The Gary Ogan Band

The Gary Ogan Band

Fri, September 1, 2017

Doors: 8:30 pm / Show: 9:00 pm


This event is 21 and over

The Gary Ogan Band - (Set time: 9:00 PM)
The Gary Ogan Band
At an early age, not long after discovering I could sing, I started teaching myself to play instruments. Although some earnest floundering and ill-fated lessons played a part, I knew I was driven in the realms of music. I started on drums, then soon took up guitar and piano, teaching myself by ear. Then as I discovered songwriting, it became a battle for my time and attention between those five great loves (six counting bass). I’ve always felt deeply connected and responsible to each, so it becomes important that I’m good at the nurturing of each. The cumulative effect of this is something unique in me. I like to think my audiences arrive knowing they’re about to be put at ease, that they’re about to be able to sit back and shamelessly enjoy something extremely direct, meaningful, powerful, compelling, entertaining, personal, and true. And this is not to say my shows are without hijinks, only that any given show of mine will also see me doing my best to honor the platform of my connection to the people.

It was sweet to be inducted into the Oregon Music Hall Of Fame in 2008, and it was around that time when I met the great Danny O’Keefe, who was looking for help with a very special song cycle of his centered around the Nez Perce Indians, called Dreamers. For the next two years, I was producer, arranger, engineer, and multi-instrumentalist to Danny on this project, the results of which were pronounced stunning. Working on Dreamers was life-altering, and an experience from which much good has come. Danny hopes to turn it all into a stage production and create a DVD companion, so for now the music remains unreleased. These days several music projects render me a busy guy. When I’m not producing friends, or playing my own shows, you can find me occasionally drumming in the, Kris Deelane And The Hurt. This is a 10-piece band that specializes in Motown and Muscle Shoals. Come see us! Also, this summer (August 25, 2015), I look forward to releasing my seventh CD called Suite Woogie. As a tribute to my cat, this one also represents my first true solo, live performance release. Regarding what led up to this milestone?

For me it started in 1972 and two years out of high school, when I was signed with friend Bill Lamb, to Elektra Records as a duo called Portland. We made one album, toured a little with the Hollies and Harry Chapin, and had a great first run at the big time. I soon chose to move on as a solo artist though. Before kicking into that mode, I squeezed in two years of music theory, composition, and orchestration at Mt. Hood Community College. Then, in 1977, one of my demos got hand-delivered to the offices of Warner Brothers Records in Burbank, and to the desk of Diane Sullivan at Paradise Records, Leon Russell’s new boutique label. Leon soon heard the tape, liked what I was doing, and phoned with an invitation. Not long after, I was the first signed artist on his label. Within a year, my self-titled debut solo album was released, and I had co-produced Leon and Mary’s second duet album, Make Love To The Music. We then toured the US for most of the next year and a half. Lots of wonderful times and memories, like spending an evening with George Harrison.

“As an artist, you row your own boat in a way that is pleasing and rewarding to the soul. I think you’re a great artist and a quality record maker.” Leon Russell

What followed after my time with Leon was a return to Portland where I got busy for several years, putting in thousands of performances that reflect the 200+ venues I’ve played in the area. All manner of studio work as sideman and producer, several incarnations of my own band, as well as playing in several bands of friends, all combined to keep me busy. In 1978 I won “Best Songwriter” in Willamette Week’s Reader’s Poll. Later in 1982, Willamette Week gave me the cover story: “Leading the Charge of Locally-Produced Music”, with my first indie album, Let Go The Heart. Around this time other artists like Nicolette Larson, Maria Muldaur and This Mortal Coil began covering my songs. In 1991 I released a benefit compilation CD of my songs, each sung by a different Portland vocal icon. The project, called Voices, brought awareness and funding to the child-abuse program at Emanuel Hospital in Portland. The CD sold out, and the follow-up concert was great, where Tenley Holway and Carlton Jackson brought down the house with their duet on my song, “How Come You So Ugly?”!

In the mid-90’s, I lived briefly in Nashville, where I was signed as a staff songwriter with Sony/ATV Tree, who published over 60 of my songs. These years were bittersweet though, and it never felt like home. Lots of fun times though, like meeting, working for, and hanging with legendary producer Brian Ahern (Emmylou Harris, George Jones, Keith Richards).

“Gary Ogan is a soul man — reminds me of Donald Fagan. His arrangements are distinctive and passionate, and he plays every instrument on the record which reminds me of the early solo records by Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney. This man needs to be heard.” – Brian Ahern

Upon the next homecoming to Portland, I released my CD, Barcelona, which quickly became the “dance in the kitchen with your socks on” hit of the summer of 2000. I also got back into producing and playing locally. In 2006 my Nashville manager phoned, asking if I had interest in auditioning on drums for singer/songwriter Darrell Scott. I had met Darrell on my first trip to Nashville, and I had paid attention, so it wasn’t surprising when ASCAP named him Songwriter Of The Year in 2002. The offer to drum in his band was a dream, and over the next four years I had the opportunity to tour the world and record with this incredible band. By 2010 I had amassed a batch of new material, spent a good spell of time recording it, and it was ready to put out. My next CD, called Sound Ground, was the result.
Venue Information:
The Secret Society
116 NE Russell
Portland, OR, 97212