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Empty Glasses is a follow-up that proves Boggs is an artist that is here to stay. The album was produced by her long-time guitar player, Dave Coleman. It showcases twelve original songs, and as a daughter of The Crooked Road and resident of the Birthplace of Country Music, she has added a rendition of her favorite Carter Family song, “The Storms Are on the Ocean.”
Lee Zimmerman of No Depression wrote, “Reagan Boggs’s style comes from the same wellspring of heartfelt emotion, bittersweet reflection and bleak back porch desire that birthed great singers like Loretta Lynn, Kitty Wells, Dolly Parton, and Emmylou Harris. Her voice is filtered through a mix of hard wrought emotion and soothing sensitivity, the kind that breeds great balladry and stirs the senses simultaneously.”
She grew up in the tiny town of Pound. Her family’s home was tucked away in a “holler” outside the small mining community in Southwest Virginia. The normal routine of girl-talk and slumber parties were uncommon for Reagan since a social life did not exist. The fact that the home was inconvenient for company wasn’t the sole reason; rather, concerns of an unpredictable, alcoholic father with an angry temper and a violent nature made for a lonely childhood. In the midst of daily brawls between her parents and frequent nighttime escapes with her mother and siblings from her home, she found solace inside music.
Both her mother and father were gifted musicians, “My Mom was the one who really nurtured my love of music, that or she was tired of me beating my little plastic guitar to death without any reason or rhyme, while writing songs about buying my grandma a vacuum cleaner for Christmas . . . she probably decided she was going to have to teach me something or go insane.” Despite the fact that he wrestled with his demons, her dad always offered encouragement. He taught her to play as soon as she could wrap her fingers around the neck of his Martin guitar, and he liked to show her off. “On my sixth birthday Dad taught me the chords to my first song I ever learned to play on the guitar. A silly little thing with the words ‘rabbit in a log and I ain’t got no dog, how will I get em, I know . . .’ which had a dreaded G chord in it. It was tough because my hands where so small. Later, he would have me sing in front of his friends sometimes taking me into bars when I wasn’t even 10, setting me on a tabletop and letting me play. Many nights after the bars had closed, he’d bring everyone home to a little cabin we had on the farm. He would have Mom come pull me out of bed and we’d all play music ’til daylight. Mom would also enter me in talent contests or beauty pageants that had a talent category so I could get used to performing in front of crowds. It also helped me get over being shy and my early struggle with stage fright.”
With the exception of a few cover songs, Reagan now has six albums of her own songs under her belt. She is a two-time Mountain Stage performer and will be featured this summer on the PBS broadcast of Song of the Mountains.