David Egan was born into a musical family in Shreveport, Louisiana – a city whose cultural richness is often overlooked. While Jim Crow dragged on like a bad drummer, BB “Bird Brain” Davis kept the blues/R&B records spinning at KOKA. From the Municipal Auditorium KWKH blasted the Louisiana Hayride out to the entire nation. There were scores of record and music shops and there were hundreds of bands fuelling the neon brazen Bossier Strip, all beholding to their “Pappy” Hogan, the colorful pistol packing president of Musician’s Local 116. If you buy David a plate lunch and a cup of coffee he’ll fill you in on his memories of the musician’s union and the Bossier strip of his youth – many of these events and people have appeared in David’s songs through the years.
Growing up in a “symphony family” there were always singers, conductors, and other international performers coming through the Egan household and David credits this early exposure to the opera and musical theater for his love of a great melody. It is most likely also the root of his love for big meals served at 3am and his little known ability to sing the love duet (both parts) from ‘Madame Butterfly’, in made up Italian, without one shred of irony.
During these early years David spent many Sundays in church doodling band logos, stage plots, and song lyrics with his good friend Buddy Flett; both their mothers sang in the church choir. This was an important lesson in songwriting – David learned that although he might not ever be accused of being a multi-tasker he could, however, write a song just about anywhere at any time. David and Buddy’s most well known partnership is probably as members of the almost famous and certainly infamous, never-will-die Shreveport band “A-Train”. They competed against one another in creating songs for the group’s superlative singer Miki Honeycutt. Of course Buddy Flett is now an accomplished guitar player and songwriter and David’s most frequent writing partner.
After a short, unsuccessful stint at LSU as a freshman, he returned to Centenary College in Shreveport and it is there that an honest professor told him that his ambitions as an actor might be overly optimistic but that he had a real gift for music. David soon made the move to the prestigious music department at North Texas State in Denton, Texas and truly found his place. The study of jazz theory and composition in Denton would give David’s work a depth and sophistication that has lasted his entire career.
Next came the move to Nashville, where David was briefly the crankiest and most directionally challenged tour guide in the Music City. Thankfully, many tourists were spared his company when he joined the band of famous Cajun musician Jo-El Sonnier. This period on the road touring with Jo-El gave David the time to add to his songwriting catalog as well as a much deeper, invaluable knowledge of Cajun malapropisms.
It is at this time that David was signed with Bug Music and his first big “cut” happened. His song “Please No More (co-written with Greg Hansen) appeared on the Joe Cocker record “Night Calls”.
While traveling the Cajun music circuit David met a group of bearded musicians from the Lafayette area who had a band called Filé. Liking the easy-going attitude of these performers and loving the dance hall scene of South Louisiana, David moved back to his home state and joined the band. In Lafayette David felt immediately comfortable and inspired. Filé toured the world and David honed his piano-pounding, roadhouse chops and adopted a style of singing, meant to carry over a crowd of rowdy dancers, which he likens to a “field holler”. A high point for David during this time was touring with Creole fiddle legend Canray Fontenot.
While with Filé, David continued to add to his songwriting catalog, garnering cuts by artists like John Mayall, Percy Sledge, Irma Thomas, and Johnny Adams. He is also a member of that most elusive of mythical creatures, Lil’ Band ‘o Gold.
In 2001, encouraged by his songwriting success, David left Filé to write full time and pursue his dream of fronting his own band, playing his own songs. His songs have been on multiple Grammy-nominated records and in feature films. He was awarded a Louisiana Division of the Arts Fellowship, the state’s highest juried arts honor. He is now considered one of the country’s premier contemporary soul/blues songwriters.
David continues to live with his family in Lafayette, Louisiana – the center of the universe.