Songs From Third Act is a stunning, sad, funny, sexy and lovely collection of songs. Not your typical folk album, it goes beyond a generic genre label with the same intense introspection, empathy, honesty and craft that Townes Van Zandt defined and dared anyone to emulate. Few do. Alison Hogan does.
Singer/songwriter from Victoria, BC
Which box should you put my music in? There are so many: singer/songwriter, Americana, AAA, folk-rock, folk-pop, R+B, blues, country rock, synth-pop, emo, etc. I’ve written songs in just about every genre except rap or hip hop, but I’d venture to call what I’m doing these days “legacy folk” because I’ve been around for a long time in musician years…
Climb aboard the Wayback Machine, follow the links on my timeline to experience the journey, and follow me on Soundcloud to hear some old stuff and works-in-progress. Visit the News tab to get in the loop, and bookmark my Facebook for more updates.
I was born in Dublin, Ireland, and learned to walk on the Saxonia liner en route to Halifax. From there, we gravitated first to the prairies and then to the West Coast. After some years of going back and forth, we landed back in Vancouver smack in the middle of the Summer of Love in 1967. That was the beginning of my musical awakening.
There was an embarrassment of riches in the streets and on the airwaves: Great local bands playing psychedelic rock, R+B and country rock at funky little venues and high school dances and opening for the international acts at the cowsheds out at the PNE: United Empire Loyalists, Collectors, High Flying Bird, and Mother Tucker’s Yellow Duck, and Fireweed and the Cement City Cowboys, fantastic country rock bands that could hold their own on any stage. What a party!
For the record, my first Big Rock Show was Herman’s Hermits in Calgary in 1966. The second one was The Doors in Vancouver in 1968. Jim and his leather pants… Swoonsville! Meanwhile, on the radio: Beatles, Led Zep, Pink Floyd, CSNY, Chicago, Rolling Stones, The Guess Who, John Mayall, Chilliwack, BTO, Santana, The Byrds, Eric Burdon, Simon + Garfunkel, Motown, and some incredible singer / songwriters: Bruce Cockburn, Bob Dylan, Murray McLaughlin, Fred Neil, Randy Newman, John Prine, James Taylor, Jackson Browne, Judy Collins, Neil Young, Tom Rush, Joan Baez, Neil Young, and Joni Mitchell.
I immediately fell in love with Joni with her amazing tunings and deep, soul searching lyrical poetry. She is the gold standard in terms of masterful songwriting and fearless creative expression, and probably my greatest inspiration as a storyteller.
The photo above was taken during my first open mic experience in a seedy club called the Parlour on Main Street in Vancouver around the time I was getting ready to graduate from high school.
I made the bus trip to the downtown east side with my guitar in a green plastic garbage bag because I didn’t own a guitar case. Two or three loyal friends came along for moral support that first night.
It was exhilarating and terrifying all at the same time. A short (and shaky) set of Joni, Neil Young and CSNY covers was all I had to offer, but after that I was hooked. I chose the life of a performer and never looked back.
Island Girl * Denman Island BC * 1973
Songs from the Third Act is a bildungsroman. It is recollections, reflections, tales of lives come and gone, of hardship and heartbreak, but also of strength and triumph. Here Hogan proves that it is really never too late for anyone. And with this newfound confidence, hopefully there are more acts to come.
Divide + Conquer
Discs and downloads are available online at CD Baby and in-store at Neptoon Records in Vancouver BC.
Hear the single: All The King’s Horses