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ROCK ON! This Week's Sound Bites...8/19/15

By Danny Coleman

originally published: 08/19/2015
“Summer, Jersey Shore; there’s nothing like it anywhere else in the world,” says Hank Woji as he prepares to revisit the area with his first full band show in New Jersey in twenty two years. “I’m very excited to do this show at The Saint and to play with Sonny Kenn and George Wirth again too!”


Woji was “Born in Elizabeth and moved to Matawan” NJ at a very young age. Fifteen years ago he went to Texas on a three month business trip and fell in love with his current home. “My family bounced around, I mean we lived all over the Jersey shore it seems,” he said with a chuckle. “I was working a corporate job and was sent to Houston for a short time and I really liked living there. I decided to move and I live in a little town near the Mexico border where I fell in with a bunch of songwriters and started playing guitar again. I was a bass player for the majority of those years in Jersey, so it was nice to start playing my guitar and writing.”


Make no mistake about it; the bass has been very good to Hank as he was a fixture in clubs along the Jersey shore, providing the bottom line for various bands and projects. Woji’s good fortunes included opening for or sharing a stage with Jimmy Cliff, Hot Tuna, The Smithereens, The Wailers, Jon Bon Jovi, Johnny Winter, Clarence Clemons, Johnny Johnson and Bruce Springsteen to name a few. His luck held out as a solo artist performing with or as an opener for Amy Speace, Kinky Friedman and the late great Pete Seeger.


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This show in Asbury Park marks a return to a place, where he not only hob knobbed with those large personalities but made lifelong friends; who to this day share his love of music. “I played in and around Asbury Park from 1980 until 1995 or ’97. I used to play with Sonny and guys like Billy Hector but it’s been a long time, probably since like ’92 or ’94 since I played an Asbury bar so this is going to be fun,”  he said with a laugh.


The Wednesday show at The Saint will mark a new adventure of sorts for Woji; playing for the first time with his band and the band with each other. “Nobody knows each other,” he explained with an even heartier laugh. “I mean forget ever playing together; they’ve never even met, let alone even seen one another! This is why I call it a conspiracy; it’s like the old days of Watergate where I’m the common thread between all of the parties, I’ve practiced with each of these guys individually but The Saint will be the first time we’re all playing together and actually meeting each other. It really is a conspiracy; a conspiracy to commit music (laughing)!”


Upon moving to Houston, TX in 2001 and “Falling in with a rough crowd also known as singer songwriters,” Woji released “Medallion” the first of his five discs in 2005. “The Working Life,” his most recent effort, hit the markets in 2014 and by his own admission fits the pattern of not fitting a pattern. “I’m not one of those guys that you can pigeon hole,” he said with confidence. “My albums? They’re all different. One is kind of political and the rest can fit into the “Americana” genre I suppose but they sound nothing alike but I can tell you this much; they are all honest. Americana is a Grammy category now, as Nashville got to be less country, record companies gained more control and music seemed to get homogenized. Americana is more like roots music, a mash of traditional blues, country, folk and roots music just all kind of thrown together; my music is definitely Americana.”  


Woji says his live performances are similar to his recordings in that all of his influences come through while on stage. “When I do band stuff, I tend to sound like The Band or the Dead; maybe some Dylan or even Little Feat and if you like the Allman Brothers I kind of can be like them, like a jam band. I tend to just go with the flow of the music and what’s happening on stage and let the players have freedom; it’s always more fun that way.”

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So what can those in attendance expect this Wednesday from Woji and his friends Kenn and Wirth? “I think,” he said as his hesitation quickly turned to laughter; “I think it’s gonna be interesting. It is definitely going to be an adventure. These are five guys who’ve never met and as I said; I’m the common contact. These guys are great players, an all-star band for sure so it’s going to be new, probably a lot of just jamming until we get comfortable. I’ll definitely have to bring my “A” game and everyone coming out to the show should bring their sense of adventure. I do know this, I’ll be sitting in with Sonny and he with me and I’m sure George will be in on these too; he’s an amazing songwriter that George Wirth and I am honored that they are doing this for and with me. I am very excited!”


The Saint is Located at 601 Main Street in Asbury Park; tickets are $10 and can be purchased at and to find out more about Hank Woji, please go to



That's it for this week! Please continue to support live and original music and until next week....ROCK ON!



Amarones Windsor Inn

29 Church St. Windsor


(609) 448-7144


Fri. 8 p.m. F2 & The Anchovy Brothers

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Sat. 8 p.m. Tony Malandro


Blend Bar & Bistro

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(609) 245-8887


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931 Chambers St. Trenton


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(609) 695-9612


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183 US Highway 130 North Bordentown

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(609) 298-9182


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(215) 788-2855


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116 S. Main St. New Hope, PA.



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Havana New Hope

105 S. Main Street. New Hope, Pa. 

(215) 862-9897


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(609) 888-1435


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(215) 862-5981

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(609) 586-2678


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(609) 989-1600


Please check web site for upcoming events


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(609) 838-7979


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All shows 21+ 


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(609) 737-2780


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(609) 585-8008


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134 Farnsworth Avenue Bordentown

(609) 424-3766


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RHO Waterfront

50 Riverview Plaza Trenton

(609) 393-7300


Fri. (4 p.m.) Happy Hour Buffet. $10 (8:30 p.m.) Xclusive

Sat. 9 p.m. "Come My Way Leo/Virgo Bornday Bash" w/ DJs William H, Bark Da Ripper, Selecta Bam Bam. $20 (advance)

Tavern On The Lake

101 Main St. Hightstown

(609) 426-9345


Wed. 8 p.m. Karaoke Night 


The HOB Tavern

146 Second Street

(609) 291-7020


Sat. 9 p.m. Karaoke


The Ivy Inn

248 Nassau St. Princeton

(609) 921-8555


Thurs. 10 p.m. Karaoke w/ DJ Ron

Fri. 10 p.m. Rainbow Fresh

Sat. 10 p.m. Twisted Charm

Tues. 8 p.m. Quizzo w/ Bob E Luv

Wed. (8:30 p.m.) Tune Trivia (10:30 p.m.) DJ Rockn Ron


The Sticky Wicket 

2465 South Broad St. Hamilton

(609) 439-0007


Fri. 9 p.m. New Dawn

Sat. 9 p.m. The Drunk Monkeys


The Sun National Bank Center 

81 Hamilton Ave. Trenton

(609) 656-3200


Check web site for upcoming events


Tir Na Nog 

1324 Hamilton Ave. Trenton

(609) 392-2554


Sat. 9 p.m. Oliver McElhone

Tues. 9 p.m. Open Mic. w/ Jerry Monk

Wed. 9 p.m. Dermot McSweeney

All shows  21+

Trenton Buzz

702 Pine St. Trenton

(609) 392-6000


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Trenton Social

449 South Broad Street Trenton

(609) 989-7777


Thurs. 8:30 p.m. Cinema Thursday Presents: (TBA)

Fri. 7 p.m. First Friday

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Triumph Brewing Company (New Hope, Pa. Location)

400 Union Square New Hope, Pa.

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Sat. 10 p.m. Jerry Fiess ($5 cover charge)

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Wildflowers Inn

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Sat. 9 p.m. Acoustic Rock 

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Danny Coleman is a veteran musician and writer from central New Jersey. He hosts a weekly radio program entitled “Rock On Radio” airing Sunday evenings at 7:000pm EST on multiple internet radio outlets where he features indie/original bands and solo artists.



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