Gary Hoey – Deja Blues
Wazoo Music Group 2013
CD Review by Scott Thomas
Gary Hoey sent me his newest most recent album "Deja Blues" not long ago and I have finally found the time to sit down to write a music review. I have listened to the CD several times now and I must say that the album is an alluring assemblage… the cat's meow of some righteous blues rock songs if you will…
When fellow music patrons think of guitarist Gary Hoey, they think of instrumental shredders in the realm of Satriani, Vai and others of that high caliber. However, with this collection of tunes, he's more in the arena of Eric Clapton, Joe Bonamassa, Jon Butcher and Eric Gales. As I read the CD jewel case's inner sleeve, I noticed that Hoey has written most of the songs with only a couple of exceptions.
The opening tune "Boss You Around" is an up-tempo straight ahead tight blues vamp that's impeccably delivered. Gary's vocals are commanding and emotive. And of course his guitar playing is exactly what the doctor ordered. Did someone say electrifying? The next creation called "Boot Mill Blues" is a fast hard-driving boogie-woogie featuring catchy vocals and some illuminated harp playing by brother in music James Montgomery. "Almost Over You" slows things down a bit and gives you that smokey juke joint sound with the low down but silky smooth organ explorations. Jon Butcher lays it down with the guitar duties here. Again, Brother Gary's vocal timbres are spot on. Next up to bat is the infamous cover by Don Nix "Going Down" and let me tell ya, Hoey tears it up! This is one of those tunes where he let's his hair down and really shows off his guitar prowess. "She's Walking" is a mid-tempo shuffle that has some fine slide guitar playing on it by the capable Johhny A. … This is a down and dirty foot stomp'n track for sure.
Gary Hoey has recorded 19 albums and had five top-20 Billboard hits, and has been called one of the top 100 guitarists of all time. As writer, producer, and guitar player, Hoey's clients have included Disney, ESPN, and No Fear, and he has performed the National Anthem for the New England Patriots, San Diego Padres, and the Boston Red Sox. The maestro has been featured on VH1 Classic’s documentary “Aftermath,” and has guest starred alongside Michael Anthony, Ace Frehley, and Dave Mason, among others at the Rock N Roll Fantasy Camp in Los Angeles, which debuts as a special series on VH1 Classics. And in 2012, my man recently produced and co-wrote for “The Queen Of Metal” Lita Ford’s latest release “Living Like Runaway” for SPV records to rave reviews, “It was a thrill to work with Lita, she is a true rocker, a pioneer for woman in rock, and she’s a kick ass guitar player”.
Hoey has toured and traded licks with the likes of Jeff Beck, Brian May of Queen, Ted Nugent, Joe Satriani, The Doobie Brothers, Foreigner, Styx, Steve Vai, Peter Frampton, and Dick Dale.
The next stand out song "Stranger" is a slow and sensuous vibration with
satin vocals, mesmerizing lyrics and sizzling tone-full blues licks
which sets you up for the next stately smoking tune "Born Under A Bad
Sign"… This is definitely a stunning performance with substance. Tune
number eight "Got To Believe’s" performance is rich with intensity and
feeling. Again, the backing slide- guitar work is rip-roaring thanks to
the talents of Frank Hannon. The self-titled tune "Deja Blues" is a
melodic blues instrumental of the highest order. The crisp, clean
distortion sound jumps off of the master's axe. Definitely some nice
tasty guitar work here for the soul. And lastly, we have the foot
tapping feel good tune "Hold Your Head Up High". Lots of finesse and
plenty of tone with the slide guitar work and his voice and lyrics are a
In closing, what we have here is a fine collection of classic rock'n blues. Gary Hoey is one very talented kat and a faithful student of the blues. There is also plenty of fret burning, full-tilt roots-boogies, simmering shuffles and catchy vamps. Overall the production sounds fresh and a definite expression of dedication to the blues icons before him. Excellent songwriting, production, and musicianship and highly recommended!!!