Saturday, June 5, 2021

DJ Interviews: Gary Jay Hoffman


How'd you get started in music?
I took a guitar class in middle school but mostly self taught for couple years. Shortly thereafter I played bass in my older brothers band 'The All Around Cowboy Band'. I was 16 and he was 21.  Played in bars around DC MD VA in mid/late 70s. Played bass for variety of bands for many years including my sons alternate rock band HalfPast3.  2015 switched to Singer-songwriter :-)

Who are your inspirations or influences?
Biggest and first one was Marty Robbins.   My mom would play his 'Gunfighter ballads and trail songs'.  I like how Marty Robbins played a few different genres. Loved his song writing.  Watch his live performances on YouTube it shows what a great entertainer he was & always looks like he us genuinely having fun performing for an audience. 

What advice would offer aspiring performers?
Practicing of course.. Also record yourself practicing and then listen.  I found I wasn't good as I thought I was LOL but I got better after doing that.. 

How do you set yourselves apart from other bands or singers?
Having fun is very important. When I play as a DUO or band, I just love it.. I'm smiling,  joking around and the audience feels at ease cause they see us having fun. We've been told that, wow you guys have so much fun. We started getting booked more places because we have fun..  Took me 40+ yrs to learn that lesson.   I mostly play songs I want to play because that way I have fun and that comes across to the audience.  I pick some eclectic songs people may have never heard.  I don't play the SOS (same old songs) every one else does.. Find your niche.  Since I play country/bluegrass I do play some standards that people know and can sing along.  Every set has some bluegrass,  some country and maybe another genre like Irish folk.  Every set has some covers and some originals.  Every set has least one sing along song.  We dress up with ballero ties or bolo ties with nice hats.  Our moto is we come dressed to kill with music to thrill. ;-)

Any new gigs or albums in the future?
I have an album out late 2020 called 'Back to the Farm'.  It's a multi genre album - bluegrass, folk, traditional country,  country/blues, country/rock.  Most songs inspired by real life experience.  2 songs 'Rodeo Girl & 'Simple Fiddle Song' have been on 3800+ radio shows w potential 5 million listeners. I have many gigs around Northern Virginia at variety of wineries and  breweries but am hoping to play more house concerts and/or festivals.  I'd like to expand my playing area maybe do a mini tour in Europe.

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