After laying out all the songs for the upcoming banjo instrumental recording, and trying to come up with a title that encompasses the running theme, I’ve decided to name the album "Hogan's House of Music.”
I grew up as a teenaged banjo and guitar player working for my Dad’s rock and roll music store, Hogan’s House of Music, in Lawndale, California. I was really into traditional bluegrass when I started working there at 16, in 1980 – Flatt & Scruggs, Bill Monroe, Jimmy Martin, J.D. Crowe, the Osborne Brothers, Reno & Smiley, Larry Sparks, the Stanley Brothers, Ralph Stanley, and others. The Hogan’s employees were hilariously funny, most of them musicians (Gilby Clarke went on to play with Guns and Roses and have his own career). The guys played Eric Clapton, Skynyrd, the Eagles, Pat Metheny, Fleetwood Mac, Leslie West, ZZ Top, B.B. King, Boston, Foreigner, and many more on the store stereo. When I was working sales, I’d be hearing all that music for several hours a day, and then head home to learn from people like J.D. Crowe and Earl Scruggs.
But those sounds from Hogan’s eventually began to affect me. At about 19 or 20 I started buying recordings of other genres – particularly electric guitar players like Larry Carlton, Pat Metheny, B.B. King, Eric Clapton, and Roy Nichols with Merle Haggard, among others. I worked for Hogan’s for about five years, and quit just before I went out to South Plains College for two semesters. Hogan’s House of Music was the first and the last day job I ever had.
In making this banjo record, I am combining a lot of these influences that I love. The underlay is found in those traditional bluegrass sounds of Jimmy Martin, J.D. Crowe, Lester and Earl. There’s some banjo craziness a la Sonny Osborne, Don Reno single-string, old-time fiddle tunes, bluesy tunes with electric guitar influences, and a hint of Leon Rhodes and the Texas Troubadours. It will be recorded in the next three days. Barry Bales, Dan Tyminski, Adam Steffey, Sam Bush, Lynn Williams, Stuart Duncan, Clay Hess, Byron House, Sierra Hull, Mark Fain, Alison Krauss, and Jerry Douglas will all take part.
Source “Ron Block.” ronblock.com. Accessed September 21, 2018.
Band: Ron Block
Release Date: September 25, 2015
Label: Hogan's House of Music