There are moments in life when you sit back and look at all you have experienced, accomplished and mastered. Did you dip your toe into many a pool looking for the right waters to calm that soul of yours, or did you jump in neck deep? Well, my parents always had a saying for people that tried everything under the sun, never really settling on just one: “Jack of all trades, Master of none.” I always thought that might be true for those who end up exploring all the styles of life… until now. One guitarist has defied that saying, and not only has he taken his time through many genres finding his true style, he seems to have mastered a good number them as well. GARY HOEY is that guitarist, and he might be changing that age old saying to “Jack of all trades, Mastering them all!”
“His hand reminded me like a spider running up and down the neck…” – Gary Hoey on when he first witnessed guitar playing up close.
Gary Hoey describes himself as “musically schizophrenic” and I think that looking back at this Lowell, MA native’s musical journey, that he is selling himself a bit short; actually, a lot short. Yes he has ventured into a multitude of styles and genres since his early days of playing, but I think it was a path that needed to be forged. It is many influences that can create something truly deep, complex and rich. A reminiscent memory and hints of past experiences that permeates a true personality in Hoey’s playing, much akin to a great Bordeaux or cigar. The sound wafts into your ears and you can sense the past lives that have brought it to this place and time. The places that the solos and melodies have been speak volumes as you swallow them down. You can feel the music’s true soul as it evolves into its own. This organic process brings this guitar player’s craft to a new level, a sum of all its parts.
“I’ve never felt better where I’m at musically…”
From that first album back in ’92 under the HEAVY BONES moniker, Hoey has been on a fast ride toward his current position. This guitarist is seemingly shifting into overdrive with his 20th release “Dust & Bones”. It seems that this blues laden offering pulls all of Hoey’s styles into one grand expression of where he has always been meant to be. He has finally “come home” so to speak. And if you don’t hear the masterful expression of his multifaceted crusade on this recording, then you have never felt the yearning of the open road, a new experience, or the sonic wonders around you. For “Dust & Bones” is just that, a culmination of a guitarist’s accomplishments, travels, and finally knowing his true style.
I had the distinct pleasure of sitting down with Gary Hoey recently to talk about the blues, Lowell, Boxcars, his new album, and finally finding his way home.