He is genuine, he is quirky, and he is all in. He can also strum out a groovin’ beat on the guitar and bend your heart with his original lyrics about love and life. In concert, he radiates energy. He’s Bart Vogel.
I am Bart’s daughter and I won’t pretend to leave my own perspective out of this bio. In the over-a-decade since I left home, we’ve gone beyond our somewhat static relationship of young child and father, and I’ve had the privilege of getting to know the man behind my dad-myth as a fellow truth seeker and artist.
Bart doesn’t separate his music from his personality, which means the most fun way to experience his craft is at gigs, in person. He plays his original tunes on acoustic guitars, he sings with his edgy baritone, he tells stories (and sometimes corny jokes), he comes to connect with his audience. When my brother and I were small kids, Bart would sit with his guitar in the lit hallway between our two dark rooms as we fell to sleep, engrossed in his picking and in connecting to his children through music. That same tenderness we experienced then shines in some of his instrumental pieces and love songs now. His music offers the energy and skill of a four-decades-long guitar practice, with a good helping of blues and flavors of Americana, gospel, and pop mixed in.
Born on December 1, 1959, Bart has been writing songs ever since he picked up his first guitar forty years ago. At times, songs have come in a flurry of creativity, at other times more sporadically, spread out over the busyness of raising two children and running an independent real estate appraisal business. He grew up in a Christian church, is a lifelong Californian, has experienced marriage and divorce, and loves to sail and spend time with people he loves. Infused with his experiences, Bart’s songs explore grief and joy and love and freedom and authenticity, delving into the common emotions and longings that many of us share.
Through the years, Bart has been inspired and influenced by John Denver, Keith Knoche, James Taylor, Randy Stonehill, Sting, Steven Curtis Chapman, The Imperials, The Rose City Singers, Dan Fogelberg, Bonnie Raitt and, most recently, Greg Brown, Eric Clapton and Tommy Emmanuel.
He’s been a part of several bands with musicians who are also some of his closest friends: Skyewind, Promise, En Route, and the current duo Spencer & Vogel. He has released five albums: Promises (a solo album in 1981), Falling Rain (1991 with Promise; released in 2015), Life as We Know It (2004 with En Route), All Right (Solo 2010) and Live at the Woodbridge Grange (2015 with Spencer & Vogel).
Bart lives in Lodi, California. He plays solo gigs as well as duo shows with guitarist Tim Spencer.
—Morgan Vogel Chinnock, August 2015
"Liked your music. It was a breath of fresh air for a change."
-Ray R., January 2017
"Every fiber in his body and heart gave love and appreciation to his fellow musicians and to the audience. I have seen Bart perform a lot. Never like last night. He was incredible."
-Donna B. Pacini-Christensen, on Facebook, May 2014
“Bart Vogel is an incredible singer/songwriter with infectious melodies and powerful uplifting lyrics. I would describe him as sort of James Taylor-ish with a sprinkle of Jack Johnson, sans reggae.”
—Rich Phipps, on Facebook, August 2012
"Bart brings a never ending enthusiasm, energy and talent to his music that is always easy to listen to . . . . Bart adds the charm and panache to his song and lyric that will keep them in your head for days to come."
—Sacramento Moms Like Me, November 2009
“. . . I was there in time to see Bart Vogel play. All I can say is oh my God, it was an amazing performance. I had never heard of him before last Friday, but I couldn't help but be [mesmerized] by his music . . . . His performance represented a lifetime of constant work. The lyrics were captivating . . . . Very enjoyable, I'm glad I went."
—Keith Gaboury, SF Indie Music Examiner, June 2009