Rogan Brothers
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Rogan Brothers

Band Rock Singer/Songwriter

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The Rogan Brothers were already onstage performing when I arrived (they're serious about punctuality in Scottsville), playing a country number that was somewhat overshadowed by the unpacking of food and drink.

Composed of Josh and Eric Rogan on bass and guitar respectively, and others on keyboards, drums, and percussion, the group offers a coherent and impressively powerful sound, as if a producer had already added the post-production tricks that make a professional album sound fuller than a self-recorded one.

The next tune was a reggae-influenced number featuring vocals by brother Josh, and during the set, while Josh continued to take the lead on the softer, more funky numbers, Eric sang the swaggering country/rock numbers in his throaty vocals.

A touch of Springsteen flowed across these latter tunes, with choruses made for bar sing-a-longs.

"Hang Tough," the brothers sang, "If you don't know what you want, you got enough." Technically, the group was on a par with the best bar band around, but had the additional benefit of memorable and catchy writing, particularly in the choruses. - BY MARK GRABOWSKI TUNES@READTHEHOOK.COM


Though incubated in the mountains of Albemarle County, The rogan Brothers' dark bluesy rock might just as easily have hopped from the same rail that carried Elvis into Memphis, or drifted ashore in the same Baha tide that produced Chris Isaak.

No matter whether it's country blues, reggae or something miles away, guitarist Josh Rogan says he's driven by a need to express himself in his songs. "There's a mood to our music. there's heart and soul," he says.

Following a love of playing passed down from their father, the two started making music together in high school in the late '90s. Upon Eric's return from college in 2002, the Rogans, with friend and drummer Andrew Mills, booked parties, festivals and even opened a Fridays After 5 gig under the name ATLAS. When Mills departed from the band the following year, the brothers dropped the ATLAS name and teamed up with drummer Spencer Lathrop. Keyboard player Shallel Inglima joined them last year. Off and on, the Rogans have hosted an assortment of musicians onstage including percussionist Darrell Rose, guitarist Charlie Pasterfield and mandolin player Andy Thacker.

The Rogan Brothers hope soon to release their first official CD. Says Josh Rogan, the heart remains the siblings--planning gigs, writing songs, and perservering through the blood, sweat and tears. "I come home from work completely covered in stone dust and I pick up my guitar and go to practice," he says.

--Ben Sellers, Cville Weekly - C-ville Weekly


Sometimes, a band's sound can simply be described as rock'n'roll, no matter how multifaceted the instrumentation may be. Such is the case with The Rogan Brothers, the band led by Josh and Eric Rogan, whose performance at West Main stayed true to the band's foundation of bluesy rock despite the special addtion of a mandolin and djembe.

Although the bar was crowded and noisy this Thursday night, the Rogans looked perfectly relaxed as they took the stage, fashionably stubbled and comfortable in baseball caps, jeans and unbuttoned shirts. After an opening jam drew an avid crowd to the lower-level stage (including one inebriated man who, for the duration of the show, entertained the crowd with some sort of drunken rain dance), frontman Josh led his band through a series of unamed songs anchored by his lead guitar. The impressive solos were full of distorted southern grit, but Josh would also limit himself to sparse fills and upstrokes during quieter moments, allowing the keyboards and the trebly crunch of Andy Thacker's mandolin (familiar to Fairweather Bums' fans) to be heard.

Veteran percussionist Darrell Rose joined in halfway through the first set with a djembe sandwiched between his legs, and the set immediately shifted into a series of gritty, beer-soaked, blues-based rock. Rose pounding out erratic spurts of 16th notes with calloused hands, adding rhythmic contrast to Spencer Lathrop's steady drumming while the band kicked things up a notch. An incendiary cover of Bo Diddley's "Who Do You Love?" had Josh abandoning his low-pitched vibrato, a voice that's nearly a cariature of classic rock singing, for a passionate wail that climbed in octaves alongside his shuffing guitar. Here, Josh's vocals had enough strength to sustain their suomewhat overexerted delivery. With such impressive instrumentation, however, vocals were almost an afterthought, and the Rogan Brothers' skilled adherence to a rock'n'roll base more than made up for any slight kinks in their performance.
--Andrew Leahey

- Culture Bin, Cville Weekly


ATLAS (former band name)

"Got bills in my mailbox/No food in my lunchbox/ . . . I ain't gonna get that far, but/ I like to play my guitar/ I'm gonna play my guitar," wails Josh Rogan, older brother in the trio ATLAS. He's 23, but hurts like he's been around a hundred years. Eric Rogan on bass backs up these vocals sporting a beat-up cowboy hat and the kind of cool that comes from really feeling the music. Behind them, Andrew Mills applies varying pressure to percussion in consternation to keep these fine youn men in rhythm and blues.

The Rogans met Mills in high school but they pulled together only recently for gigs around town. Their frineds' delight earned justification from the rest of the crowd's attentive and cheerful praise; the audience was listening, dancing even. At moments, Josh's voice suggested the influence of country Elvis, and later his songs sprang from deeper realms of soul. There was a hint of James Brown in his style and a pinch of Otis Redding.

I won't lie by saying that these boys are the next big thing, but I left the venue wanting to continue listening--which isn't always the case. I also wouldn't mind plastering a poster of them on my bedroom wall. Luckily, Atlas plans to cut an album within the next year and promised a website in half that time. Until then, check them out a Dr. Ho's on Oct. 9 and agin at the South Street Brewery.
--Athena Schindelheim - Turn it Up, Cville Weekly


Discography

CD release Sept. 2006

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Think about brother pairings in rock, and typically you find two different personalities that complement each other perfectly. Greg AllmanÕs super soulful singing matched with DuaneÕs perfect slide tone that makes ÒAinÕt My Cross to BearÓ a tune that just floors you. Or Stevie Ray and Jimmie Vaughan, whose one album together, mixed their styles beautifully.
Then you have the pairs who might as well have been brothers: Mick and Keith, John and Paul, Page and Plant.
The thing about brothers is that they share the most common sensibility. It is in the marrow. And yet, they work their whole lives to be different from each other. And what you get is that synthesis of nature and nurture.
Josh and Eric Rogan approach music very differently. Josh taught himself to play and his tunes are from the gut, instinctual. Eric studied music avidly in college, and his time in school also gave him a passion for performing. While Josh was not listening to every CD by John BrownÕs Body, he laid down the perfect skank for EricÕs solid bass parts.
The Rogan Brothers write and sing music that is from the heart. While they may listen to music that is on the charts, chart position and fads do not appeal to them. They are interested in music with a certain honesty. And you can hear it when they are writing a song. Josh brings a riff and a lyric fragment and the two will work it and work it until it reaches that point when they feel it is good enough to be let out in public. Some tunes never come to full fruition. But the ideas and the process never stop.
Take a tune like ÒBonesÓ. The beauty of the tune is that it sounds like a rock tune, nothing forced, nothing tricky. But the parts are so imaginatively put together that when you begin to pay closer attention, the song will draw you in. And when the band takes it to the bridge, you have to wonder where they are going to end up. Until they bring it back to the lyric, and you realize that you have been around the block twice.
Check out the Rogan Brothers, and you will find a sound that is familiar, and yet very original. It is like putting on your favorite pair of socks, right out of the dryer.