About

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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.

GARY OGAN / OREGON VENUE LIST
This is a partial list. If anyone would care to jog my memory and add to it, please feel free to contact us.

6TH AVE. CLUB

ALADDIN THEATER

ALBERTA ROSE THEATRE

AL AMIR

ALCAPULCO GOLD

ALESSANDROS

ALDOS, VINNIES

AMERICAN LEGION HALL

ANDYS PUB

ARBUCKLE FLAT COFFEE HOUSE

ARLENE SHNITZER HALL, THE PARAMOUNT (X 2)

ARTICHOKE MUSIC

ARTQUAKE

A TASTE OF BEAVERTON

AURORA AIRPORT

BARLOW TRAIL

BARRINGERS

BEACHCOMBER

BEEF & BREW (X 2)

BELMONTS INN

BILLY REEDS

BISON COFFEE HOUSE

BLACKBERRY FESTIVAL

BLARNEY STONE

BLUE GARDEN

BLUE LAKE PARK

BLUES FESTIVAL

BOGARTS

BOJANGLES

BOONES TREASURY

BORDERS BOOKS AND MUSIC (X 4)

BROOKLYN

BRUSH PRAIRIE

BUFFALO GAP

BURLINGTON INN

CAFE VIVO

CANBY HIGH SCHOOL

CANBY PUB & GRILL

CASCADE ATHLETIC CLUB

CASCADE PLAZE

CATLIN GABLE SCHOOL

CEBU LOUNGE (HOOD RIVER)

CHARLIES (GOVT. CAMP)

CHUCKS

CHUCKWAGON (THE DALLES)

CHURCH OF UNITY / BEAVERTON

C.I. BAR

CINDERS / BEND

CISCO & PANCHOS

CIVIC AUDITORIUM

CLACKAMETTE PARK

CLARK COLLEGE

CLINKERDAGGERS

COALMAN RANCH (MOLLALA)

COLEMAN-SCOTT HOUSE

CONCORD HOUSE

COOCH PARK

CORNELIUS PASS ROAD HOUSE

COYOTES

DADS

DAMMASCH HOSPITAL

DANDELION PUB

DANTES

DESERT NOIR

DOVE LEWIS

DUBLIN PUB

DUFFS GARAGE

DUFFYS PUB

EAST AVENUE TAVERN

EASTMORLAND GOLF COURSE

ELCOVE WINERY

ELIS

ELUSIVE TROUT PUB

EMBARCADERO

EMBASSEY SUITES HOTEL

ENIOS

EOLA HILSS WINERY

EUPHORIA

FAIRGROUNDS (CORVALIS)

FIREHOUSE THEATRE

FIRST METHODIST CHURCH / LAKE OSWEGO

FISH PLACE

FLIGHT 181

FLYING M. RANCH

FOODSTOCK

FRANKENSTEINS

FULTON COMMUNITY CENTER

GAFFERS

GLADSTONE DAYS

GLEN EDEN BEACH

GOVERNOR HOTEL

GRAND LODGE

GRANNYS GRAINERY

GREAT BLUE HERON

HALL STREET FISH HOUSE

HARRINGTONS

HARTS

HARTS BAR AND GRILL

HAYDENS LAKEFRONT GRILL

HILLSBORO AIR SHOW

HORATIOS

HORSEBRASS PUB

HORSEFEATHERS PUB

HOTEL OREGON / MCMINNVILLE

INN AT 7TH MOUNTAIN

INN AT ORCHARD HEIGHTS

INN AT OTTER CREST

IONE PLAZE CAFE

IRISH BANK

J.B.S

JAMERSON THOMAS GALLERY

JOHNS LANDING

JOLLIES

JUBITZ

JULIPS, ACCAURDIS, DAY FOR NIGHT, THE FISH PLACE

JUMBO REILLYS

KELLY’S OLYMPIAN

KENNEDY SCHOOL

KERNVILLE STEAK HOUSE

KEY LARGO

KGW TV

KIVA

LANE COUNTY FAIR

LAURLEHURST PARK

LAURELTHIRST PUBLIC HOUSE

LEACH BOTANICAL GARDENS

LEWIS & CLARK COLLEGE

LIBBIES

LINCOLN CITY ARTS FESTIVAL

LINFIELD COLLEGE

LLOYD ATHLETIC CLUB

LLOYD CENTER (CAROUSEL COURTYARD)

LOG CABIN

LOMANS PLAZA

LYDIAS

MAGELLANS

MANIFESTATION

MARKS ON THE CHANNEL

MARYCREST HIGHSCHOOL

MAZZIS

MCMINNIMENS FOREST GROVE

MCMINNVILLE HOTEL

MELODY BALLROOM

MIAS BOUTIQUE

MIDEVIL INN

MILLENNIUM PARK

MILWAUKIE DAYS

MISSISSIPPI PIZZA

MOOSEHEAD TAVERN

MR. BS

MT. HOOD COMMUNITY COLLEGE

MT. HOOD MEADOWS

MULTAPOR

MULTNOMAH ATHLETIC CLUB

MUSIC MILLENIUM (X 2)

NATURES

NEIGHBORFAIR

NENDELS (X3)

NEPTUNES

NORTH PLAINS GARLIC FESTIVAL

OAKS PARK

ORE HOUSE

OREGON COUNTRY FAIR

OREGON STATE PEN

OCONNORS (X 2)

OWEN’S PLACE

P.C.&Ss.

PACIFIC NORTHWEST COLLEGE OF ART

PAC WEST

PADDYS

PAL JOEY

PARCHMENT FARM

PARKROSE HIGHSCHOOL

PENDLETON ROUNDUP

PETERS INN

PIER 101 (X 3)

PINE STREET THEATRE

PIONEER COURTHOUSE SQUARE

PITTOCK MANSION

POGOS

POLO CLUB

PORTLAND ART MUSEUM

PORTLAND CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS

PORTLAND STATE UNIVERSITY

QUINNS MILL

RATSKELLER (GOVT. CAMP)

RED BARON

RED HILLS RESTAURANT

RED LION / LLOYD CENTER

REMOS

REX RECORDING

RICHS

RIMROCK

RINGLERS (CRYSTAL BALLROOM)

RINGOS

RIPPLING RIVER RESORT

RIVER CITY SALOON

RIVERWAY INN

ROCK CREEK COUNTRY CLUB

ROCK CREEK TAVERN

ROSE AND PETAL

ROSE FESTIVAL

ROSELAND, STARRY NIGHT

RUSTY MILL

RUSTY PELICAN

SACKS FRONT AVENUE, FRANKENSTEINS

SAFEWAY

SALEM ART FAIR

SALTYS

SCHLEGAN HALL (BANKS)

SCOREBOARD PUB

SEA GALLEY

SECRET SOCIETY

SHAKER AND VINE

SHANGHAI LOUNGE

SHERWOOD HIGH SCHOOL

SISTER’S FOLK FESTIVAL

SKYWAY TAVERN

SMUGGLERS COVE

SNAKE AND WEASEL

SNUG HARBOR

SOKEL BLOSSER WINERY

SOUND IMPRESSIONS

SPIRIT MT. CASINO

SPOKANE OPERA HOUSE

STAR THEATER (STAYTON)

STATE FAIR

ST. JOHNS PARK

ST. JOHNS PUB

STARRY NIGHT

STAR THEATER

STERNWHEELER

STORMY WEATHER ARTS FESTIVAL (CANNON BEACH)

SUBLIMITY HARVEST FESTIVAL

SUNNYSIDE INN

SUNRIVER (X2)

SUZIE WONGS

SWASHBUCKLER

SWEET BRIER

SWEET OREGON GRILL

SWEET REVENGE

SYLVIAS

TACARIAS

THATCHERS

THE ACE (GASTON)

THE ALADDIN THEATRE

THE AMAZING UNIVERSE

THE BEACHCOMBER

THE BENSON HOTEL

THE BIRK

THE BITE

THE BITTER END

THE BLARNEY STONE

THE BLUE ROOM

THE BRASS RAIL

THE COLOSSEUM

THE CONCORD HOUSE

THE DAKOTA

THE DRUM

THE EARTH

THE EMBARCADERO

THE FAUCETT, DUBLIN PUB

THE GEMINI

THE GREEN ROOM

THE GUILD THEATRE

THE HI HAT

THE HILTON

THE INN BETWEEN

THE KEG

THE KINGSTON

THE LAST HARRAH

THE LONG GOODBYE

THE LUTZ TAVERN

THE NEIGHBORS OF WOODCRAFT

THE OPEN AIR FAIR

THE ORE HOUSE

THE PASS CLUB

THE PRIDE OF PORTLAND

THE REFECTORY (X 2)

THE RIMROCK

THE RUDDICK (Newberg)

THE SWASHBUCKLER

THE TILLICUM

THE WAYSIDE

THE WHALER

THE WHITE HOUSE

TIMBERLINE LODGE

TRADEWINDS

TRAILS END SALOON

UNIVERSITY OF OREGON

UNIVERSITY OF PORTLAND

UP THE DOWN STAIRCASE

VIEWPOINT

VORTEX

WALLACE PARK

WANKERS CORNER

WASHINGTON PARK

WAVERLY COUNTRY CLUB

WHALER

WHAT THE FESTIVAL

WHISKEY SPRINGS STUDIO

WHITE EAGLE

WHITEHORSE STUDIOS

WILSONVILLE HIGHSHOOL

YWCA

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