Gary Hoey – 20th Annual Rock & Blues Christmas Concert



Michael Hepworth








Gary Hoey – 20th Annual Rock & Blues Christmas Concert


The Coach House, December 18, 2015


By Michael Cohan

San Juan Capistrano(Perfect Music Today)12/27/15/–Gary Hoey and his “Ho Ho Hoey” holiday tour hit The Coach House in San Juan Capistrano, Ca last Friday the 18th delivering his knowledge of the blues in his traditional Christmas style. As an avid blues fanatic and take on recording a blues song Mr. Hoey states that it feels like taking a five minute journey with no time for breathing. Gary adds, you can’t keep punching in the recording button expecting a fix because then it just loses “the vibe.”

By the age of 16 he had developed a profound respect for the blues as he often hung out around the world renowned Berkley College of Music in Boston near his home town of Lowell. He made some friends and offered to pay for guitar lessons. The burgeoning prodigy would ditch his classes at Lowell High so he could fine tune his playing skills in local clubs and make a living teaching guitar to avoid a day job.


In 1987 he had sent a demo tape to Ozzy Osbourne in Los Angeles who was looking to replace Jake E. Lee. He was so impressed with young and talented Hoey that he auditioned him for his band but we know that the job eventually went to Zakk Wylde. He was advised to move to L. A. by Osbourne so he took the $17 grand he had saved from teaching and loaded a U-Haul and off to L. A. Gary went.

By 1992 he had formed a band containing Quiet Riot drummer Frankie Banali and they released their self-titled debut album “Heavy Bones.” However this was during the grunge era and the band and record fizzled. The following year Hoey approached Warner Brothers again and requested to record a low budget album just for fun of instrumental rock. On a $15,000 budget they released “Animal Instinct.” One track was a cover of the Focus chart topper “Hocus Pocus.” This was a very classic song with a unique hook in the chorus, yodeling. The album and the track “Hocus Pocus” took off like wild fire soaring into the Billboard Top 5. “Hocus Pocus” became the most frequently played song of the year and “Animal Instinct” became a rock staple. Gary has collaborated with many top musicians.


Gary Hoey is also widely known as taking good old fashioned Christmas songs and reinventing them with an electric blues feel with his vintage Fender Stratocaster. For the last 20 years he and his bandmates bill their concert as “Ho Ho Hoey’s Rockin’ Holiday Show.” During this time the band tours the U. S. doing on-air interviews at radio stations across the country. During his show he also adds new releases from his Utopia album from 2010 and Deja Blues from 2013. His take on “The 12 Days of Christmas” is a prime example of wanting to rock Santa’s world. Hallmark’s musical greeting cards include two of Gary’s “Ho Ho Hoey” classics.

It’s no wonder that after 19 successful albums he is considered as one of the best 100 guitarists of all time. Visit and discover his brilliance.






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