Brendan Hogan

Brendan Hogan

BandAlternativeSinger/Songwriter

"A distinctive new musical voice." - The Boston Phoenix

Alt-Country, Anti-Folk, Post-Blues

(Brendan Hogan also hosts, programs, and produces "Dark Was the Night" featuring blues, roots, and songwriters on WUMB Radio in Boston.)

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Biography

Somewhere in America, artists are still making records.

There is still a place for experimentation, taking chances, and leaving in mistakes; for lyrical imagery and themes that tie songs together.

It does not include hired-gun songwriters, rehashed ideas, and an aim to get famous quick on flash and superficiality.

Brendan Hogan's second solo album, "SilverQuick", was recorded in a home studio using a single microphone, a few guitars, a couple old tube amps, and a lot of experimentation with ordinary (and extraordinary) household objects, analog and digital synths, and a lot of delays.

"SilverQuick" features 12 new songs, and a 10+ page booklet with lyrics, artwork, and instrumentation details. The album is a “Do What You Want With It” release. That is, it was written and recorded it as an album (with lyrical threads and themes tying songs together) to be listened to as an album, but once you buy it you may do with it as you please: Import it into iTunes, or give it to a friend. But do it justice at least once and sit down at a CD player and listen to it with the booklet. It’s worth it.

In late-2009, Hogan wrote and recorded his debut CD, "Long Night Coming", featuring original roots, modern folk, and blues-based songs, as well as two familiar standards in the folk and country genres. His work in songwriting and performing since its release has seen him share stages with Kris Delmhorst, Slaid Cleaves, Geoff Muldaur, Ray Bonneville, Eilen Jewell, Les Sampou, Spider John Koerner, and others in the Northeast US and beyond, and the popular NPR radio show "Car Talk" featured Hogan's song "Big Black Car" on its program. The Boston Phoenix newspaper has called Hogan "a distinctive new musical voice".

Folks like The Black Keys and Jack White get it. Hell, even John Mellencamp made a live-to-tape mono record recently. True music fans expect a little more from the artists they appreciate, and Brendan Hogan’s new album "SilverQuick" stays true to the methods of making a genuine album.

BOOKING/CONTACT:
booking@brendanhogan.net

Lyrics

Rock Cast in the Sea

Written By: Brendan Hogan

Slip into your battered shoes
You don’t know what you’ve gotten into
It’s been months and years since you’ve held a job
But even that wasn’t taking you far
You always scratch for your next meal
With the hellhounds biting at your heels
The sun beats down and the rain pours in
But the landlord ain’t listening

Tie the laces on your shoes
We’ve got some walking to do
They ain’t gonna get their hands on me
I ain’t gonna be a rock cast in the sea

Rich folks drive their fancy cars
Rich folks grab the shining stars
But their lot in life ain’t a matter of luck
They’ll pawn their gold when their time is up
Life is full of the walking dead
Pitting brother on brother just to get ahead
You better survive or get out of the way
Every dog wants to have his day

Tie the laces on your shoes
We’ve got some walking to do
They ain’t gonna get their hands on me
I ain’t gonna be a rock cast in the sea.

There’s a million years of hell in the minds
Of those we’re expected to get behind
But don’t follow ‘em to the well
If drinking brings you under their spell
It’s another broke day and another hard climb
Another day of scratching for your next dime
But don’t let your fight go clean
Take the bastards out at their knees

Tie the laces on your shoes
We’ve got some walking to do
They ain’t gonna get their hands on me
I ain’t gonna be a rock cast in the sea.

In the end the story goes
You take what you give and reap what you sow
All your power and all your might
Won’t save your soul when you see the light
What some call prosperity
Is just the illusion of integrity
I’d rather take whispers and stares
Than take more than my share

Tie the laces on your shoes
We’ve got some walking to do
They ain’t gonna get their hands on me
I ain’t gonna be a rock cast in the sea.

Big Black Car

Written By: Brendan Hogan

Hey now, baby, get into my big black car
Hey now, baby, get into my big black car
I’ve got to show you where you are

I’ve got me a full tank of gasoline
I’ve got me a full tank of gasoline
I can do a cool 100; I’m every driver’s dream

Follow me and I’ll turn your money green
Follow me and I’ll turn your money green
I can give you more money than Rockefeller ever seen

Hey now, baby, get into my big black car
Hey now, baby, get into my big black car
I’ve got to show you where you are.

Maria

Written By: Brendan Hogan

It’s late September in the parks of Paris
The Summer behind us, the sun at our backs
I fell for you in a matter of moments
Beautiful Maria with the charms of a woman
But you are married, albeit hardly
I am a star-crossed lover, but I swear I’ll go straight

Hey, my Maria, you are a glimpse of paradise
My worthiness in the face of this brings me down

I’ve seen midnight’s curtain fall in the shadow of your face
I’ve seen stars rise and fall in its place
I’ve seen time stop, I felt the hem of your dress
I knelt and lay at the curve of your breast
Every truth is absolute, it’s crystal and it’s clear
I swear I’ve died but I cannot tell

Hey, my Maria, you are a glimpse of paradise
My worthiness in the face of this brings me down

I believe reason has escaped me
My mind has caved to my beating heart
Wheels are turning and your husband calls
I am headed home, you head to Italy
Raindrops fall like arrows fired from the bows of Gods
I close my eyes, you pin a rose on me.

What's the Difference

Written By: Brendan Hogan

Man shoots his guns and drops his bombs
Before he knows, he’s too far gone
In other words his world’s a flaming wreck
Blown to Hell before he can hit the deck
But what’s the difference
It don’t matter anyhow

Life goes up, and life comes down
Life will spin and push you all around
You can fight it if you think you must
But life will have you biting and chewing dust
But what’s the difference
It don’t matter anyhow

All the pleasures in all the world
Will furl your skin and curls your toes
Leave you howling from upon your knees
Have you jumping from your window screen
But what’s the difference
It don’t matter anyhow

So take your chances, and get your fill
It’s bottoms up now, people, and pop your pills
They’ll read about us when we are dead and gone
When half our story is never told
But what’s the difference
It don’t matter anyhow.

Looking Up at Down Again

Written By: Brendan Hogan

The walls ain’t talking
The sink’s run dry
Windows are paneless
And the dog is shy
My key won’t turn
The lights burned themselves out
Looking up at down again

Floorboards are loose
The clock has lost track of time
Curtains won’t part
The fridge is drunk on my wine
The bed sheets are tangled
The pillows are bruised
Looking up at down again

Looking up is hard to do
When everything turns on you
Looking up is hard to do

Ceiling is fallen
Stairs asked for a raise
Cupboard’s on strike
The hallway is a maze
The phone has another calling
The mirrors haven’t slept in days
Looking up at down again.

Morning Light (A Ballad of James "Whitey" Bulger)

Written By: Brendan Hogan

Jimmy first bought it in Boston as a teen back in 1943.
He and his brothers were known to police in Southie for stealing cars and petty larceny.
The Air Force took him on in ’48; he went absent without leave.
Volunteered as a government test monkey for a shorter stint in penitentiary.

You can see what you want in the middle of the night
But city streets lose their shine in the morning light.

Out of prison, Jimmy mopped floors by day, and by night mopped up for Donnie Killeen.
Working for gangsters ain’t a way to live clean, it’s a way to live free.
But drunk one night Donnie’s brother fought dirty and bit the nose of a Mullen boy.
Mullen boss, Paulie, wouldn’t turn the other cheek, he’d give ‘em Hell like they’d never seen.

You can see what you want in the middle of the night
But city streets lose their shine in the morning light.

Bookmaking, loan-sharking, the Killeen’s had their market cornered with their muscle.
Paulie and the Mullens were working the Harbor as small-time hustlers.
Paulie had a chip on his shoulder big enough to bring the racket down.
Jimmy wanted to prove himself a linchpin, prove himself good for business and put Paulie down before the fighting hit the suburbs.

Jimmy saw Paulie coming down Seventh and he knew what he had to do.
There’s a war going on and a chance to wrap things up before the story becomes front page news.
Jimmy eased, rode his brakes, and called from his window.
He said, “Paulie, this is it” and fired a shot right where their eyes met.

You can see what you want in the middle of the night
But city streets lose their shine in the morning light.

In the flash of his shot, Jimmy smiled; he was no longer just another hack.
Metallic taste in the air, Jimmy sitting there; shadows spill into clouds of black.
Jimmy said “He smoked like a fiend; if it wasn’t for me he would’ve died of a heart attack.”
But Jimmy left his own brother dead at the wheel of Paulie’s stolen Cadillac.

You can see what you want in the middle of the night
But city streets lose their shine in the morning light.

Panacea

Written By: Brendan Hogan

In the open night
Stars pepper a black sky
You can take your time
Counting all that shines
When you believe in the Panacea

Every day is new
The dawn goes rising through
Wrapped in every hue
And carries over you
Do you believe in the Panacea?

Serpents coil around
They constrict and swallow up
Generations with no faith in what they cannot see

The Count of Saint Germain
Who never dies and knows all things
To them is never more than a charlatan

The staff of Hermes
Is set in the hand of Mercury
Will you live forever?
Will you be set free?

The evening sky will blush
And slowly change its dress
And show its nakedness
To the immortal, the faithful, the blessed
Who sip from the Panacea
Do you believe in the Panacea?

Impossible

Written By: Brendan Hogan

You’ve got a way of moving like a broken doll
You’re pretty, distorted; looking like you’re gonna tumble.
I’ve seen more grace in a three-legged dog
Trying to make his way around in the dark

You’re impossible.
You say… says who?

Your top is fighting with your bottom and I’m
Shocked to hear you aren’t colorblind
There’s no way I can put this nice
But your clothes aren’t yours and you’re taking bad advice

You’re impossible to define
You say you’re impossible to improve

What the hell are you trying to do
Drive everyone up the wall around you?
I can’t explain what draws me in
Every loony in the bin
Has nothing on you

You’ve got the manners of a house cat
Purrs and coos one minute and you change in a flash
You have a tendency to over-react
I’ve got the proof of that all across my back

You’re impossible to hang onto
You say you’re impossible lose.

Your mouth flaps like a flag in the wind
You’ve got to share your every opinion
But I’m concerned for your health, your well-being
I have my doubts enough air is getting in

You’re impossible to get through to
You say everything there is to say

What the hell are you trying to do
Drive everyone up the wall around you?
I can’t explain what draws me in
Every loony in the bin
Has nothing on you

Philosopher's Stone

Written By: Brendan Hogan

I had a heart of solder
And took Jen to be mine
We forged our love like copper
And it turned green over time
Jen gave me a baby
We named her Adeline
Her blonde hair flowed like gold
She was my blood, my alkali

I had a back for bearing
The weight of family
And turned my hands to working
Platinum and sterling.
I stirred the pot, fabricated the foil
Plated up the sin
That Jen loved another man
Adeline wasn’t mine to begin

Midas, with your golden touch
Drop your philosopher’s stone
Try now to recast your fate
Don’t melt down what you can’t make pure
Drop your philosopher’s stone

A bronze flash of jealousy
And a stone cold touch of lead
I carry a burned out chalice
Of aqua regia
I hammered out my miseries
In the quarries and the mines
Among other fools
With fortunes in pyrite

My sweet Adeline
You are the rarest of all finds
Nothing can diminish
The value of our bond
I do not wish to make you pay
Or set the world to war
Whether you are a product of alchemy
You’re my Mercury amalgam ore

Midas, with your golden touch
Drop your philosopher’s stone
Try now to recast your fate
Don’t melt down what you can’t make pure
Drop your philosopher’s stone

Discography

Latest full-length album, "SilverQuick" [2012].

"Morning Light (A Ballad of James 'Whitey' Bulger)", Single [2011].

Debut full-length CD, "Long Night Coming" [2009].

Set List

Songs vary. The majority are original with a few song interpretations/covers included. Set length typically lasts from a half hour to two hours, depending on the nature of the show.

Solo or with band.