JOE HURLEY & THE GENTS
"Lead singer and songwriter Joe Hurley, backed by a sublime group of New York City All-Stars, The Gents, ventured out last week for a pair of shows that offered up a selection of brand new material and some rarely performed Rogue's March songs....The highlight of their sparkling set was a great new song "Irish Breakfast In a Greek Diner" that boasted a teriffic sing-along chorus." - ASSOCIATED PRESS
Joe Hurley & The Gents performed their first shows on a double-bill with friends Steve Wynn and the Miracle 3 at NYC's Mercury Lounge and Brooklyn's Southpaw. At their inception the band included Tony Shanahan on bass(Patti Smith) James Mastro on Guitar(Ian Hunter) and Kenny Margolis on keyboards(Cracker). Playing a mix of brand new unreleased Joe Hurley piano-led ballads, stomping cabaret, and some scorching rock and roll numbers in the grand tradition of Stooges/ Stones/Faces classics--off the cuff, in your face, and from the heart, they cut a fine figure of debauched,compassionate gentleman at play. Some of Joe's most heartbreaking lyrics came to the forefront, in songs like 'Valentine Blue', 'Desiree' ,and 'Rockaway", but the clever wordplay and inherent humor in songs like the music-hall flavoured "Irish Breakfast in a Greek Diner" , "Freak Show Honey" and the glam-tinged "Julie Andrews Says Hello" were just as crucial a part of their sound and outlook. In the gutter, maybe. Looking up at the stars, definitely.
Joe and his Gents quickly became regulars at their favorite NYC venue, Joe's Pub, and soon went on to larger shows, opening for the legendary NEW YORK DOLLS at the Hoboken Music Festival in 2006. Also that year they performed to a sell-out crowd at the Hiro Ballroom, where they appeared with the Beastie Boys, Marshall Crenshaw, Debbie Harry, and others at a benefit for NYC's Animal Rescue League. In recent times they have appeared with Ian Mclagan (The Faces) at Maxwells, headlined the Riverside Park Music Festival in NYC, and appeared as themselves in a national TV commercial about the rock and roll scene in NY. The commercial followed the band on and off stage and was filmed at the landmarked Webster Hall, where they played the following year on St Patrick's Day to a packed house.
The Gents have collaborated onstage with a variety of talented folks. The acclaimed novelist Colum McCann took his magic pen out with Joe creating a couple of tunes that the band somehow performed live 2 hours later, and Joe has had the pleasure of singing duets with Andrea Marcovicci ,Maude Maggart, Jenni Muldaur and the Mekons' Sally Timms at Gents concerts. Joe has written two songs with Steve Wynn(Dream Syndicate) for the Gents, both of which will appear on the forthcoming CD. An American icon and the Ultimate Gent himself, the playwright/actor Sam Shepard, joined Joe for a set of tunes on Bloomsday in NYC.
Joe gathered many of his Gents to be in his band last September 07 for a magnificent evening at the Delacorte Theatre in Central Park, where he threw and hosted a musical bash celebrating the life of the late Marc Bolan on what would have been his 60th birthday. The sold-out event, on a picture perfect night under the starry skies, drew a parade of stars to the stage performing TREX songs. Joe's Guests included Patti Smith, Moby, Tony Visconti, Lloyd Cole, Robert Gordon, Sylvain Sylvain and many more, backed by an all-star band including some of the Gents, Blondie's Clem Burke on drums, and other downtown luminaries-As Bill Bragin(Joe's Pub/Lincoln Centre Director) wrote "That was one for the rock & roll history books".
The Gents have a somewhat floating membership, and as well as the aforementioned , their esteemed ranks now also include the following top players... Jon Spurney on piano(Passing Strange), Megan Weeder(A gent and a lady) on violin (John Mellencamp), guitarist Chris Flynn, bassist Sean Seymour and drummer Denny Mcdermott (Rosanne Cash).
Their sets are always full of surprises, and can often include Rogue's March classics as well as Gents material, not to mention the occasional late-night foray into the golden land of Clash and Cash.
The autumn of 2008 sees the band playing a string of festivals in NYC, Asbury Park, Chicago, New Haven and other gentle and not so gentle cities. (See GIGS page for info).
Roguish Gents? The Gentlemen Rogues? A Rogue by any other name would smell as sweet....Ladies and Gentlemen, we give you Joe Hurley & The Gents.
Joe Hurley will release the much anticipated first CD with his merry band of Gents in March 2011.