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Hart to Hart with Joe Hart

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The Joe Hart Band packs a high energy one-two punch with the vocals of Bryan Poor, the guitar wizardry of Joe Hart and Hans Waldmann who keeps it all together with his deft bass playing.

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Hart decided he needed to learn how to play guitar upon hearing "Led Zeppelin II". He spent thousands of hours teaching himself to play and ended up with great experiences playing with local bands and getting his bachelor’s degree in music. Although he knows all of the music theory and the “technical stuff,” he still remembers what it’s like to sit in a room desperately trying to play a favorite song!

He's had the good fortune to have worked with some of the greatest musicians in the world (Uli Jon Roth from The Scorpions, Paul Gilbert, Tony Franklin from The Firm and Blue Murder, Michael Angelo Batio, Kofi Baker, Joe Stump, Chris Impelitteri, Warren DiMartini from Ratt, Graham Bonnet from Rainbow, Michael Harris, Robby Krieger from The Doors, and more).

Examiner spent some time with Joe Hart to go over his impressive musical resume.

Examiner: Can you tell our readers about The Joe Hart Band and how you all came together?

Hart: "I actually recruited Poor, vocalist and drummer, at another band's audition and asked him to join my band. He had over 30 years in the music business and had worked up and down the East Coast. In his late teens he took advantage of the blossoming music scene in Virginia Beach, singing and drumming in local bands, before returning to Massachusetts where he's now busy working with three bands as well as being a popular DJ.

Waldmann, our bassist, brings a solid foundation to the band. He's been playing electric bass and guitar for over 20 years, and started playing in funk and metal bands in his hometown of Copenhagen, Denmark. After moving to the United State, he continued to pursue his musical muse and soon became a highly in-demand player in the local music scene. I'm happy to have him.

In 2013, I asked Nancy MacCallum to join our band because she had been a guest vocalist for us many times. MacCallum is a west coast transplant, born and raised in Hollywood, California. She has been playing guitar and singing in bands for more than 25 years ranging from hard rock to heavy metal to a 60's 'girl group' A Capella. McCallum plays many solo gigs and is currently in three other musical projects. "

Examiner: Can you tell us about some of your musical accomplishments thus far?

Hart: "Over the years, I've recorded and released fourteen albums and wrote and published eight books (including several guitar and music instruction books). I also build and customize guitars, various music-related electronics, and all sorts of other "mad scientist" type stuff.

In July of 2013, we released “Starless,” a full-length album featuring the vocal talents Boston's own Sarah Gardner. I'm currently working on a book about good guitar tone as well as writing and illustrating a new children’s book."

Examiner: You keep very busy. Do you play any other instruments besides guitar and have you performed with any other bands over the years in the Boston area?

Hart: "I'm actually equally skilled on both guitar and bass. Over the years I've played with Freudian Slip, The Billings Brigade, Yankee Rocket, and Joe Stump. But when I cut loose with The Joe Hart Band, I think my talents are really displayed. The Joe Hart Band plays regularly, so if you like great musicianship, loads of catchy songs, and a great visual show, be sure to catch us!"

Examiner: Who was your biggest influence to get in to the music business?

Hart: "Getting into the “music business” is a necessary evil of being a musician! If only there was a way to make a living as a musician without needing to be a part of the business end of things!! But as a pre-teen boy in 1970’s, middle class, suburban America, my first introduction to music was KISS. You know, the whole blood, fire, comic book hero thing mixed with music? But then, a friend of mine gave me a copy of “Led Zeppelin II” and that was it! When the needle hit that groove and the opening guitar riff came out of the speakers, I instantly wanted to do that!"

Examiner: It's wonderful that you reach out to young students who dream of one day being in a band. Tell us about the School of Rock?

Hart: "The School of Rock opened last year and I started teaching for them a couple of months ago. I’ve been playing and teaching for a long time and really enjoy it. I love being able to share music with others! When I was starting out, I had to learn everything the hard way, just by trial and error, but a place like The School of Rock really helps kids advance and excel at such a quicker pace than I was able to as a kid. The SoR (as we cool folks call it!) stresses jumping right into real-world musical situations rather than years of tedious practice with very little tangible results. Kids at SoR are up and running in a very short amount of time. Of course, I constantly stress good technique and knowledge of music theory, but as a means to an end, not an end in itself."

Examiner: What type of music do you play? Do you listen too?

Hart: "Duke Ellington said that there were two types of music, good music and bad music. I like all kinds of music as long as it's good. Being a guitar player, I really like music that features guitar. I try to play guitar as well as I can, but I also try to never let the technical aspect of playing overshadow the basic idea of making it sound cool. If I had to choose one phrase to describe my music, I would say it’s “heavy blues rock.” What can I say? I like rockin’ guitar! But like I said, I like lots of different music: Led Zeppelin, Rush, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Rainbow, all that 70’s hard rock stuff. But I also love The Beatles, The Police, Elton John, Queen... I could go on and on and on!! Basically, if the music is creative and well-played (I am NOT a fan of incompetent players!), then chances are I like it!"

Examiner: Any original recordings, new CD's?

Hart: " I’ve recorded a bunch of material over the years. I’ve been playing music for a long time! The main thing that I like about music is creating. Just sitting there goofing around on guitar between students, I’m creating sounds and melodies and ideas -- art! For me, writing a song is a way to create something that can be shared easily with others, so the obvious route to take is to record it. My latest album is called “Starless,” but I have already been writing for the next release! It just never ends!"

Examiner: Have you worked with any famous musicians that you can tell us about?

Hart: "Yes, we could talk for hours about that. One of the greatest things, for me as a music fan, is that I get to meet and hang out with my heroes. I’ve played bass with shred guitar legend Joe Stump. That’s was amazing! Just to stand on a stage with him night after night, I’ve learned so much from him! I got an impromptu private lesson from Paul Gilbert (solo, Racer X, Mr. Big). I’ve had the honor of playing with Uli Jon Roth (solo, Scorpions) who is a favorite player of mine. I’ve played shows with people like Robby Krieger (The Doors), Warren DiMartini (Ratt), and Graham Bonnet (Rainbow and Alcatrazz)... there are lots more, but for me, those stand out. And I am very glad to say that just about everyone that I’ve met has been very cool. It’s a bummer to meet your hero and find out that they’re a jerk! While playing guitar for a living has been a LOT of work and a lot of sacrifice, it’s been a TON of fun!"

Upcoming gigs for The Joe Hart Band: http://www.JoeHartBand.com, Record Label: Rabbath Recordings

They are playing an unplugged internet radio show on Thursday, January 23rd, 2014.

Saturday, January 25, 2014 - Workmens Hall, 99 Wilson St, Norwood, MA. (781) 762-1146

Sunday, January 26, 2014 - Private Party

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