A naturally authentic storyteller

A big part of my identity was formed by growing up with 7 kids in a working-class, Midwestern family. That’s where I learned the foundational skills I use to this day, things like self-reliance, entrepreneurship, the necessity of hard work and the value of building and managing relationships.

We moved a lot when I was young, so I had to assess and navigate new social circles and groups of people on a regular basis. This is where I learned the skill of listening and developed a keen sense of observing because they were necessary for fitting in, for social survival, really.

This heightened listening and observing also served me very well when music became my life because they are essential for songwriting, performing and surviving on the road. As I shared my observations and experiences with “civilians,” I realized how entertaining, how relevant and how valuable they were.

Which brings us here today – a life of adventure captured by observation, crafted into stories that entertain, illuminate, inspire and motivate.

I’m Bob Egan, a storyteller and a speaker.

Photo: Bob Egan's back and half a million people at SARSfest. Photo credit: Mike Oksman

The Hard Road and the Good Life

1970 - 1983

Honest work

Learned the value of work and, perhaps more importantly, how to work for and with others. Worked as a farm laborer, butcher, iron worker, social worker and musician.



Earned a Bachelors Degree in Administration of Justice because... honestly, because I was lost and had a soft spot for kids who got in trouble with the law.


More education

Earned a Masters in Industrial Organizational Psychology because a prof told me that is where the money is.

1983 - 1990

Management consultant

Discovered I was really good at conducting employee attitude and workplace culture research. Learned I was even better at crafting stories to communicate the results! Achieved success and professional notoriety in Chicago. 

1990 - 1992

Crash and burn

Through a series of unfortunate events and poor choices, I lost my job and my career, became bankrupt, lost my house and my hope, and suffered from depression and addiction. I was literally saved by a chance encounter with a homeless stranger begging for spare change.

1990 - 1997

Bob's Guitar Service

Built an innovative, client-centric guitar repair business in Chicago that grew to the highest volume repair service in the Midwest. I received an offer to franchise coast-to-coast.

1996 - 1997


Fulfilled my lifelong dream by becoming a full-time musician, touring and recording with Wilco. A conversation with Johnny Cash motivated me to do so!

1998 - 2000


Moved from Chicago to Oxford, the jewel of the south, for inspiration to create my first solo record and to launch my solo music career. Also toured and recorded with Billy Bragg.


Tragically Hip

Earned my first Juno Award for recording pedal steel guitar on Bobcaygeon, Tragically Hip’s Single of the Year.

2000 - 2017

Blue Rodeo

Moved to Canada to join Blue Rodeo - performed over 1,000 shows, recorded 10 albums (4 Platinum, 3 Gold), received numerous Juno Awards, a Governor General’s Award and was inducted into 3 Halls/Walks of Fame.

2000 - 2017

Solo work

Recorded on over 100 records as a session musician, released 4 solo albums, and was awarded the Canadian Country Music Association Industry Award.


Giving back

Founded 100 Guitars for 100 Kids, a non-profit to provide musical instruments to underserved youth.

2017 - 2020


Retired from Blue Rodeo to become Manager Community Development for Kitchener Public Library - fundraised to construct 4 in-house recording studios and a 250-instrument lending library.

2020 - 2024

More community

Became Film and Music Officer for the City of Kitchener focusing on attracting film production, providing professional development for musicians and filmmakers, and creating opportunities for youth in music and film.

2024 - the future

Public speaking

Fulfilled a long-standing goal and my true calling to inspire others by launching my speaking career.