He’s a singer. A songwriter. A piano man. A family man. He’s even got his own Wikipedia entry. He’s David Egan. And he knows ancient secrets about the monolithic stones of Stonehenge that he’s not willing to share. Here are some other little known facts about Egan: He once calculated the exact location of a dead star, using only a shoe horn. He does not play a keytar. When asked to provide proof of God’s existence, Egan produced a Jew’s harp and proceeded to play Mountain’s “Mississippi Queen.”
Egan is a Louisiana treasure of song. In addition to fronting his own band and being a member of Lil Band O’ Gold, Egan’s tunes have been covered by the likes of Solomon Burke, Irma Thomas, Joe Cocker, Percy Seldge and many others. His albums Twenty Years of Trouble and You Don’t Know Your Mind are undeniable, scientific proof that Egan still has some fish to fry in the skillet pan of creativity. And he ain’t done yet! His new album promises to be a sacred cranial masterpiece full of high strokes, confident blokes, wiggling worms of mushy tokes.
History of Dave Egan in five words, more or less?
He seldom finishes what he ...
Why Dave Egan musician, why not Dave Egan: bearded sorcerer or snake juggling preacher?
That Fortenbery fellow already got the gig.
If you could change careers, what would you be interested in doing?
I would have a Chinese BBQ called Happy Duck on Jefferson Street with ducks, chickens and crispy pork hanging up in the window, a Chinese guy with a cleaver up there chopping away, seven days a week. Open late. Packed with 27-year-old hungry Bohemians.
Worst gig ever?
Solo gig at a mom & pop steak house in Frisco, Texas. I subbed for a friend. I had never done a solo gig. I had no repertoire. I was reading country standard lyrics out of his notebooks. Songs I had never attempted and never should’ve. I tried “I Love You More Today than Yesterday” by Spiral Staircase because I knew the melody and thought I could read the words and chords at the same time. But what I didn’t realize was how high the vocals would soar at the chorus — out of my range and into the stratosphere. Two lines into that huevo-busting chorus, I had to end the song. But my nervous foot, involuntarily hopping up and down, kept setting off the phony baloney ’70s push-button rhythm box. So I had to end it again. A geezer yelled from his table, “You go to hell!”
Best gig ever?
I’m happy to say there are simply far, far too many of those. Sometimes huge and sometimes very intimate, but deeply gratifying. But one among many would be Piano Night at House of Blues a few years back. There were scores of pianists there who could smoke me, pick my bones and toss me out onto the dungheap. I did some originals — good ol’ “Spoonbread,” “Twenty Years of Trouble,” Clifton’s “I’m a Farmer” and “Dreamer.” I took a bow to a raging, standing ovation, packed from the apron to the balconies, screaming for more.
You’re known for playing piano, and we love it, but do you ever get the primal urge to get leathered up, grab a BC Rich Warlock guitar, and quench the steel with some ungodly riffage?
Piano is not exactly a face-melting instrument. But it’s a harsh mistress, and more than enough for me to handle.
Worst song ever heard?
That song from The Sound of Music where they’re performing for the Nazis. It’s horrible and gives me reflux, while at the same time, hitting some twisted funny bone. This scene must have influenced your buddy, Quentin.
Name a song that has grown on you over the years?
“If I Loved You” from Carousel.
Most requested song when doing piano gigs at restaurants and bars?
Honestly, “Bourbon in My Cup” (from Egan’s You Don’t Know Your Mind.)
Piano man: Billy Joel? Thoughts? Why do Yankees/northerners like Billy Joel so much?
He’s a damn fine singer and piano player. There are truly some lovely songs, but overall, not my cup of tea. Sometimes his songs will rave on and on over an idea that’s simply not so good. “Piano Man” is good, but a request for it kind of tells me that the requestor has no imagination or capacity to hear anybody do anything they haven’t had passively beat into them for 40 years.
What’s up with the new record? What’s new? What’s the same? What’s different? Give us your best pitch.
I have fantastical confidence in the new record. It cannot be denied and will be hard for me to ever top. Lil’Buck, Buddy Flett, Bruce MacDonald, Dickie Landry and many others bring their gifts. We recorded and mixed the entire project at Dockside, which was a first. I spent so much that I had to halt production for months at a time, to gather up more money. But it was a good thing, because it gave the creative process a chance to breathe as well. The official release date is June 4 and I don’t want KRVS to peak on it before the rest of the world even hears it. I want Cecil Doyle to be the first guy to play it on air. I’m doing a special Jazz Fest “Pre-Release,” making it available at Jazz Fest and LA Music Factory. But I’m selling a few off the gigs, and giving away quite a few. So many hipsters and home peeps around here. Gotta take care of my peoples. I kept it under wraps for so long. I can finally start throwing out a few. I think a lot of folks, if they’re honest, will say, “Holy Shit.”
Something no one knows about Dave Egan?
I like to watch “Your Health” with the Beckers.