In the collection of local Louisiana blues stars who made their mark on phonograph records bearing the Excello imprint under the aegis of Crowley producer Jay Miller, Silas Hogan was a local phenom who finally had a chance to record at a time when the commercial appeal of his sound was waning in the national marketplace. Hogan recorded for Excello from 1962 to early 1965, seeing the last of his single releases issued late that year.
Sometime in the late '20s Silas learned the basics of the guitar from his two uncles, Robert and Frank Murphy, who later went on to influence the idiosyncratic style of Robert Pete Williams. Learning his trade by playing assorted house parties and picnics in the local vicinity, by the late '30s Hogan was working regularly with guitarist Willie B. Thomas and fiddler Butch Cage, making the local juke joint circuit his newfound home. A move to the Baton Rouge area in the early '50s brought changes to his music. Armed with a Fender electric guitar and amp, Hogan formed his first electric combo -- the Rhythm Ramblers -- becoming one of the top drawing cards on the Louisiana juke joint circuit. In 1962, at the ripe old age of 51, Hogan was introduced by Slim Harpo to producer Jay Miller, and his recording career finally began in earnest. The recordings he produced in the Crowley studio were solid, no-frills performances that mirrored the many variants of the "sound of the swamp." After a few singles, Hogan's recording career came to an abrupt halt when Miller clashed with the new owners in 1966, ending the flow of Crowley product on the label. No longer an Excello recording artist, Hogan disbanded his group, going back to his day job at the Exxon refinery near Baton Rogue. The chance to record came around again in the '70s, with Hogan cutting sides for labels like Arhoolie and Blue Horizon while remaining active on the Southern blues festival circuit for pretty much the rest of the decade. With as little fanfare as his Excello singles were greeted in the marketplace, Hogan quietly passed away in January of 1994. ~ All Music Guide