Mike Hughey, Randy Hoggatt, John Loffer and Rik Tanos
In their own words
Mike Hughey: Rhythm Guitar, Lead/Backup Vocals, Songwriter, Recording/Sound Engineer
I was born November 9, 1950 in Coffeyville, KS. I’m married to Kim and we have two sons, Cambron and Johnas. I started playing guitar when I was 15. I’ve been writing since 1973 and have written hundreds of songs, most of which will never make it on any of our stuff, but I had fun writing them. My favorite music is classic rock and some new stuff. My favorite artists are; Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, Sarah McLachlan, The Eagles, Steely Dan, Fleetwood Mac, The Goo Goo Dolls, Pink Floyd, Jewel, Sheryl Crow, Stevie Nicks, and of course The Beatles, just to name a few.
Besides playing guitar, singing, and writing, I’m the sound and recording engineer for the band. I’ve been engineering for over 25 years and really enjoy it. This new digital equipment is a dream to work with and I love it. I really don’t know what I enjoy the most, playing, writing, or engineering. I guess I love it all.
Randy and I have this thing about writing. We write all of the songs. I usually write the music and he writes the words. I have no idea how that happened, it just did. We are each very capable of doing both, but somehow it just works out best this way. All I know is we have written some kick ass songs and I truly feel that we have a number of hits on our hands if we can just get them to the right people. I can’t think of anything I would rather be doing with my time than picking with Randy. We are starting on our 32nd year of friendship and picking together. Who knows what the years ahead will bring.
My personal equipment list: Gibson 2001 Historical reissue of a 1962 J-50 with factory Fishman natural 1 pick-up, Epiphone 2005 Dot 335 Deluxe electric, and for effects I use a Digitech RP50.
Randy Hoggatt: Lead/Rhythm Guitar, Lead/Backup Vocals, Songwriter
I was born September 8, 1953 in Coffeyville, KS. I’m single. I have 3 sons, Kyle, Danny, Darin, and a daughter Natilie. I have 4 grandchildren. I come from a long line of musicians dating back to the 1880’s and all are from the Coffeyville area. I started playing guitar and singing at the age of 4. My father, my favorite guitarist, would take me along to gigs and have me sing all the old country standards.
Normal life of the times continued and then upon my release from the Navy, I came back to Coffeyville and met a fellow Nam Vet, Mike Hughey. We decided to jam one night on acoustic guitars. After several sessions, we felt a certain magic between our playing and singing, especially harmony parts. Already having a drummer in my family, Ron Hoggatt who is my cousin and a bass player, Terry Gilpin, who had played bass for my brother for years, Mike and I decided to form a band and that was the beginning of The Verdigris Valley Boys, River Road, The RiverRoad Band, and now Verdigris. After River Road broke up, Mike and I spent several years apart pursuing other interests.
In 1998, Terry moved back to Coffeyville and started jamming with Mike, Kim, and Ron. They finally talked me in to coming over and jamming with them. It felt like we had never quit playing together. The connection between Mike and I seemed to have advanced though we had been far apart in the music scene for many years. When we got back together, we felt the magic had increased. Only now it seems the music comes faster to Mike and the words that fit his songs come faster to me. I find it amazing, hope you do to.
After the release of our first CD, we discovered the possibilities of our music with the use of the new digital studio equipment. We are getting more sophisticated with our writing and producing and the new CD we are working on now is going to be far more intricate than our first one. Thank God we all lived long enough to get back together after 23 years, and we’re making better music than we ever have.
My personal equipment list: 2003 Austin 335 copy, 1969 Gibson J-50 acoustic with Fishman Rare Earth single coil in hole pick-up, 2005 Epiphone AJ-200S with Fishman Rare Earth single coil in hole pick-up, Alvarez 12 string acoustic, Global banjo, and for effects I use a Digitech RP300.
John Loffer: Drums
I was born a double Virgo at 5:45AM on August 28, 1956 into a vocally talented family. I was tested for musical talent in the fourth grade. The guy that tested me said the last thing I would ever be was a drummer. I played my first professional gig at the age of 15 as a drummer. I played in the stage band, marching band, and the International Lions band which won 2nd place in the World competition in 1973 and took 3rd in 1974. I backed Stan Kenton with my high school stage band in 1971.
In 1978 I recorded an album with the band Beyond. The album title was Beyond Music, but the album didn’t do so well at first , however recently we’ve received orders from collectors in Europe and received air time in Florida.
After Beyond dissolved I went back to cover bands such as Tumbleweed, Falcon Eddy, The Promiscuous Slam Hounds and Predator. I went into retirement after Predator vowing that I was tired of setting up, tearing down, travel, and the whole bar scene.
After 10 years I was saved by a call from Mike Hughey asking me to play on a CD him and Randy Hoggatt were making. I had played with Randy in Predator and knew Mike from the local music scene. I was happy to work with them and the CD entitled “Changes” was released. When Mike and Randy started their next CD they asked me to play drums on it, so I bought a new set of Yamaha Digital drums. Since things were working out so well, Mike and Randy asked me to become a member of Verdigris. I was happy to except their offer and now life is back for me as a drummer except this time I’m having fun.
My personal equipment list: Yamaha DTXPress II Digital Drum Kit and a pre Ludwig Ghost Pedal (sweet).
Rik Tanos: Bass
I was born in Niagara Falls, Canada in 1951. Like most, I started my music career being influenced by the highly charged music scene of the mid sixties. Drums, my first choice, was changed to Bass Guitar and with my best friend, Tom Shapton, our first band was formed – “Plastic World Exodus.” The band steadily evolved and after adding to the set list most of Deep Purple’s first Album and Iron Butterfly’s classic ‘In-a-gadda-da-vida,’ we found ourselves in demand and playing almost every weekend. In 1969, after four years, the band broke up as drummer, Rick Taylor ventured to Vancouver, British Columbia, to record folk music while organist, Tom Shapton continued with “Humble Pie.” Lead guitarist, John Richards continued playing with local bands and as for me… I put my Bass guitar to bed and became a varsity hockey player at a community college.
One night while visiting, thirty years later, and after far too many Molson’s, my son Rich, my brother Ron, and my cousin Carl, and I all agreed to take a year to learn three classic songs. I would return the following summer at which time we would video our efforts. On July 4, 1999 at the Mill Pond Studios in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada, after three days of intense practicing is when the Tanos family along with various guest musicians rocked the packed parking lot full of family and friends. “It was the best day of my life!” – Ron Tanos, drummer, 1963-2003
Once back in Florida, and with a renewed fire to play again, I began looking around for opportunities. A band “Buzz Bomb” just lost their bassist opening a door where I played my first professional gig at a Biker wedding on the Indian River just north of Sebastian. Within the month I found a band in an airport warehouse totally in Bass distress. Not only did they have a good reputation within the area, but they were extremely talented. I quickly joined and “Tangent,” was formed only to be renamed after two short months to “Residue,” before the release of the bands second CD, titled “Reversing the Curse.”
After a year of performing in Central Florida, the band refocused on recording their third CD, titled, “Spaces.” However, personally I still needed to play to satisfy my weekend warrior craving, so I joined a working trio called “Midnight Rider.” The burnout took about fourteen months, at which time my old band “Residue,” was now ready to play. Not only did our set list dramatically change, but the band changed its name to “Big Empty.”
Now, to Coffeyville… In the spring of 2004, as a retirement move, my wife and I decided to liquidate everything in Florida, except of course the music equipment, and relocate to a more relaxed down-sized environment a bit closer to her mid-America family roots. On December 10, Elaine and I arrived on 5th Street and took ownership of a charming brick home with a fantastic wrap around porch. It didn’t take long before I started asking about the music scene and got Randy Hoggatt’s phone number. I called him on Christmas Day. After listening to their first two CD’s at Mike Hughey’s OldNewDam studio, not only did I become totally excited from what I had heard, but I liked Mike’s direction and attitude for the band. After I met Randy and John Loffer at my audition on Friday, December 30th, my move to Coffeyville suddenly had a reason – “Verdigris” now has a Bassist.
My personal equipment list: 2003 Peavey Fury IV Bass
Copyright © 2017 Verdigris. All rights reserved.