I feel it’s my job to make each style of music groove and live from the drumming perspective. My goal is to listen, react and interpret, while still expressing myself.
Performing and Session Musican History
I have been playing drums professionally since 1980. During this time I have had the opportunity to play in many different musical styles.
In 1980 I joined a local blues band, The Stephen Barry Band, with whom I had the honor of backing up blues legends Big Mama Thornton and Buddy Guy. Through this band I also began a musical relationship, which carries to this day, with Michael Jerome Browne, considered now to be Canada’s premier roots and blues music artist.
I began playing with Kate and Anna McGarrigle in the early 80’s, which also gave me the opportunity to work with incredible roots music artists such as Emmylou Harris, Loudon Wainwright, Richard Thompson and others. I’ve worked for many years on and off with a local guitar legend, Jimmy James, and in 1987 the two of us worked with Michel Pagliaro for two years of touring and recording. In the early 2000’s I worked with another Quebec icon, Jean-Pierre Ferland, with whom I made two CD’s and toured around the province.
In 2005 I reunited with the McGarrigle sisters again for more touring and recordings, including a concert at New York’s legendary Carnegie Hall.
I have played and/or recorded with: Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, Richard Thompson, Teddy Thompson, Kate and Anna McGarrigle, Buddy Guy, Big Mama Thornton, Pine Top Perkins, Kenny Pearson, Loudon Wainwright, Rufus Wainwright, Martha Wainwright, Danny Thompson, Norma Waterson, Michel Pagliaro, Jean Pierre Ferland, Michel Rivard, Jimmy James, Brian Greenway, Bobby Cohen, Susie Arioli, Sue Foley and many many others.
Musical Philosophy & Styles
Blues & Rock
Starting out with the “power trio” style, it has remained for me one of the strongest musical places for me to express myself. From there, it is blues music that I have spent the most years consistently performing, and I have had excellent teachers in this style; specifically, many of the musicians I have played and recorded with over the years. I feel now that I can really express myself and stay true to the musical form in blues to a very high level.
Folk, Roots and R&B
I have also gotten into the folk/roots music scene, which has lent itself very well toward blues playing as well as other traditional roots/American music. R&B, soul and funk music have also played huge part in my musical education, and are still some of my favorite styles to play.
Finally, as a branch off of the power trio style: fusion, or electric jazz if you prefer, is an approach that I really love listening to and playing. I have had a lack of actual band experience in this style, compared to other music, but it has none-the-less captured my imagination, and led me on the path of extreme technical drumming goals. The music of Frank Zappa particularly, has always been some of my favorite; and in fact one of my earliest dreams was to perform in his band. This has led me to actually learning his music as a drummer, getting down to all the rhythmic intricacies that are involved in playing his music.
I also spent two years informally studying jazz music, and this experience opened many doors to musical enlightenment, as well as the ability to improvise within a form. Though I don’t consider myself a jazz musician, I enjoy it immensely and am comfortable playing in this style. Knowledge of musical history, as well, I have learned, is crucial to interpretation of musical forms, and I have also done a lot of listening to the origins of specific styles to attempt to understand them better.
So, as I slowly put all of this together, I learned how to make each style of music live and groove from the drumming perspective; how to listen, react and interpret, while still expressing myself. This has become the single most important element of performing for me and as an obvious extension, my teaching philosophy.
Know and understand the style, play for the music, play for the song and be yourself.”
My drumming influences are as varied as the styles I love to play. They include Ringo Starr, Jim Keltner, John Bonham, and Steve Gadd, as well as Mitch Mitchell, Billy Cobham, Terry Bozzio, Vinnie Colaiuta, Dennis Chambers and Steve Smith.
If you think I might work with any of your musical projects, don’t hesitate to get in touch to chat.
Get in Touch
I am always looking for new musical projects. If you think I might be a good fit, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
John McColgan Selected Discography
|Kate and Anna McGarrigle||The McGarrigle Christmas Hour||Nonesuch||2005||With Emmylou Harris, Rufus and Martha Wainwright|
|Kate and Anna McGarrigle||La Vache Qui Pleure||les Disques de la Tribu||2003|
|Kate and Anna McGarrigle||The McGarrigle Hour||Rykodisk||1998||(Juno award winner) With Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, Loudon, Rufus and Martha Wainwright|
|Jean-Pierre Ferland||Live||GSI Musique||2001|
|Jean-Pierre Ferland||L’amour C’est De L’Ouvrage||GSI Musique||1999|
|Michael Jerome Browne||That’s Where it’s At||Borealis||2019|
|Michael Jerome Browne||The Road is Dark||Borealis||2011|
|Michael Jerome Browne||This Beautiful Mess||Borealis||2008|
|Michael Jerome Browne||Double||Borealis||2007|
|Michael Jerome Browne||Drive On||Borealis||2001|
|Michael Jerome Browne||Self titled||Les Disques Bros||1998|
|Emmylou Harris||Tammy Wynette Remembered||Asylum records||1998||(various artists tribute album)|
|Jean-Pierre Ferland||Sous Peine D’ Amour||Audiogram Records||1998|
|Michel Pagliaro||Dangereaux/Les bombes||Alert records||1987|
|Gogh Van Go||Bliss Station||Audiogram Records||1996|
|Gogh Van Go||Gogh Van Go||Audiogram Records||1993||(Juno award winner)|
|Norma Waterson||The Very Thought Of You||Rykodisk||1999||With Richard Thompson, Martin Carthy and Danny Thompson|
|The Stephen Barry Band||The Gold Record||Les Disques Bros||1998|
|The Stephen Barry Band||Happy Man||Les Disques Bros||1995|
|The Stephen Barry Band||Here on the Highway||Les Disques Bros||1994|
|The Stephen Barry Band||Blues Under A Full Moon||Les Disques Bros||1990|
|Susie Arioli||Learn To Smile Again||Justin Time||2005|
|Nancy Dumais||Le Nombril||Universal||2001|
|Vann 'Piano Man' Walls||In the Evening||Disques Bros||1997|
|Rene Simard||E=MC2||Guy Cloutier Productions||1993|
|Eddie C. Campbell||Mind Trouble||Stichting pop Nederlands||1986|
Selected Tour Credits
|Bonham Drum Show||Plaza Theatre, Montreal||Nov. 8th 2016|
|McColgan Plays Zappa||Solo Drum Studio||May 17th 2015|
|Biggy's Resto, St. Jerome, QC||May 22nd 2016|
|From the Blues to the Black Page||Sala Rossa, Montreal||2008|
|Labelle Musique, Valleyfield, QC||2006|
|Archambault Musique, Trois Rivieres, Quebec||2005|
|Le Musicien D"Oz Music store, Quebec city||2005|
|Solo Drum Studio, Montreal||2004|
|Jimmy James Band||Montreal Jazz Fest, Montreal||2011|
|Mont Tremblant Blues Fest, Quebec||2010-2018|
|Festival de Blues de Beauport||2010|
|Michael Jerome Browne||L'Astral, Montreal||2010|
|Harrison Hotsprings folk fest, BC||2009|
|Ottawa folk fest, Ottawa Ontario||2009|
|Western Canada tour||2009|
|Eden Brent||Montreal International Jazz Fest||2009|
|Ottawa Blues Fest||2009|
|Sue Foley||Concerts in Ontario, Quebec and U.S.||2008|
|Kate and Anna McGarrigle||Carnegie Hall NYC||2005|
|Theatre Outremont, Montreal||2005||(with Emmylou Harris, Rufus and Martha Wainwright and others...)|
|The Bottom Line club, NYC||2001||(with Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt)|
|The Bottom Line club, NYC||1999|
|East coast U.S. tour||1988|
|Quebec tour||fall 1982|
|Cross Canada tour||1982|
|Michel Pagliaro||Quebec tour||1987-1988|
|Olympic Stadium concert||August 1st 1987||(Support act-David Bowie/Duran Duran)|
|The Stephen Barry Band||Montreal International Jazz Fest.||1988-1999|
|with Vann ‘Piano man’ Walls- Quebec tour||1996-1998|
|Londrina music festival-Londrina, Brazil||1997|
|w/ Johnny Johnson, Montreal||1995|
|w/ Buddy Guy-Montreal||1982|
|w/ Big Mama Thornton-Montreal||1981|
|Gogh Van Go||Quebec/ Ontario tour||1993-1995|
|Berlin music festival, Germany||1994|
|Jean-Pierre Ferland||Quebec tour||1999-2003|
|Cap-de-la-Madelaine||2001||(with Laurence Jalbert and the Trois Rivieres Symphony Orchestra)|
|Francofolies Festival; Salle Wilfrid Pelletier Place des Arts||2000||(with Michel Rivard and Daniel Belanger)|
|Music for film||L’homme Ideal||1997||George Mihalka, director|
|Myth of the Male Orgasm||1995||John Hamilton, director|
|La Florida||1993||George Mihalka, director|
|Music for Television||My Home Town||1996-1997||Jean Mercier, director|
Recent Performance Photos
Click on an image to view slideshow.