Jazz Fest Minutes: David Egan — 20 Years of Trouble
David Eagan is one of Louisiana's most recorded songwriters. A short list of artists covering his tunes includes Irma Thomas, Marcia Ball, Solomon Burke, Etta James, Joe Cocker, Mavis Staples, John Mayall and Johnny Adams.
Egan grew up in the music-rich environments of 1960s Shreveport.
"You had the whole chitlins-circuit thing," Egan said. "You had the Bossier Strip, which was, of course, somebody's going to write a great book about that someday; just a hotbed of neon and music and vice. All those clubs and everything. And you had the Louisiana Hayride."
And, in David Eagan's family, a strong classical influence.
"I grew up in a symphony family, and we had guest conductors and ballet dancers and guitar troupes staying at our house," he remembered. "Cast parties until four o'clock in the morning on school nights. An atmosphere of tolerance and a lot of eccentric people coming through the household. It was a lot of fun."
Eagan started writing songs in the fifth grade and has never stopped. He studied music at North Texas State, played for years with Filé, and built a strong track record through the 90s of getting tunes recorded. But ten years ago:
"Something made me just throw away any ambition for writing a song for anybody," Egan said. "I decided that if I didn't write the song in my own creative voice then the song wasn't going to be that much. So I started thinking more like an artist than just a songwriter."
David Egan and Twenty Years of Trouble play Jazz Fest Friday, May 3.