- Known for his legendary list of musical endeavours, including his time
with Cheap Trick, Bad Boy and Minnesota’s Straight Up, Xeno, whose real
name is Randall Hogan, released a new solo album just a few weeks ago.
new album, titled “I Still Believe in Rock ‘n’ Roll,” includes
Xeno on guitar and vocals, with his new band Happy Jax, which includes
Waukesha native and former BoDean Bobby Griffin on bass, Mark Pierret on
drums and Tom Crowel on the guitar.
started playing at the age of 12 and spent several years as the lead
singer for Cheap Trick back when they were just a bar band.
was quickly drawn to the music scene in Minneapolis and became the lead
singer for Straight Up.
was very young at the time and wanted to experience new things, wanted to
get out of my own hometown,” he said.
also made a name for himself when he joined popular Milwaukee band Bad Boy
in 1982, for which he still performs. He has also performed at Riverfest,
which was once held at Frame Park, as well as at Summerfest for 30 years.
his musical career, big names such as Yanni have shared the stage with
Xeno. He also plays regularly in a duo with violinist Joe Ketchum and
another duo with Mitch Cooper.
get to play with a lot of really great people,” Xeno said. “I’m
lucky that way, I guess.”
work with Ketchum also led him to Joe 2.0, an electrified string quartet
that doubles as a rock band and an orchestra.
very unique,” Griffin said. “I had worked with violinists, and it’s
something unique and different, and I’m always interested in that.
new album, Xeno said, is a return to his roots.
this album, I went back to the beginning and play a lot of really bluesy
rockin’ guitar and singing really bluesy,” Xeno said. “It’s just a
rock ‘n’ roll album, and a good one, I think.”
a great CD, or I wouldn’t have played on it,” Griffin said.
got his musical start in Waukesha on the front steps of Randall Elementary
School. Eventually, he became a part of the popular BoDeans, a
Waukesha-formed band. One of his most memorable band moments was opening
32 years as a BoDean, Griffin took a break from music but couldn’t
resist its pull for long. Griffin’s love for playing in a studio and
recording brought him back to the musical scene. Griffin and Xeno hooked
up through Sleighriders, a Milwaukee musical event that supports a number
(Xeno’s) songs just had this good blues groove and there’s some
pop,” Griffin said. “And I love pop and groovy pop. This had some
really good blues kind of rock ‘n’ roll, and I just enjoyed playing
Jax has been performing songs from its new CD, as well as covers from
artists such as Led Zeppelin and the Animals at the Wisconsin Area Music
Industry bar, the Potowatomi Fire Pit and other venues. Their next show is
Nov. 15 at the Fire Pit.
music video for the title track on the new album, “I Still Believe in
Rock n Roll,” can be found on YouTube. Xeno said the song is
something I wrote for a lot of people that have been doing what I’ve
been doing for a long time,” he said.
Xeno loves performing, songwriting is another big part of his life.