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The Way Out West band

The Way Out West band is a creative union of lead guitarist/vocalist J.D. Hoag, bass player/vocalist Mike Miller, guitarist/vocalist Brant Hopkins with purcussionists/vocalist Jim Torgerson and percussionist Janet Daniel. Additional drummers include Ed Cini. 


John "J.D." Hoag

J.D. Hoag began his musical journey as a 6 year-old with the support of his father. He studied with many masters of the guitar, including Chet Atkins. John assumed the stage name J.D. while playing with Rex Dee and the Dee Boys. All of the band members had the last name of Dee except John, which morphed into J. Dee "J D". 

J.D. is a highly gifted artist, including song writing, television appearances, has been mentioned in books, performed with many major celebrities and bands, as well as traveled internationally to perform in Alaska, Finland and tour in Japan in 2016 with the Ventures' Nokie Edwards.  Throughout the 1970's, J.D. toured with various bands including R C Bannon, Louise Mandrel, Archie Campbell, the Hager twins (appearing on the show Hee Haw several times), Slim Whitman, Bobby Bare, the Statler Brothers, Ferlyn Husky, Don Williams and Merle Travis. 

In the mid 70s, J.D. played with famed singer and song writer Marty Robbins, and in fact wrote the last song ever recorded by Robbins prior to his passing, "Devil in a Cowboy Hat".

During the mid 80s, J.D. had the honor of being selected as string master guitarist for the famed group The Ventures and toured with them for about 4 years, and again with founder Nokie Edwards in Japan in 2016. 

A native to northern Washington, J.D. has resided in Arizona for nearly 30 years. He currently resides in Mesa with his wife, Diane.  


Mike Miller

Mike Miller has an impressive musical career. In the 1980s, Mike played with country artist Waylon Jennings. As well, he toured with Rolle Stevens in Colorado, Utah and one of the largest Rodeo and country music events in Ruidoso, New Mexico, playing with groups such as the Sons of the Pioneers, Bob Wills, the Texas Playboys and legend Willie Nelson.

Mike has toured with J D Hoag in Washington, Oregon, California and Arizona, and in Japan with The Ventures' Nokie Edwards in 2016.

Mike currently resides in Phoenix with his wife, Cathy.


Strong and versatile, Jim’s talent as a percussionist and vocalist has not gone unnoticed! Born and raised in a small town in rural Wisconsin, Jim joined his first professional band in 1978, playing 50’s, 60’s and contemporaneous rock in ballrooms, bars, and other special events throughout the upper Midwest. In 1981, Jim joined a band from Salt Lake City that toured through the Midwest, becoming his introduction to country music. After they finished out the tour, Jim settled in Utah and worked in various local bands and surrounding states for several years. 

In 1985, it was time for a change and Jim relocated to Phoenix. He has since performed throughout the valley with various bands and other gifted musicians; sharing the stage with notable performers and artists including Steve Wariner, The Bellamy Brothers, Sawyer Brown, T. Graham Brown, Mel Tillis, Nokie Edwards, Lynn Anderson, Johnny Rodriguez, Gary Morris, and others. 

Having worked with the Way Out West band for many years, Jim is excited to be back making music with his old friends Mike Miller and J.D. Hoag, as well as his new friend, Brant Hopkins.

Jim has been an Arizona resident since 1985 and lives in Phoenix with his wife, Gina.

Way Out West's tribute to Nokie Edwards & The Ventures

Medley: Walk Don't Run 61, Perfidia, Lullaby of the Leaves, Walk Don't Run 64 (Mesa Art Center, March 2019) 

Hawaii Five O (Mesa Art Center, March 2019) 

Driving Guitars (Mesa Art Center, March 2019) 

Bumble Bee Rock (Mesa Art Center, March 2019)

Thundering Tank 331 (Mesa Art Center, March 2019) 

Secret Agent Man (Mesa Art Center, March 2019)

Pipeline (Mesa Art Center, March 2019)

Sleep Walking (Mesa Art Center, March 2019) 

Black Sand Beach (Mesa Art Center, March 2019) 

El Cumbanchero (Mesa Art Center, March 2019) 

Apache (Mesa Art Center, March 2019)

Yellow Jacket (Mesa Art Center, March 2019)

Way Out West's tribute to Marty Robbins


Mesa Arts Center - Out To Lunch Concert Series (November 2018)


Mesa Arts Center - Out To Lunch Concert Series (November 2018)

The Way Out West band

An evening at Filly's Roadhouse, Apache Junction, AZ in 2016