“To stop the flow of music would be like the stopping of time itself, incredible and inconceivable” ~ Aaron Copland

WILLIE SCOGGINS

GUITAR

Willie Scoggins cannot recall a time when music wasn’t a part of his existence. “I’ve always got something going on in my head…a song, a rhythm…it’s just always there.”

Initially exposed to classic Top 40 pop, country and R&B tunes on the radio, his musical roots ran much deeper with folk, opera and even show tunes added to the mix spun on the family record player. “It was just a confluence, being a little kid and hearing all this music around, as I was growing up.”

Willie has been playing in bands since his early teens. After moving back to Texas in 1994, he played with Lisa Tingle in the band “Plan C.”  While playing one night, he met the bass player for Memphis Train Revue during a break. Informed they needed a guitarist, he auditioned and – 20 years later – he’s still going strong with the band.

While cultivating this love of music, Willie still remains the “artistic pragmatist” in his approach to Memphis Train Revue performances, viewing each as a fresh and unique experience: “Every performance is different, and a lot of that energy comes from the audience.”

Just as each musician brings their own experiences and interaction with other band members TO the stage, what happens ON the stage is ultimately fueled by audience engagement and enthusiasm. This explains why Willie – and the entire band, for that matter – commit to making each performance a true “experience” for their audiences.

Establishing that musical connection with others could best be defined as a calling for Willie Scoggins. But for him, personally, it’s the soundtrack of his life. And, Memphis Train Revue gladly provides the accompaniment for those tunes!

“Music in the soul can be heard by the universe” ~ Lao Tzu

WILL McGOWAN

DRUMS/PERCUSSION

What roles did Korea, old Crisco cans and a classic Southern front porch, play in the life of Will McGowan? Believe it or not, ALL these elements harmonized together, to bring him to Memphis Train Revue… for more than a decade now!

Even as a toddler, Will found himself inextricably drawn to music. Listening-in while his parents played classic R&B, soul and jazz vinyl – procured while his dad had served in Korea – Will KNEW in his heart, he had to be a part of THAT!

This burning desire led (much to his Grandmother’s chagrin) young Will to roam the neighborhood, finding just the right limbs and branches for drumsticks. Then, re-purposing old Crisco cans, he would construct his own drum kit – and “serenade” his family. His Grandmother, without fail, would offer HER “review”: “Quit making all that racket!!”

Eventually, he would gather the neighborhood kids and use his old, front porch as a stage to perform for any takers. Of course, at that point in Will’s life, the ONLY group worth emulating just happened to be The Jackson 5 and Will gladly took center stage as Michael! At the age of 19, Will made his dream a reality by forming his first professional band, Porsche. And, fortunately, Will’s reviews got a LOT better!

Yes, somewhere between free neighborhood shows and paying performances, Will DID hone his musical gifts. Beginning with the school band in sixth grade, he first played the alto saxophone but continued to pursue his passion for drums. In one of these impromptu sessions, the school band director agreed to Will’s transfer into the percussion section.

Years of practice – and numerous performance awards later – literally paid-off for Will, with income-generating gigs! Asked to substitute for an ailing member of Memphis Train Revue, he jumped at the chance. Time, talent and twists of fate 14 years ago, have now led Will into a leadership position with the group.

Not only does he perform, but Will also writes and composes. And, while the impact of music sometimes defies words, he manages to capture it pretty well: “As I write and create music, it makes my heart feel overjoyed; I feel a sense of excitement just to be able to play my instrument and perform.

“Playing with Memphis Train has been an honor and blessing… it’s gotten better every year. I honestly enjoy what we do – not only do we provide entertainment, we bring joy and happiness to our audiences – we make their events!”

So eloquently stated, but the true spirit of Will McGowan can best be captured in this simple sentiment: “Music is just in my soul!” How appropriate for Memphis Train Revue!

Welcome to Memphis Train Revue

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