I was born in Pointe-aux-Trembles in Montreal but spent most of the '60s moving to various airforce bases and small towns in Ontario until settling in my parents' home province of Saskatchewan. This early experience led to a wanderlust that has marked my entire life with a collection of Canadian addresses that nearly covers the whole country. Most recently I lived in Glasgow for 7 years and got to see a good bit of Europe and the Mediterranean before returning to Canada in late 2014.
Music wasn't central to my early life, my family had one of those huge all-in-one piece-of-furniture stereos that housed a small collection of records - Elvis, Johnny Cash, Herb Alpert, and the like. Living in rural Saskatchewan offered very few opportunities to develop a wide appreciation of music; radio was limited to small-town local AM stations (and the plural didn't always apply) that featured mainly classic country music mixed with farming and funeral reports. There were also very few live shows except for a few years in the '70s when Melville's hockey arena would host rock concerts - my ears would ring for days after performances by Rush, Trooper, the Stampeders, Teeze, Streetheart, April Wine and Lighthouse - not exactly high culture but an education none-the-less.
At age 13 I began to learn to play the trombone; I don't know why I chose this instrument, likely no one else wanted it. Though I only played it for 3 years, I attribute a deep connection to music to this instrument - because it was a huge piece of vibrating brass that was firmly pressed against my jaw, it would literally resonate through my entire skeleton. I became addicted to this sensation and have been chasing it ever since. After abandoning the trombone I picked up the bass guitar and began to play shows at high school and town hall dances throughout Saskatchewan in a rock'n'roll cover band (Foghat, Rush, Moxie, Triumph, Budgie, Grand Funk Railroad… you get the picture). I did write some songs back then that, thank the rock gods, are entirely forgotten.
My love of progressive rock began to wane when I left Melville to study Political Economy through the Sociology department at the University of Lethbridge in the' 80s. These studies produced a political awakening that led me away from mainstream popular music and towards more socially conscious folk, jazz, and world music. I then became a self-described 'Folk Nazi' for too many years and unfortunately missed out on listening to tons of great music that was going on at the time. This period found me playing in folkesque groups in Winnipeg and Lethbridge (notably, Peri Coma with long time collaborator Gary Anderson, Stan Roger's Closet with Karen Solie, and the variously inspired folk/art project, Red Nixon Presents…).
In the early '90s I moved to Victoria where I was extremely lucky to start playing music with folks like Carolyn Mark, Tolan McNeil, Paul Pigat, Dave Lang, Garth Johnson, Davis P. Smith, Dwayne Strohm, and others. During this time I caught up with some of the music I had previously overlooked thanks to the influence of the people around me - I believe Tolan insisting that I listen to Double Nickels on the Dime started the awakening. The country music radio stations of my youth also returned to me and the music I was writing and playing reflected this simultaneous embrace of the new and the old. I began to perform and tour solo and with The Fixin's (see the Victoria folks mentioned above) before moving along again, this time to Vancouver. I got real lucky here. First Keith Rose and David MacAnulty (musicians I had and have long admired) approached me and offered not only their services as a rhythm section, but also rehearsal space in a micro brewery! Add to this occasional supporting roles from Ford Pier and Paul Rigby as well as the Victoria crowd and I was sitting pretty with an outfit called The Lougan Brothers (this being a playful take on The Louvin Brothers who I admire greatly). Thanks to these folks; particularly the generosity and massive talent of Tolan McNeil and the belief that Randy Iwata had in me, I released 2 CDs Mint Records - The Black Monk in 2002, and 7 Stories and 13 Songs in 2004.
2004 found me in Edmonton again after an earlier stint there in the mid-80s. Here I began playing with folks like Johnny Blerot, Brent Oliver (Slow Fresh Oil, The Maybellines), Mike Sadava, Marc Ladoucer, Ayla Brook and Mike Silverman (Old Reliable) under the banner The New Lougans. Then in 2007 I moved yet again, this time to Glasgow in Scotland where I lived for 7 years. I have worked in health and social care and community development for more than 30 years and, even though I find this work very rewarding, I always approached it as something I did to support my artistic aspirations. In Glasgow I decided to focus on developing my career in community development and, though I continued to sing, play guitar, and write daily, I took a break from performing. I have written elsewhere on this site about how inspiring my time in Glasgow was and won't repeat that now; I will say though that after taking a real good run at developing my professional career, it became very clear to me that I was happiest when making music my main pursuit and keeping my day job in a supportive role.
In 2014 I returned to Canada, once again settling in Edmonton. In February 2015 I went to Vancouver where I started the process of recording the songs I have written over the past 7 years. I have recruited Paul Rigby to produce and play on this recording which will be mixed and engineered by John Raham at Afterlife Studios, and which will also feature my old friends Keith Rose and David MacAnulty on bass and drums and will have guest appearances by Ford Pier and Tyler Greentree. 2015 will find me playing and touring with a band, small combo, and solo, as often as possible with hopefully a trip back across the pond.