a degree in Geology. Rodney spent his time living off the grid in a yurt, in the backwoods of Morgantown WV. There he finished college along with many songs under the dim glow of lamp oil light.
After graduating Rodney soon started working in the oil patch. Like music, all roads in the oil patch eventually lead to Texas. In 2011, while working on rigs in South Texas, Rodney began organizing the songs that would eventually end up on Empty Pockets and a Troubled Mind. Drawing inspiration from everything that he has come across, from being raised by his grandparents, his vagabound travels, and love, Rodney Rice continues to write about life through trial and error. Recording at The Congress House Studio in Austin was also a creative haven for Rodney, as his time spent working with producer Andre Moran allowed him the opportunity to play with amazing musicians. That made Empty Pockets and a Troubled Mind what it is.
The result of Rodney’s journey is an emotional album that anyone can relate to regardless of their life story or path. While everyone’s path in life is different, Rodney writes about things that we can all relate to, and with Empty Pockets…listeners can connect with each track in their own way, creating a lasting relationship between artist and fan.