The ferocious guitarist fuses his blues and rock influences on 11 original songs that celebrate Johnny Winter, Led Zeppelin, Robert Johnson, Robin Trower, and others. Lita Ford guests on “Coming Home”.
“It’s great to hear Gary sing and play the blues with his trademark intensity, feel and authenticity. And the guitar tones! “Dust & Bones is a great sounding Blues/Rock album that’s both vintage and modern at the same time.” Joe Satriani
“This is where I belong-playing this ferocious blend of blues and rock music,” says guitarist Gary Hoey about his 20th album, Dust & Bones. “I did my last album, Deja Blues, to prove to myself that I could play authentic blues, and now that I feel more at home there, I felt it was time to mix my favorite guitar styles into something seamless, organic, and powerful.”
It’s just so right-with-the-universe that Gary Hoey’s 20th album, Dust & Bones
[Mascot Label Group], is an exuberant fusion of blues and rock. After all, this accomplished and diverse guitarist has explored several styles in his career—hard rock, rock, surf, and prog, to name a few—and he came home to the blues with 2013’s Deja Blues.
Now, Hoey has forged his deep blues and rock roots into a fiery, organic, and thrilling mix that should delight and astound lovers of the guitar and guitar music.
“Looking back from my first album in 1992, it sure seems like I’m musically schizophrenic,” says Hoey. “But I truly believed in every style I played. I still do. I wanted to master everything—or at least try to—and every lick from every style I’ve absorbed informs everything I do today. And I love that, because all of that diversity helps me come up with riffs, licks, and melodies that are perhaps deeper and more unique than if I had stayed exclusively with one style.”
One thing that always stays consistent, however, is Hoey’s impassioned command of the guitar. He’s one of those guitarists who can attack his instrument with feral intensity, and then play something very soft and almost achingly beautiful. This ability to devise phrasing, technique, and tone in the service of feeling the music has not gone unnoticed.
In 1987, the Boston-born guitarist caught the ear of Ozzy Osbourne—no slouch at picking great guitar players—and almost ended up in his band. (The gig ultimately went to Zakk Wylde.) But Ozzy thought enough of Hoey to implore him to move where the action was—Los Angeles. The relocation paid off big time in 1992, when Hoey scored a major-label record deal with Reprise for his band, Heavy Bones. Sadly, the group was dropped in 1993, but Hoey’s determination won the day. He convinced the label to let him record a low-budget instrumental-guitar album, Animal Instinct, and his version of Focus’ “Hocus Pocus” brought Hoey chart success and a successful solo career.
Since then, the gigs and accolades have never stopped. Here are some highlights…
• He scored the soundtrack to Endless Summer II (1994).
• He recorded “Miserlou ’97” with surf-guitar icon Dick Dale in 1997.
• He has provided music for several film and television companies, including Walt Disney, New Line Cinema, and ESPN.
• He scored the music to the awesome roller-coaster ride California Screaming at Disney’s California Adventure.
• He produced metal legend Lita Ford’s Living Like a Runaway album.
• He is a frequent coach and musical director at Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp.
• In 2015, he celebrated the 20th anniversary of his holiday CDs and tours under the Ho! Ho! Hoey banner. (Hallmark musical greeting cards feature two of his Ho! Ho! Hoey songs.)
• He recently completed filming an instructional blues-guitar video for TrueFire online guitar lessons.
“I love playing guitar, and, these days, it takes a creative and administrative commitment to keep a career evolving and growing,” says Hoey. “I’ve learned how to make records, how to manage social-networking campaigns, how to put a tour together, how to sell merchandise, and everything about how to survive in the music business as it exists right now. But it’s all worth it when I hang out with the audience at my shows and talk about music. The human interaction is critical, and having that relationship with my fans is what keeps me writing music and practicing like a demon. I never want to let those people down.”
Listen to the title track here:
Released through Mascot Label Group, Dust & Bones showcases Hoey’s Fender Stratocaster-driven fury alongside open-D-tuned resonator guitars plugged into half-stacks. The massive sonic attack was essential for paying sincere and appropriate homage to some of Hoey’s influences, such as Johnny Winter (“Steamroller”), Robin Trower (“This Time Tomorrow”), and Brian Setzer (“Who’s Your Daddy”), as well as a thrill-a-minute mash up of Robert Johnson meets Led Zeppelin (“Boxcar Blues”). There’s also a classic power ballad (“Coming Home”) where Lita Ford sings a duet with Hoey.
“This is the biggest-sounding album I’ve done in years,” says Hoey. “From the guitars to the vocals to the rhythm section-everything was designed to produce a huge impact. I’m just so proud of this record.”
For the Dust & Bones tracks, Hoey went with a power-trio configuration, rocking hard with drummer Matt Scurfield and bassist AJ Pappas. The other selections on the 11-song CD are the first single, “Dust & Bones,” as well as “Born to Love You,” “Ghost of Yesterday,” “Back Against the Wall,” “Blind Faith,” and “Soul Surfer.”
GARY HOEY – DUST and BONES
Label: Mascot / Provogue
Release: 29 July 2016
1. Boxcar Blues
2. Who’s Your Daddy
3. Born To Love You
4. Dust & Bones
5. Steamroller (tribute to Johnny Winter)
6. Coming Home (featuring Lita Ford)
7. Ghost Of Yesterday
8. This Time Tomorrow
9. Back Up Against The Wall
10. Blind Faith
11. Soul Surfer
“I had the pleasure of singing a duet with the great Mr Gary Hoey, on the beautiful ballad called “Coming Home.” It’s got some awesome guitar playing in it” Lita Ford
Gary Hoey’s awesome command of styles, tones, and techniques drives so many different moods on Dust & Bones that you’ll feel as if he transports you across the musical universe and beyond. Buckle up! – Michael Molenda, Editor in Chief, Guitar Player magazine
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