Out there somewhat to the left of Country music, slightly edgy, Rustic Pop, all these descriptions have been used from one time or another to describe the music of the relative late comer to the Canadian music industry, Sean Hogan. "When I hear him sing, I believe him", says another. Soulful and rockin', yet elements of folk and of course country music are also denoted in much of the thirty three year old's personal style.
Although he was singing and drumming since age 14 in high school bands he founded, it wasn't until Sean was 25 that he set his sights on staying focused on his songwriting, and learning to play guitar to go with his singing. "I've sang all my life, at least from a very early age, so learning to sing while drumming came fairly easy to me. Likewise when I began to play acoustic guitar the singing thing was pretty much second nature." "I also started writing lyrics back in high school so I had some idea of the way a good song should come together when you get things right. Lyrics and melody are just something I do; and love to do. I needed to facilitate those elements with the guitar. This way I could scope out the arrangements with the accompanying chords."
In 1995 Sean decided it was time to get some of his songs out there to the industry and move to the level that Canada's professional recording artists perform at. He began recording what was to be his debut album, co producing it with Rick Erickson, a Victoria area engineer and producer. He would never know how he would be received if he did not try to let people know what he was about and what he could offer.
Growing up in Sarnia Ontario, a place where Detroit (MOTOWN) Michigan was just a little 2hr drive to the South West, it was only natural that an honest blend of both "blue collar rock" and soul R&B wove its influence from an early age into Sean's own sound. Sean wrote 9 of the ten songs on the first cd and the tenth track Slow Turning, was written by one of Sean's favorite writers; none other than John Hiatt. By the time the album was complete, and released in April 1996 Sean had already gotten a fairly strong nod from the Country Music Association in British Columbia Canada. Sean was now based in Victoria, on Vancouver Island; living there since moving from Toronto in April 1990. Sean had submitted a couple of rough mixes of two songs to the BCCMA's first Talent on Tape Contest back in January. In March the Association called to tell Sean that he had won in both the Male Vocalist category and the Songwriter category. With his song "Beg, Borrow,and Steal the World", winning in the BCCMA's 1st Talent on Tape contest for Best song and "Nothin' Could Be Better" winning best Male Vocalist.
Hogan took that as a pretty good sign of good things to come and released what would be his first top forty single to radio. "Beg" as Sean recalls was a great little greeting card of a song to the country radio stations across Canada who did not know Sean from anywhere previous. The first album went on to foster a total of 7 definite radio singles. Of those, the first four were played so much that based on radio air-play alone Sean won the Canadian Country Music Association's first Independent Male Artist of the Year Award in 1997. Although Sean's singles didn't all go very deep up all of the charts, Canadian radio was impressed with the debut album from Hogan. Radio was also waiting to see if Sean could repeat his successes or perhaps even go one better.
Hogan currently resides in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. He has released the album Ruled by Mercury in the U.S. and will offer a new studio album in spring 2004.