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Hook & Barrel
A Lifestyle Magazine for Modern Outdoorsmen

Musician & Outdoor Industry Pro Talks Music & More

Pretty much everywhere he goes, Evan Ogden carries along some of the life-shaping memories of his grandparents’ farm in an especially scenic part of Missouri.

He loves looking back on the sunny summers he spent fishing and casually hunting for squirrels while exploring the hilly forest lands along the Washington River southwest of St. Louis. He also can’t shake the sounds of his grandpa’s well-worn cassette tapes of country music from the 1940s and ’50s. Those old-timey tunes, even the ones that were devastatingly sad, brought him great joy as a boy, and still do today.

Evan Ogden

Evan Ogden’s Saloon-Style Music

“I was probably 8, 9 or 10 years old, so I didn’t always understand the lyrics or storylines, but I understood the emotion,” Ogden says 20-something years later. “And I think that’s what connects a lot of people to it—the emotion that goes into the songs.”

A singer/songwriter and recording artist now based in Fort Worth, Texas, Ogden successfully channels the music he and his grandfather bonded over back then with his new collection of original songs that are especially heavy on the twang. The EP, titled Austin City Limits, contains six songs he recorded in Nashville recently with producer and multi-instrumentalist Nathan Evans Fox. It was Fox who played the keening pedal steel guitar and the tinkling piano that seems plucked out of time from an Old West saloon. In the studio, Ogden played acoustic guitar and sang, like he does on stage, and had able assistance from Stephen King (bass), William Kissane (drums), Zac Hamilton (electric guitar) and Chris Morse (background vocals).

Evan Ogden

Austin City Limits Kicks It Up A Notch

By design, Austin City Limits is more upbeat and lighthearted than Ogden’s previous album, Undone, which frames him more as an Americana-style storyteller.

Evan Ogden

“It had a lot of slow and brooding songs, so I wanted to write songs that were simple and to the point and focused on the instrumentation that I loved, and that was that honky-tonk sound,” Ogden says. The result is a quick, fun listen that might conjure a short ride in Grandpa’s pickup truck or maybe a long memory of a night out at a Texas dance hall.

Ogden Stays Connected To The Outdoors Through Sellmark

“Don’t quit your day job” is a smart-aleck comment many musicians have heard at least once from a rude, under-appreciative fan. But Ogden has some good reasons to hang on to his full-time vocation, as communications manager for Sellmark. For one thing, it helps to keep him close to nature.

The Texas-based company has six different brands, including Pulsar and Sightmark, mostly dealing with sights, scopes and other optical gear, including night-vision and thermal equipment, for hunters and shooters. A highlight of his job is accompanying members of the media and online influencers on field trips, so to speak, to show off the goods.

Sightmark, Pulsar, Firefield Kopfjager, BulletSafe, Inforce

As Ogden and his team members like to say, having the right accessories can help you get the most out of the outdoors, day or night, whether you’re hunting, honing your skills with targets or dealing with unwanted predators or varmints.

“You need to be able to clearly identify the target that you’re engaging,” Ogden says. “High-technology optics like ours allow you to do that in a quicker time frame with more distance and allow you to get a more ethical shot on what you’re hunting.”

Living The Texas Good Life

Ogden lived the first few years of his life in Oklahoma before relocating with his family to Round Rock, Texas, which is just outside Austin. He describes himself as “outdoors-adjacent” growing up, meaning that he wasn’t extreme about it but always appreciated his time outside—particularly during those unforgettable summer vacations in Missouri.

“It wasn’t an everyday part of my life, but I loved doing it as a kid and now as an adult, with this job, I get to do it a little bit more,” he says.

Evan Ogden with Pulsar-equipped rifles. Setting up for hog hunting at night

Next Musical Venture—Honesty

And he still makes time to make music—in clubs and listening rooms, usually with a band, and also in the studio with his talented friend and producer, Fox. They have another batch of songs ready to come out later this year as a separate EP called Honesty.

To avoid disappointment from aiming too high in terms of his musical goals, Ogden says he’s adjusted his sights a bit.

“I’ve shifted my main focus to my songwriting. I’m trying to write better songs than I wrote the day before, and I’m trying to be as honest as I can with those songs and I’m trying to impact more people than I did the day before with my songs.”

evan ogden

Editor’s Note: With those modest metrics in mind, this will be a terrific day for Evan Ogden and his music if a bunch of our Hook & Barrel readers decide to give his new country-accented songs some play. And if he also has a chance to get outdoors, that’s a win-win. For more information and links to his music on social media and streaming sites, go to evanogdenmusic.com.

Introducing the Sightmark Wraith Mini Thermal Riflescope
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