The Hooley Shooters:
Going Green at the GLPL in 2015
A SoundPress.net Feature Article by Rich and Laura Lynch

The Hooley Shooters are a talented trio who perform American/Irish pub classics along with originals. As you might imagine the group was in high demand in the month of March as the interest in Irish music increases in and around St. Patrick's Day. On March 22, 2015, The Hooley Shooters finished up their busy season curiously enough at the Greenwood Lake Public Library (GLPL). There was plenty of books on the shelf instead of the Irish Whiskey you'd find at their more traditional performing venues, i.e. the numerous pubs and bars they often play in the region. The Hooley Shooters were part of the library's ongoing Music Makers Concert Series. The patrons at this pleasant afternoon concert were fueled on caffeine and cookies rather than Guinness.


Tom Gardner - the energetic and engaging leader of the band!

The Hooley Shooters are fronted by lead singer and guitarist Tom Gardner. He is an animated personality who is also an awarding winning family performer with The Uncle Brothers. Axel Belohoubek the keyboardist has composed hundreds of scores for commercials, films and more. Barry Wiesenfeld also has an impressive resume. He has worked with Grammy and RMI award winning artists. Barry plays bass, flute and kazoo.

Tom greeted the crowd pointing out that St. Patrick's Day is also the start of spring - a good lead into the "Garden Song" - a lively seasonal tune filled with visual images of the joys of planting. Flutist Barry added to the feel of the piece as Axel on keys melded various effects into the mix. This technique was utilized throughout the concert to give the band an even broader sound. During "Ramblings of Spring" Axel supplied a fiddle like lilt to the feisty song. The patron saint of the month that is credited to bringing Christianity to the country of Ireland was honored by The Hooley Shooters with a winsome up-tempo waltz.


Axel Belohoubek - musical genius in the house!

Gardner observed that many Irish songs are about drinking and death. The spirited "Moonshiner" rolled along on traditional Irish instrumentation. Lads and lasses were also well represented. During the afternoon we were introduced to musician Danny Quinn and the popular "Danny Boy" - beautifully played and sung by Belohoubek. "Galway Girl" and Van Morrison's "Brown Eyed Girl" were some of the lovely ladies present at Sunday's show.

The Hooley Shooters were entertaining as well as engaging. They encouraged folks to sing along to merry tunes such as "Mary Mac", which was a bit of a tongue twister. The Hooley Shooters made sure fans clapped along to a rousing "Wild Rover' as Barry led the crowd through the 4, 2, 1 sequences. "Whiskey in the Jar" another jolly tune flowed on a 4, 2 pattern. "Finnegan's Wake" involved 16 claps. Tom told us that if we were in a pub and we over-clapped we would have had to buy the person next to us a beer or a Coke-Cola as this was a G/PG rated show. Axel started the tale of Tim Finnegan with church organs. It was followed by the pretty "Fields of Athenry" that flowed on a gentler progression of flute, guitar and keys.


Barry Wiesenfeld - the new guy brings added dimension to the repertoire!

"All I Want is a Proper Cup of Coffee" by Trout Fishing in America was a peppy piece that also had a challenging refrain propelled by a fast paced piano part. "The Unicorn Song" (Irish Rovers) was fun and easier to sing along to than the previous tune. Tom acted out some of the animal parts between guitar strums. The Hooley Shooters closed their show with the comical "Charlie MTA". It was the story of a guy who get stucks on the subway in Boston only to never return. Some of the lyrics referenced baseball with a verse change-up that featured Gardner's beloved New York Yankees.

The Hooley Shooters focused mainly on classic pub songs during their foot-tapping set yet kept fans on their toes with a number of more contemporary tunes. All three were well versed on their instruments, able to add lots of colors to the traditional Irish music they presented on Sunday afternoon. Although St. Patrick's day/week is finished for 2015, The Hooley Shooters have a number of gigs this spring, so please check them out at www.hooleyshooters.com.


Related Links: For more information on HOOLEY SHOOTERS and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links -- Hooley Shooters | Greenwood Lake Public Library

(Originally Published on March 23, 2015)

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