At the September 12th, 2013 performance by Sean Hogan in the Wetaskiwin Waterworks Theatre, he shared with the audience, “I never imagined … I'd be able to relate my music to cancer but this album (Phoenix) is packed full of meaning now.” He explained that originally the album was inspired by challenges he was incurring in the music industry. “It (the songs) took on a whole new meaning after my bout with cancer”.
Hogan’s performance extended well beyond just being a very good country musician. He treated residents of Wetaskiwin and region to a reflection on his life, through his music. “Despite his record of success, by late 2010 Sean was frustrated and somewhat discouraged. While The Southern Sessions contained some of his strongest songs, he felt he was releasing music that was coming too much from his head and not enough from his heart.”
Sean describes peaks and valleys of the music industry
"Every artistic life has ebb and flow”, says Sean, “and I personally found that out too. I felt after Southern Sessions came out in Canada in the summer of 2007, there was a stretch of time after it's initial release where I could feel the ebb coming on. After all nothing can go up without fail forever. I'd always heard a career has peaks and valleys and though I was on a trajectory by my own estimation that up ‘til about 2008 had been most always only rising, this felt like slowing down, or a descent. The big economic down-turn had occurred around then too so that might have factored in. Though frustrated at first, I thought it was healthy to see just where this valley went. I thought about it quite a bit, how could so much be different. The journey started to resemble more of a desert than a valley after peaks. Still, I liked the idea of going with the flow, and didn't have much choice in the matter either. Like my songs on that album alone aptly titled ‘Suck It Up’ in what it is we do with our lives, and this was an opportunity for this check list to occur, if you will. Nobody wants "water in their wine" but sometimes in life things get diluted as a matter of course more than one can tell at first.”
And then the cancer
Hogan shared with the audience that in 2011 he had a growth on his neck and upon further examination, was diagnosed with cancer that was affecting his tonsils and lymph glands. Following a feisty 6 month battle comprised of intense and painful chemotherapy and radiation treatments, the country music star recovered and is back on the road.
Prior to his bout with cancer, Hogan had no idea the title track to his sixth full-length album would mean so much to him. The album, Phoenix, was originally inspired by overcoming industry challenges. It took on a whole new meaning after surviving cancer. “The lyric in the song hits the nail on the head, ‘I don't mind the losing, the losing makes me stronger. The stronger that I am, the more I wanna fly. I'm all right with knowing I could burn out if I don't blow it, and like a Phoenix flying out of the ashes, I will rise’. Given his stellar performance in Wetaskiwin, Hogan has done just that.
Sean won the Canadian Country Music Association award, Independent Male Artist of the Year in 1997. His next two albums, Hijacked and Late Last Night were each named Best Country Album at the West Coast Music Awards. In 2003 he was the CCMA’s Roots Artist of the Year award. His next album, Catalina Sunrise, won three more music industry awards and was named the second best album of 2005 by the Country Music News.
Pick any of his career singles or album cuts and you'll quickly hear the truth in his music. Angeline, Catalina Sunrise, I'd Rather Have You, A Cowboy's Heart, Suck It Up, Slow Turning, Centered, Dream Vacation, Silver Lining Girl, Travel Plans, Heartbreak Song, Better Angels Prevail; and many other singles have made Hogan a regular voice on Country radio in Canada and have recently started the journey for him in the U.S. as well.
During the floods in southern Alberta in June of this year, Hogan wrote a song inspired by seeing an interview of a man named Leonard Bearshirt who is a citizen of the Blackfoot nation. In Siksika, the homes on the reserves of the Blackfoot nation East of Calgary were decimated by the flooding. Sean, has a reputation for assisting charitable groups. 100% of the proceeds from downloads of the song, "Come Hell or High-water" (SEE WHAT LOVE CAN DO) are going to First Nations flood relief. The project is called Love Leads the Way and can be found on Facebook.
Sean has also been recording with many of his friends including Beverley Mahood, Jake Matthews, Patricia Conroy, Shane Yellowbird, Angela Harris, Pear, Wildflower and others including Amber Marshall of the television series, Heartland to produce a music video to go with the song.
It's been more than 15 years since his self-titled debut album, "Sean Hogan". With a current total now of 6 albums released in Canada Hogan's video profile has been strong too, with a remarkable 18 music videos on CMT in his career to date.
In 2004, inspired by a song he had written called It's Christmas Time", Hogan began the first of many annual Christmas tours called the Canadian Country Christmas tour. He has now toured the show for 7 years straight and has raised over $100,000. for various community charity events across Canada. Sean received the Humanitarian award for this efforts in 2005 with the Saskatchewan Country Music Association
Watch for upcoming live shows to be held in the Waterworks Theatre or attend the Open Mic sessions every second Saturday. For more information contact Warren at Warren's Music or at the door. (780) 352-8383 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org