Country Kicks Cancer show coming to town

by Stephen Dafoe

Surviving cancer has allowed singer-songwriter Sean Hogan to continue doing what he loves. Whether working his way through his music career or overcoming cancer, he has learned although life has speed bumps, they should not be confused with the end of the road.

Hogan will join fellow Canadian artists Thomas Wade, Craig Moritz, and Colin Amey at Red-Nex Bar and Grill Apr. 8 at 8 p.m. for the first of three Country Kicks Cancer shows. Tickets are $25 per person with part of the proceeds going to the Canadian Cancer Society.

Although all four of the performers are singer-songwriters, only Hogan is a cancer survivor. “I’m three years clear of cancer,” the country artist said. “I had Stage Four cancer of the Oropharyngeal, which is head and neck. I had it in my tonsil, and it went into my lymph nodes on my right side of my upper neck.”

The illness resulted in 35 rounds of radiation and chemotherapy in the fall of 2011. By March 2012, he was found to be cancer free. Living life cancer free has prompted Hogan to round up other country artists to give back.
“April is Cancer Awareness Month, and I already had a couple shows set up in Fort St. John and Grande Prairie for this Spring Break concert that we did last year,” the country performer said. “I thought since we’re all going to be out here, why don’t we try to do something that’s a little bit more benevolent, and give something to the Canadian Cancer Society.

In addition to helping a worthy cause, Hogan said people can expect a show that unites four talented performers. “They’re going to hear stories,” Hogan said. “People love to hear stories behind the songs. They’re going to hear tunes that were well played on the radio, as well as the stories behind them. It’s a great evening of entertainment in that regard.”

All four artists are professionals Hogan believes the audience will enjoy. “We’re all at different places in our careers,” he said. “We’ve all had different degrees of success and luck, and myself and Thomas Wade have been at it a long time, Thomas even a little longer than me. I’ve been fortunate to have a lot of hits on the radio, the same with Thomas Wade. Colin Amey has had a few. He’s a great singer. Craig Moritz is an Albertan whose star is certainly on the horizon and rising.”

In addition to a solid show, the artists are hoping people will come out to support the Canadian Cancer Society during Cancer Awareness Month. Hogan said he recently heard a statistic that one in two men and one in three women will get cancer in Alberta. “They’re pretty crazy odds,” Hogan said. “We do what we do because we’ve enjoyed making music and people enjoy it when we perform our songs and tell these stories about the songs, but it makes it all the more worthwhile to me when you can make an impact and help out in some way.”

Hogan is mindful of doing his thing while he still can, both from his recent battle with cancer, but also from the battle the industry he loves is currently in. “I don’t know how much longer any of us will be able to do what we do if the music industry keeps changing,” he said, adding it has changed over the last 10 to 20 years. “I don’t think people realize the gravity of the situation. But we love making music and if people are into live music experiences still, I recommend highly that they come out.”

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