Hayden Fogle spent some time In Mississippi while growing up. Now – at the ripe old age of 13 – that early experience in the American South has seeped into what is already a blossoming musical virtuosity. Fogle plays the electric blues like a seasoned journeyman. His depth of soul, incisive phrasing and tendency to favor subtle nuance over flash suggests a musical maturity that belies his tender age.
I first encountered Fogle while sharing a bill at a local club, but I had already heard substantial buzz on this local “kid who is only 13, but plays the blues like someone who has been doing it for decades” from WBFO/97 Rock DJ and blues aficionado Anita West.
West wasn’t just whistling Dixie, as it turns out. Fogle, with his band the Treble Rousers – singer and music educator George Olmsted, bassist Todd Glosser, guitarist Sam Osmond and drummer Erik Schaumloeffel – blew me away that night, offering a set that blended traditional, Chicago-style electric blues with a contemporary edge and a dash of the junkyard strut of late-period Tom Waits. The whole band was tight and routinely turned on a dime, but Fogle’s playing in particular proved to be a head-turner. It was his phrasing, his supple, uber-clean tone and the seemingly effortless command of the blues vernacular that did the trick.
Happily, Fogle seems to be more about Hubert Sumlin than Stevie Ray Vaughan – which is to suggest that he has gone deeper into the roots of the idiom than most electric guitarists ever bother to dig. (This is certainly not meant to be a dis on Vaughan, who is quite likely the most virtuosic blues guitarist who ever lived. Rather, it’s to suggest that Fogle has very wisely gone directly to the source, in order, one supposes, to learn to walk before he runs.)
Fogle and the Treble Rousers held the crowd in the palm of their hands on that night. And this was not simply a case of older audience members thinking it was “cute” that these young men could play the blues. No. If you closed your eyes, you could easily imagine you were listening to players who had been living the blues for years. Great playing transcends age, at any rate, and these guys are certainly great players.
See (and hear) for yourself. Fogle and the Treble Rousers perform at 7 tonight in the Central Park Grill (2519 Main St.) as part of the weekly Anita West Blues Series. Admission is free. And a caveat – 7 p.m. really means 7 p.m., so get there on time.
Stuck in Traffic
Ask any musician, and they’ll likely tell you that Dave Mason is the man. But for some strange reason, he’s remained a cult artist for decades, despite the fact that he was a founding member of Traffic and is responsible for the enduring appeal of classics like “Feelin’ Alright,” as well as solo career gems such as “We Just Disagree” and “Only You Know and I Know.”
Of course, you can tell an awful lot about a musician by the company he or she keeps, and since emerging with Traffic in 1966, Mason has earned the friendship and peer respect of some of the greatest of the greats, among them Jimi Hendrix, Graham Nash, the Rolling Stones, George Harrison, Delaney & Bonnie, Joe Walsh and Fleetwood Mac.
Mason is a consummate songwriter, singer and guitarist. He performs at 8 p.m. Saturday in the intimate confines of the Bear’s Den in the Seneca Niagara Casino, exactly the sort of venue one might best enjoy such an artist’s gifts. Expect to hear plenty of Traffic, as well as a tour through several decades of Mason’s catalog. Tickets start at $40 (box office, Ticketmaster).