Kevin Phelan  

Rogues on the Run are a six man band out of Spring Lake, on the Atlantic shore of New Jersey. They have a mature sound that blends elements of the blues, hip-hop, and funk both musically and lyrically. The Neville Brothers, Albert King, Marvin Gaye have all left their mark in the original songs of the Rogues. 

Musically diverse in their lineup with vocals, guitar, organ, piano, sax, bass, percussion, and drums, the Rogues deliver an equally varied repertoire of self-penned tunes.  The grooves are very well defined with the rhythm section providing a solid foundation for the singer and soloists. The lyrics are rich with social commentary and a catharsis of coming to terms with growing older. In Night Shift, the plaintive cry of the blue collar worker comes through in the lines "Work so hard to make my pay - Giving all of my soul away" while a streetwise activist speaks out "Cause people are varieties -  5 billion separate minorities". 

The recording production on these songs from the CD Somethin's Cookin' is very good. Urban grooves abound with Greg O'Keeffe on drums, Robert Sozanski on percussion and Wayne Gronberg on tasty bass guitar.  Flavorful texture comes from Mario Cicerello on piano, organ, and keyboards and Jack Hoban on electric, acoustic, and slide guitar. Hoban is the lead singer and songwriter. His singing on I Got the Blues is husky and bluesy with a tendency to drift toward the bluer notes lending an earthy quality to the urban setting of the ensemble. Vel Johnson on saxophones solos like a Motown hit man comps like a horn section on Bogey Man.  

Making music as a professional has never been easy and many have given up. The attitude of the Rogues can best be summed up in the words of bassist Gronberg: "You love to play, you work at it, you get nowhere, become demoralized and quit. If you're lucky, you're drawn back into it. But you've really got to be lucky to find a band like this".  Learn more about them on their website.

Night Shift Funky urban groove with thoughtful commentary on the expendability of the individual and the irresponsibility of politicians.
Bogey Man Rocking blues groove that takes a chilling look through the eyes of a father concerned about the future of his new born child.
I Got the Blues A good love gone bad song with a funky groove and a guest trumpet solo. "The days and nights they just drag on - Forever, hell, its come and gone" Understood. said:

Rogues on the Run: "Smokin' blues-jazz-soul-big band outfit that will please sophisticated audiences. Like Robert Cray fronting The Doobie Brothers or the real meeting between Bill Withers and Grover Washington Jr."


A recent review from the Internet site "The Global Muse."  (Blush.)

Every once in a while, I get an opportunity to review an outstanding band. This is one of those times. Rogues on the Run's CD "Somethin's Cookin' was unanimously chosen by our whole staff to be the best CD on The Global Muse to date. The Bluesy/Jazz groove was a welcome vibe by all who work here. I was totally impressed by the musicianship of the band. This is a truly professional quality band. The soulful vocals of singer Jack Hoban was a great sound for some very sore ears. I have yet to hear any music that can compare to the talent that this band offers. I can proudly say that everyone at this web site is honored to have such great talent on our pages. My personal favorite cut on this album is definitely "Sleepin' With Strangers." Great lyrical content with a soulful groove. If you haven't checked this remarkable band out yet, you better get movin'. ---Gunther G. -TGM

Rogues Are Riffage.Com Featured Artist


The Rogues were selected the featured artist for August 10, 1999.  This is a great honor and we are very happy about it, as it allows us to go "straight to the people."   Here's what they say:

Rogues on the Run - Rogues on the Run honed their trade in bars on the Jersey Shore. Incorporating blues with a touch of jazz, they formed in 92 and are now working on a new album. Tight riffs and smooth vocals make this band a winner!"

The Rogues were visited recently at Jason's by Karen Jarosz and the folks at The Jersey Shore Community Information Bulletin (, a free periodic E-Mail Newsletter. Here's what she had to say: "I have passed by the club dozens of times and wondered what it would be like to check it out. Finally, this past Saturday night I got my chance. I'm speaking about the famous Jason's Jazz and Blues Club on Main Street in South Belmar, of course! I was invited by Jack Hoban of The Rogues on the Run, a local Jersey Shore band, to check out their sound. Well, I was very glad I did indeed! The club staff are warm, friendly people that make you feel like you have been coming there for years. As for The Rogues on the Run, I can't say enough about them and the terrific music they create. I say create because just about all the songs they perform are original, which is refreshing in these days of the remakes. I was pleased to receive a copy of their CD entitled, "Something's Cookin'", and have not been able to stop playing it! I love the tunes and the lyrics! I was able to meet with Jack and some of the band members and found them to be great people who truly enjoy what they do! They have a new CD [coming] out entitled "Running In Place," which I plan to look for and purchase. So, if you are looking to buy yourself a new CD or want to spend a Saturday evening listening to some great music, be sure to give The Rogues on the Run a try! I've listed a date below where they will be playing next in the area and you can also check out their website and listen to some of their tunes by going to Local Links on Interest. Thanks again to Jack and the band for inviting me and opening a whole new avenue of great sounds to me."

The Rogues CD, Somethin's Cookin', was recently written up in Geoff Wilbur's Industry Newsletter Renegade. He said: "Straight from the Jersey Shore with a sound like a dimly-lit blues club on a rainy, smoky night, this band holds great promise for contemporary blues and jazz fans. Great musicianship and excellent use of blending feel and groove with tight riffing, the Rogues are off to a burnin' start with their "gig-financed" CD debut. Standout cuts include: "I Got The Blues," "My Nights Still Belong To You," and "Creole Girl," along with six other original songs. You can tell at once that the Rogues have had many nights playing these tunes in clubs because of the feel and flow that allows them to build up steam and groove to red hot levels. Lyrically, some weak spots exist but are more than made up for by the great vocal work of Jack E. Hoban."

Hey, the Rogues were:

Here's what they had to say:

This band I'm reviewing as Artist of the Month is a Blues Band out of New Jersey, Rogues on the Run. The CD they sent me was packed with wonderful, awesome music. I can remember some of those movies with the New York nighttime music. That's a good thing. This band makes you want to sit back and relax from a long hard day at work and listen to their CD. Everybody should have this CD I believe. The excellent blues voice of Jack Hoban (who sounds a little bit like Eric Clapton if I might say so myself), the wonderful bass riffs (which you'll find in Guitar Magazine someday) of Wayne Gronberg, the wonderful keyboard and saxophone works of Mario and Vel, and last but not least, the wonderful outstanding rhythm section of Robert and Ralph bring out what's best and what kicks butt on this CD. So I think you should visit their web site and get a taste of some of the greatest musicians I have ever heard. 

Tri-State Blues: News About The Blues
(Reprinted with permission)

by Ken Byrne

While at a benefit for WBGO at Jason's Blues and Jazz Club this past summer, I and two colleagues from Tri-State Blues were pleasantly surprised. Among the local talent from central New Jersey was a terrific band that managed to blend a wide variety of influences into a serious groove thang. Remember the old advertising slogan, "When it feels right, you know it! When it's good, you feel it!"? Well, when you hear Rogues On The Run, you know its right 'cause you feel sooo good.

In the short set I witnessed that afternoon, these guys were approaching P-Funk. And most of their material was original. Now remember the last time you heard an unknown band do songs you were singing to yourself the next day. Been a while hasn't it?

Jack Hoban is the singer/guitarist who started the Rogues and writes the songs. He's always had a day job, but has been in professional bands, the most recent being Jersey Blue, which featured Bernard Purdie on drums. After one CD that went nowhere, the band broke up and Jack got an idea.

"I wanted to start a band with good amateur musicians who all had decent day jobs, no 7-11 guys, waiting for their big break. That way, no one had to rely on gigs for a living. I could work with the band until they were ready to play out, along with blues jams at Jason's"

Hoban wanted to reach an audience that feels by-passed by contemporary pop music.

"Look, I didn't stop listening to new stuff and I like a lot of it. But even the stuff I like is pitched to teenagers. Baby boomers like us, we have families, mortgages, car payments. I have two kids to think about. Very few artists address those concerns.

I confide in him that I find it tedious listening to middle aged white guys pissing and moaning in song about how hard it is to have to stay up late and play the blues. If its such a drag, sop doing it and let me have the gig, chump!

We talked about the odd guys that do sing the mid-life crises blues. Jack mentions John Hiatt. I come up with Loudon Wainwright. Bonnie Raitt's song about having a baby in the "Nick Of Time." Not too many beyond that. Its all up to Jack.

Two of my favorite songs are "The BogeyMan" and "Night Shift." "BogeyMan" is about how you shake your childhood fears only to acquire adult terrors. Hoban has the bogeyman returning upon the birth of his child. The image is chilling. He's looking into the cradle, filled with love and wonder when a voice from a dark closet asks: "Remember me?" All too well. Now you really have something to worry about.

"Night Shift" sound like the Rogues' version of an imaginary out take from Marvin Gaye's "What's Goin' On?" album. Corporate down-sizing and the emptiness of contemporary political language have left the singer exhausted, facing another day on the "night shift." Hoban adds a rap to the end in which he longs for what we used to call "life-affirming" politics back in the sixties and early seventies. Before disco, fusion, "sensitive" singer/songwriters, and Watergate. Like when the Jets won the Super Bowl and good jobs were easy to find.

"I Got The Blues" should be required listening for anyone who takes on the theme of a good love gone wrong. Its got a Doc Pomus/Bobby Bland feel to it, and never veers off to clichés.

As strong as a writer as Hoban is, the medium is the message. The Rogues provide the perfect vehicle for his songs, adding color and nuance to flesh out his ideas. The rhythm section consists of Wayne Gronberg on bass, Greg O'Keeffe on drums, Rob Sozanski on congas and other percussion, and Mario Cicerello on keyboards. They create a smooth, sinuous platform for Jack's guitar playing and the alto saxophone work of Vel Johnson. (Johnson played a solo at a recent gig that quieted all the folks at the bar; it left me with my mouth hanging open.) But the emphasis is not on long, indulgent solos. This band is really a tight, cohesive unit. All their best stuff is of a piece. You've got to see them to believe it.

Wayne Gronberg talked to me about how it was to work in such a collective. He is the manager pro tem, the guy who handles guys like me who ask questions. His tale is one I've heard before. You love to play, you work at it, you get nowhere, become demoralized and quit. If you're lucky, you're drawn back into it. But you've really got to be lucky to find a band like this. Or a someone like Hoban.

"He's incredible. He just keeps writing songs that are really good. And we've got such a wealth of material already, we could play a dozen sets and not repeat ourselves.

Hoban sums it up, "I'm very much like my father was. I have a family, a job, a house. I'm a responsible adult like he was when I was a kid. But I have something he never had. Call it rock 'n' roll, blues, R&B, whatever. It makes all the difference in the world."

The difference is JOY. Want some? Come git some! Go hear Rogues On The Run. You'll be glad you did.




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