Born at a kitchen table of a 160 year old house in the middle of nowhere…
The Bogart Jones Band was initially conceived with an "I'll show you M****r f***er" sort of attitude, as I had just come out of a rather popular local rock band with Ryan (Rose Guitar/Vocals), and he was the “star” of that band..
He was an excellent performer/guitarist with flowing locks and a vocal range that made most female singers envious! (He still has two out of three of those attributes.. and like the old Meatloaf song says.. “two out of three ain’t bad"..LOL).
Ryan had announced to the group that he would be leaving to pursue other ventures, and we knew we couldn’t go on without him and if we did it just wouldn’t be the same... I was pretty disappointed, but looking back, I’m glad that was the way it went down, because it really lit a fire under me to focus on writing new music.
Writing had always been a sort of therapy for me, from a very young age. I have a green plastic tote at home full of notebooks containing lyrics, poems, stories and such… most of my life is on those pages in one way or another.
In the beginning I asked a couple of friends if they would be interested in working on a few original songs. We put together a list of about 12 and started working them out in my basement…
…and The Bogart Jones Band was born…
I guess that makes Ryan a founding member then doesn’t it!?!LOL!
The first thing Ryan said when he heard that band was, “Where the hell have those songs been?!?”
Back then there wasn’t much of a market, where we lived, for original acts that didn’t play hard rock or metal of some sort, so that first generation of the band didn’t last long. Without shows to build a following or generate money to fund recording studio sessions, the band eventually fell apart…
As time went on, Ryan and I mended our bridges, and made several attempts at re-lighting the Bogart Jones flame. We collaborated on new music, recorded a demo or two, played a few shows with a few different lineups, but they all eventually fizzled out for whatever reasons...
Fast forwarding a few years… circa early 2013
Ryan had gotten into home recording and produced a demo for a band that I was in with Ty Bailey(percussion), that promptly imploded right as the demo was finished. I had been writing some new stuff for that band, so Ryan and I decided to take another shot at collaborating on some music…
…and it sure didn’t hurt the situation that he had the ways and the means to record our progress properly this time…
Ryan and I spent a good deal of time working with several different drummers and guitar players (Ryan was insistent that there were at least two, if not three guitars players in the band)… some great players came through the door of his studio, but for one reason or another we couldn’t seem to get anyone to lock into it.. it was starting to get frustrating!!
Around this time, Ryan had been working with Gary Richrath (of REO Speedwagon fame), and asked me if I wanted to audition for Gary’s band, who was looking for a bass player and drummer to form a band and do some regional touring and potentially an album. I wound up auditioning with Timmy Fiers (Drums) on drums, and we were both offered the gig, on the spot!
Ryan and I had discussed calling Tim about playing with Bogart anyway, so we talked to him about it after the GRB audition and he agreed to give it a shot. Once Timmy got behind the kit and started playing the songs with us, it didn’t take long for us to know that he was the guy, and for him to know that he wanted to be a part of it!
Finally having a solid core (or “the Tripod” as we called it) in place… We set a course, and steamed ahead with writing and recording what would become 14th and Willow.
All while still rehearsing twice a week with the Gary Richrath Band. Which we would continue to do until his untimely passing in the early fall of 2015..
~Gary was a hero to all of us when we were growing up. To be in a band with the man was a gift that none of us thought we would ever receive. The Bogart Jones Band very well may have just fizzled again had it not been for Gary and the fire that he relit under our behinds.. and for that, we will forever be indebted.. RIP Old Friend~
We all knew we wanted a big band with a big sound, so we continued to try to add pieces to the puzzle as we went. We next asked my former bandmate Ty Bailey(percussion) if he would be interested in bolstering the rhythm section with his vibe and percussion chops, and he enthusiastically came into the fold bringing his ebb and flow to the music, and his vibe to the room… he’s the glue man!! And our spiritual leader!!
We pray before we play!! That’s how we roll!!LOL!
With the rhythm section in place, and the album taking shape, we set out to play a few shows in the spring of 2015. We maintained the, “If we build it they will come" attitude. We tried a couple people out but nothing really seemed to stick. One evening we took the band to a well known open mic jam, just to try some songs out and see how the crowd would respond to them.
That was the first time I met Curt Caudill (Keyboards/Vocals). Curt was playing keys in the host band for the open mic, and was just a genuine badass on the keys and he immediately caught our attention. Ryan tapped me on the shoulder halfway through the host bands first song and said,”Hey man! Check out our new keyboard player!” After our set I walked up to him and introduced myself, then looked him straight in the eyes and said "your going to be in our band"…LOL! He probably thought I was full of it… but about two weeks later he had joined the band!
We nearly had the group completed but the search for another guitar player was becoming increasingly more frustrating. The players we thought would fit didn’t seem to want in and the ones that wanted in didn’t seem to fit. Ryan was selling an effects pedal, on line, and his old friend and former band mate Don Mabus (Guitar/Vocals) contacts him about the pedal, then mentions that he heard our “teaser” clip from the record, and that if we ever decided to add another guitar player… Ryan replied, “Wellll now that you mention it…” Don is a fantastic player, vocalist, and songwriter as well! He and Curt had both toured with Jim McCarty of Yardbirds fame. From the first song of our first rehearsal we knew that Don(Sunny D) was the guy..
That was it! This puzzle MANY years in the making was now FINALLY complete!!
Our debut album, 14th and Willow, (which is the address of the place that Tim, Ryan, and I rehearsed with The Gary Richrath Band) was released in February 2016 and dedicated to Gary’s memory.
In less than 12 months the album has received critical acclaim and airplay from all over the world.
We couldn’t be more proud of it!!
We are currently working on a new release scheduled for late 2017, and playing shows anywhere they will have us!!
In my 30 years of playing music I have never felt such pride, love, and fellowship in a band. We are truly a band of brothers, all equal in our roles. All for one and one for all, there are no individuals in this band and it comes through in our music. The name Bogart Jones means “All or Nothing”, and the puzzle is only complete when all the pieces are present!
Thanks to all our friends and fans for a great 2016!!
As we slide into 2017, we can’t wait to see what the future holds!
Thanks again and God bless.. Hope to see ya at a show.
Peace, Love, and Good Music