4 Out Of 4 Stars

An early and extraordinarily flattering review of Hogan’s I Like To Keep Myself In Pain by WBEZ’s “Sound Opinions” co-host Jim DeRogatis. Click here for the review or just scroll down…

“Though she first made her impact on the music scene in Georgia in the ’90s, first as the golden voice of the star-crossed Jody Grind and then as a member of the Rock*A*Teens, Kelly Hogan has been Chicago’s sweetheart for more than a decade now, perhaps the brightest star in this city’s roots-rock/alt-country firmament. Yet whether she never quite found her ideal vehicle (and no disrespect to her jazzy cabaret experiments with Scott Ligon), or she just was overshadowed as she selflessly subsumed her considerable talents and expansive personality backing the likes of Jakob Dylan, Mavis Staples, the Drive-By Truckers and most of all her pal Neko Case, she never won the widespread attention she so richly deserved.

“I wanted to be loved by the world,” Hogan coos at one point on her debut for Anti- Records. With the stellar I Like to Keep Myself in Pain, she gives ample reason why the world needs to reciprocate—and she gives us a masterpiece.

As if her new role as a label mate of Tom Waits, Joe Henry and Kate Bush wasn’t impressive enough, or we wouldn’t have been sufficiently wowed by a backing band that includes Booker T. Jones, James Gadson (Beck) and Gabe Roth (the Dap-Kings), Anti- enabled Hogan to tap a mind-boggling list of songwriters who stepped forward to give her their tunes, ranging from John Wesley Harding and Stephin Merritt to Andrew Bird and Robyn Hitchcock.

Though I’d heard that some impressive names had contributed to this disc, I trashed the press release that came with my advance and purposely avoided looking up the credits on the Net, the better to listen to the album as an album—Hogan’s album, and no one else’s. It is, and I don’t believe this exercise alone led to that conclusion.

Whether it’s pulling off the unlikely feat of channeling a boozy Frank Sinatra as he makes a late-night confession about his boundless ambition and subsequent neglect as Nancy’s dad (“Daddy’s Little Girl,” written by M. Ward), turning what might have been surrealism and sarcasm into probing self-analysis (in the title track, by Hitchcock) or flipping the script on a rollicking kiss-off tune and injecting unexpected soul into a bar-band sing-along (Jon Langford’s “Haunted”), Hogan not only shows her vocal power and diversity, swinging from giddy ’60s girl-group pop to weepy old-school country and from sultry soul to gritty rock, she proves that her biggest strength is in the lost art of interpretation, finding deeper and sometimes unexpected meanings in the tunes she sings, and making us feel every note.”

Kelly Hogan Announces Live Dates

Kelly Hogan

Nationally touted singer Kelly Hogan has announced the live dates in support of her new album I Like To Keep Myself In Pain out June 5th via Anti- Records.

Hogan is a beloved figure throughout the contemporary music landscape, and a multi-faceted artist whose warm southern persona and powerful voice have left their mark on countless recordings and live performances. She was recently touted “a national treasure” by colleague, friend, and former Chicago neighbor, Andrew Bird, while acclaimed singer-songwriter M. Ward simply states, “Kelly Hogan rules.”

On her new album, Hogan curates an ambitious and moving labor of love, mining the perfect intersection between classic pop, country and soul. She utilizes her incredible voice to interpret compositions penned for her by musical luminaries including Vic Chesnutt, The Magnetic Fields, The Mekons’ Jon Langford, The Handsome Family, Freakwater’s Catherine Irwin, John Wesley Harding, Robbie Fulks, Gabriel Roth, Robyn Hitchcock, and the aforementioned M. Ward and Andrew Bird.

On the record she is backed by an all-star group of musicians: R&B legends Booker T Jones and James Gadson (Bill Withers, Beck), as well as talented young lions Gabriel Roth (of Daptone Records, The Dap-Kings) and Hogan’s long-time collaborator Scott Ligon (of the newly resurrected NRBQ).

Hogan will open Chicago’s Millennium Park Pritzker Pavillion Downtown Sound: New Music Mondays season as headliner with a free show on May 28 in Chicago, IL and perform two other headlining Chicago-area shows (Space and Fitzgeralds) during the release week of I Like To Keep Myself In Pain. She will also appear on the St. Louis festival Twangfest and support Neko Case on dates in July. Stay tuned for more touring announcements.

Kelly Hogan live:

  • 5/28/2012 Chicago, IL @ Millennium Park (Free Outdoor Show!) #
  • 6/7/2012 St. Louis, MO @ the Duck Room at Blueberry Hill (Twangfest!!) TICKETS
  • 6/8/2012 Evanston, IL @ Space # TICKETS
  • 6/9/2012 Berwyn, IL @ Fitzgerald’s # TICKETS
  • 7/3/2012 Davenport, IA @ Adler Theatre ^ TICKETS
  • 7/13/2012 Richmond, VA @ National * TICKETS
  • 7/14/2012 Raleigh, NC @ National North Carolina Museum of Art *
  • 7/16/2012 Millvale, PA @ Mr. Small’s Theatre (Pittsburgh) * TICKETS

# = headlining
* = supporting Neko Case
^ = supporting Wilco

Hogan On Seattle’s KEXP

Chris Scruggs, Kelly Hogan, and Casey McDonough in the KEXP music library 4/3/12 (Photo by Colby Perry)

DJ El Toro will be airing a session that Kelly Hogan recorded with KEXP on April 3rd with her bandmates Chris Scruggs and Casey McDonough. From the man himself, “The Kelly Hogan taping was insane. Don’t miss it!!!”

Find the performance and interview permanently archived in the “On Demand” section of KEXP’s website.

Kelly Hogan Signs To Anti-, New Album June 5

Kelly Hogan, "I Like To Keep Myself In Pain"

Kelly Hogan’s new solo album I Like To Keep Myself In Pain will be coming out June 5th on Anti. On it Hogan curates an ambitious and moving labor of love, mining the perfect intersection between classic pop, country and soul. She utilizes her incredible voice to interpret compositions penned for her by musical luminaries including M. Ward, Vic Chesnutt, Magnetic Fields, the Mekons’ Jon Langford, the Handsome Family, Bird, Freakwater’s Catherine Irwin, John Wesley Harding, Robbie Fulks, Gabriel Roth and Robyn Hitchcock.

She is backed on the album by an absolutely all-star band consisting of R&B legends Booker T. Jones and James Gadson (Bill Withers, Beck) as well as talented young lions Gabe Roth (of Daptone Records, the Dap-Kings) and Scott Ligon.

To hear Kelly Hogan’s “We Can’t Have Nice Things” care of Pitchfork.com, go to:

Kelly Hogan’s I Like To Keep Myself In Pain is the record of a lifetime by a beloved talent. From her time fronting acclaimed bands The Jody Grind and Rock*A*Teens, to her role as, what she proudly calls “the noble sideman” with artists such as Neko Case, Mavis Staples, Jakob Dylan and many others, it has all been leading directly to this moment, and this unforgettable new album.

“This record is my history and all my acquired tools and these really amazing songs that people sent me,” Hogan says. “I’m just this person who loves music. And it’s my life. And I hope that people love the songs as much as I do and I hope people will listen to them and make out to them.”

I Like To Keep Myself In Pain Track Listing
Dusty Groove (Catherine Irwin)
We Can’t Have Nice Things (Jack Pendarvis/Andrew Bird)
I Like To Keep Myself In Pain (Robyn Hitchcock)
Haunted (Jon Langford)
Daddy’s Little Girl (M. Ward)
Golden (Kelly Hogan)
Ways Of This World (Vic Chesnutt)
Slumber’s Sympathy (Gabriel Roth)
Plant White Roses (Magnetic Fields)
Sleeper Awake (John Wesley Harding)
The Green Willow Valley (Handsome Family)
Whenever You’re Out Of My Sight (Robbie Fulks)
Pass On By (Margaret Ann Rich)