Hank Woji
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Veteran singer-songwriter, a much-travelled Hank Woji takes the listener with him as he travels from his New Jersey home State right on down to Texas (a place he has regularly called home). Enjoying a helping hand or two doing so. Good pickers he has too as Colin Brooks (Band Of Heathens) on Dobro, harmony vocals, Guy Forsythe (singing saw), Jeff Duncan (violin), Thomas Helton (double bass, tuba), Karen Mal (harmony vocals), Roger Wolford (drums) tag on to his acoustic guitars, harmonica to go with accomplished vocals.

The eight tracks are split into busy, bustling numbers and melancholy ballads. Six of the songs are his. Additional fare coming from Jerry Garcia, Robert Hunter (“The Deal”) and Randy Moore’s “Terlingua Blues” though neither are as strong as one of his own songs, slow barroom shuffle “Holy Ghost Town”. Awash in descriptive lyrics that seep into one’s senses invitingly, and like good whisky it has a mellow and relaxing feel to it as generous helpings of mandolin, Dobro, violin, harmony vocals and harmonica help see a little piece of Texas be transported worldwide.

Woji’s vocals are an ideal mix of firm, rounded and on the occasions he wants to dig down deep and scratch the dirt he does with his killer version of “Terlingua Blues”; so powerful and the fashion he takes the listener to the location it could well become a Hank Woji career song, an anthem-like piece! Hank’s hunger to become better at what he does, and joy in his voice make his music a welcome companion to all us travellers wherever we go.

To close the record, Woji shuffles through “Hank’s Ole Dusty Road Rag” (inst) with the help of singing saw to go with his on smart pickin’ of acoustic guitar. Speaking of ace picking Brooks does him proud on numerous occasions as he fuels the songs, and though of a more subtle kind of feel Duncan likewise leaves his mark on a melancholy, sage-like “The Last Time I Saw Jesus”. “The Deal” is a sleepy, bluesy tune that brings about a warm, mellow glow and is non the worse for it. Not at all!

Maurice Hope - Flying Shoes Review, UK - Aug 2013


The West Texas minimalism of "There Was a Time" ( zie cd recensies Dec 2010) was mijn eerste kennismaking met veteran singer / songwriter Hank Woji en eerlijk is eerlijk ...ondergetekende was behoorlijk onder de indruk van het werk dat de man in zijn uppie klaarstoomde. Voor de prima opvolger "Holy Ghost Town" liet de sympathieke troubadour met ondermeer Colin Brooks / dobro, harmony vocals, Guy Forsyth / singing Saw on "Hank's Ole Dusty Road Rag" , Karen Mal / harmony vocals, Jeff Duncan / violin, Laird Considine / mandolin, Thomas Helton / double bass, tuba , longtime friend & drummer Roger Wolford een legertje muzikanten aanrukken die niet alleen in Austin & Houston maar wereldwijd op handen worden gedragen. De openingstrack "Beneath the Golden Moon" -met dat schitterend levenslesje waar iedere generatiegenoot zich wel in kan vinden ...many dreams have I dreamed, many friends have I lost, still your voice it rings true - , de sublieme West Texas ballad "The Last Time I Saw Jesus ...he was walking in the rain" ( with Jeff Duncan on violin) , de (h)eerlijke country / "Terlinga, 110 degrees in the shade, Blues" en het fraai slide werk op "Solomon's Child" sluiten wat mij betreft een levenslange "Deal" met Hank Woji. Met het hemels mooie " Streets of Jericho" en het vriendelijk uitnodigend welcome to Terlingua walsje op de titeltrack "Holy Ghost Town"( with HW on a 1919 Hohner Echo Deluxe harmonica) als ultieme climax mag de man wat mij betreft -ondanks de huidige moordende concurrentie van ondermeer Sam Baker, Greg Trooper, Slaid Cleaves,Guy Clark en David Olney - een topnotering opeisen in de Euro Americana Chart .....(SWA)

PS : Momenteel zijn er wat problemen om het album aan te schaffen maar hier vind je meer info over hoe het wel kan lukken : https://www.facebook.com/events/189342941239324/?ref=22 - Beale Street


Hank Woji. There Was A Time.
Back to basics with this one. There Was A Time is a great example of Texan troubadouring. With Woji channelling the greats including Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark and Woody Guthrie this is a fine rootsy album that digs into the past with an excellent version of Deep Ellum Blues and brings things bang up to date with The Ballad of Bernie, a song about the disgraced Ponzi fraud felon. From the opening Warm East Texas Rain to the closing My Last Ole Dollar Woji delivers the goods. Anyone who digs acoustic Earle, John Prine or Butch Hancock will find much here to whet their whistle. Woji has the required (and attractive) weathered voice, the guitars and harmonica sweep all before them and his writing is well above par. The aforementioned Ballad Of Bernie would sit well on a John Prine album with Woji turning in a humorous and topical observation with some panache. No One To Talk To shows another gentler side, a gorgeous and gentle lovelorn snapshot. Well recommended. - Paul Kerr
- Blabber ‘n’ Smoke - A Glasgow view of Americana and related music and writings.


Maverick Magazine

Review by: Paul Collins
Record Label: KZ Records KZR005
Website: www.hankwoji.com
Star Rating:****

HOLY GHOST TOWN

Originally from New Jersey, Hank Woji has, for many years, lived in the Texas town of Terlingua, very close to the Mexican border, and there is a lot of Terlingua in this album. He clearly loves the place and why not. Originally a mining settlement it has a desert like climate but quite close to the Big Bend National Park, 1250 acres of protected wild life irrigated by the Rio Grande and melting snow from the up country mountain ranges. Not too many things worry you in a place like Terlingua.

Mostly self-written, and this man is some songwriter, this album is a pure delight. The opener, Beneath The Golden Moon, is a bouncy trek through life’s lessons and then up comes one of the two non-originals. An excellent version of Randy Moore’s Terlingua Blues and this is country blues at its best: ‘It’s kind of warm here in Terlingua, lots of little critters that will sting you.’ The other cover is a completely new arrangement of Jerry Garcia’s Deal, an excellent track but the Grateful Dead this is not! My favourite track is The Last Time I Saw Jesus (he was walking in the rain). The brackets are mine to give a flavour of the even-handed way which Hank portrays doubts about faith. It is a very well-written song as is The Streets Of Jericho, another with a biblical title line. Both songs are more about life in West Texas and the people you meet there than anything else. Harmonies from Karen Mal and Colin Brooks add quality on these tracks in particular and Colin also contributes great slide guitar throughout the album.

The title track is back to Terlingua, an easy going West Texas waltz, and I’ve a notion that, in Spanish, the town’s name means ‘Ghost Town,’ illustrated by: ‘sitting on the porch with a few beers and watching the sun go down.’ I also liked the wind up instrumental Hank’s Dusty Old Road Rag, which sums up Hank’s lifestyle; he’ll sing wherever he can garner an audience and pass the hat around afterwards. A very slight irritation was that despite being advised on the sleeve to look up Hank’s website, there is not much help with the lyrics, not much help with anything really, other than redirection to online sellers where this record can be purchased. It is worth the effort, though, HOLY GHOST TOWN is a mighty fine album.
- Maverick Magazine – UK - Sept 2013


Adopted Texans are common today among the singer-songwriting community…. it could be something to do about the water. So receptive being the area to people of their trade and in Hank Woji.
Wisely, he has borrowed four standards to go with seven songs of his own and though ‘Loretta’ (one of the first songs from the Texas master Townes Van Zandt I became hooked on) and ‘Jesus Christ’ (Woody Guthrie) aren’t traditional they are of that ilk. Of the quality worthy of any praise gifted them. As for Woji’s versions both are tidy enough but lack the verve I have become accustomed despite the latter’s fine accordion accompaniment and the former’s liberal use of harmonica. Then again the shoes of Townes and Woody are of the kind impossible to fill or anyone come near doing so!
His two remaining covers ‘Deep Ellum Blues’ and ‘My Last Ole Dollar’ are given a good airing without either sending me into wild raptures. While from his own pen and stronger there are ‘Warm East Texas Rain’ (that has a Chuck Brodsky-ish feel to it) where like with all the songs Hank plays all the instruments (here being guitar, percussion and harmonica) and clever, friendly shuffle ‘The Ballad Of Bernie’. A song that speaks of how Bernie stole from everyone, little old ladies— including their life savings and they were left wondering where did the money go; and of when he got his gold fingers caught in a cookie jar.
Woji may have a-ways to go to gain anything like the standing of the above but he is improving, his music is getting stronger and through more songs like ‘No One To Talk To’ and the beautiful, understated ‘There Was A Time’ he is making himself a mark as a credible singer-songwriter. Nice one, Hank, so deft and subtle is both the melody and sensitive, well written and warm and tender the lyrics of the title cut. - Maurice Hope
- Flying Shoes Review, UK


Adopted Texans are common today among the singer-songwriting community…. it could be something to do about the water. So receptive being the area to people of their trade and in Hank Woji.
Wisely, he has borrowed four standards to go with seven songs of his own and though ‘Loretta’ (one of the first songs from the Texas master Townes Van Zandt I became hooked on) and ‘Jesus Christ’ (Woody Guthrie) aren’t traditional they are of that ilk. Of the quality worthy of any praise gifted them. As for Woji’s versions both are tidy enough but lack the verve I have become accustomed despite the latter’s fine accordion accompaniment and the former’s liberal use of harmonica. Then again the shoes of Townes and Woody are of the kind impossible to fill or anyone come near doing so!
His two remaining covers ‘Deep Ellum Blues’ and ‘My Last Ole Dollar’ are given a good airing without either sending me into wild raptures. While from his own pen and stronger there are ‘Warm East Texas Rain’ (that has a Chuck Brodsky-ish feel to it) where like with all the songs Hank plays all the instruments (here being guitar, percussion and harmonica) and clever, friendly shuffle ‘The Ballad Of Bernie’. A song that speaks of how Bernie stole from everyone, little old ladies— including their life savings and they were left wondering where did the money go; and of when he got his gold fingers caught in a cookie jar.
Woji may have a-ways to go to gain anything like the standing of the above but he is improving, his music is getting stronger and through more songs like ‘No One To Talk To’ and the beautiful, understated ‘There Was A Time’ he is making himself a mark as a credible singer-songwriter. Nice one, Hank, so deft and subtle is both the melody and sensitive, well written and warm and tender the lyrics of the title cut. - Maurice Hope
- Flying Shoes Review, UK


Hank Woji
THERE WAS A TIME
KZ Records KZR004
Music veteran explores Americana
with winning results
***
A rootsy, bluesy country singer, Hank Woji has enjoyed a long and chequered career in music. For many years he was a bassist and bandleader sharing the stage with such performers as the Drifters, Jimmy Cliff, the Radiators, Bruce Springsteen and many others. Later be became a drummer/percussionist with Jersey-based batucada band Mzume’ Carnaval. Around ten years ago Hank moved from Manhattan to Houston and began a new phase of his music career as a singer-songwriter. A long time Staff Volunteer at the Kerrville Folk Festival he performs regularly at coffeehouses, clubs and house concerts in Texas, Florida, Colorado and New Jersey.

This latest self- released album is a rich combination of elements of folk, blues, r&b and country. He mixes in well-written originals with tradition tunes and revivals of Woody Guthrie’s Jesus Christ and Townes Van Zandt’s Loretta. He possesses a gruff voice, at times on such songs as Warm East Texas Rain, he sounds like a dead-ringer for Steve Earle. He not only self-produced this album, but also plays all the instruments. The production is rootsy and basic, with his harmonica adding much to the desolate Just When I Think. He gets a little more light-hearted with the jaunty and humorous The Ballad of Bernie. Neatly fits into the Americana bag and is well worth seeking out. - Adrian Cooke
- Maverick Magazine – UK - Feb 2011


Hank Woji’s third album is a low-key congenial affair sporting seven Woji originals nestling comfortably among Texas favorite “Deep Elum Blues,” “My Last Ole Dollar,” Woody Guthrie’s “Jesus Christ” and Townes Van Zandt’s “Loretta.” His voice and approach occasionally recall Steve Forbert’s engaging warmth. Nice, wry twist placing Hank’s “Ballad Of Bernie” close to “Jesus Christ”. “There Was A Time” gradually and gently won me over through Hank’s personal charm and his songs. - MT
- Sing Out! - Winter 2010-2011


Discography

Medallion - 2005
Patriot Games - 2006
American Dreams - 2008
There Was A Time - 2010
Holy Ghost Town - 2013

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Bio

"There Was A Time" is a great example of Texan troubadouring. With Woji channelling the greats including Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark and Woody Guthrie… this is a fine rootsy album…From the opening Warm East Texas Rain to the closing My Last Ole Dollar Woji delivers the goods. Anyone who digs acoustic Earle, John Prine or Butch Hancock will find much here to whet their whistle…Well recommended.– Blabber ‘n’ Smoke – Scotland, UK

His troubadour style also comes very close to the style of Woody Guthrie or Pete Seeger, or as we heard on "Nebraska," the intimate, reduced-to-its-essence record from Bruce Springsteen…"There Was a Time" from Hank Woji is simply a fine and intimate work within its genre. - Rootstime, Belgium

Hank Woji’s third album is a low-key congenial affair sporting seven Woji originals nestling comfortably among Texas favorite “Deep Elum Blues,” “My Last Ole Dollar,” Woody Guthrie’s “Jesus Christ” and Townes Van Zandt’s “Loretta.”…His voice and approach occasionally recall Steve Forbert’s engaging warmth…There Was A Time gradually and gently won me over through Hank’s personal charm and his songs. - Sing Out!, USA

This latest self-released album is a rich combination of elements of folk, blues, r&b and country…at times on such songs as “Warm East Texas Rain”, he sounds like a dead-ringer for Steve Earle. The production is rootsy and basic, with his harmonica adding much to the desolate “Just When I Think”…Neatly fits into the Americana bag and is well worth seeking out. - Maverick Country Magazine, UK

"There Was A Time" is an outstanding album in the best tradition of the Texas troubadours like Guy Clarke, Townes Van Zandt and Butch Hancock and it can surely be said that Hank Woji can really sit in the same room of those legendary artists…I really love the songs and in fact I immediately started playing Hank’s music on my radio show of American roots based music – Massimo Ferro, Radio Voce Spazio. Italy

..the Texan Hank Woji, a true singer-songwriter in the recognizable style of among others, Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie and Woody Guthrie, offers on his third CD rather understated Folk and Americana …Listening to this album is a true breath of fresh air. Music as naked as it gets…- Altcountryforum, Netherlands

This CD ["There Was A Time"] clearly has a bluesy Americana sound. Once again, this Bard succeeds with an impressive but simple album in the best tradition of American folk music in the style of a Springsteen or a Seeger. – Folkworld, Germany

With “There Was a Time,” [Hank Woji] walks in the footsteps of figureheads such as Townes Van Zandt and Woody Guthrie…and the influence of John Prine is also apparent…If you love simple songs that explore the classic singer-songwriters’ themes, brought to you by a man with fine voice and a single guitar, then Hank Woji is perfect for you. - Beale Street, Belgium

Hank Woji has put together excellent albums in the past, but this is the one he was destined to make…[he] has harnessed the soul of each cut and performed the songs just as the muse had delivered them…Woji has finally become connected with his inner folk rebel, delivering a performance equally as powerful as the most recent attempts by names like Hubbard, Shaver, and Nelson. – MyTexasMusic.com, TX

For over 15 years, as a bassist and percussionist, Hank was a driving force in some of the Jersey Shore’s most dynamic and innovative bands, sharing the stage with such diverse artists as: The Drifters, Merl Saunders, Jimmy Cliff, The Wailers, The Smithereens, Toots & the Maytals, The Radiators, Jon Bon Jovi, Room Full of Blues, Clarence Clemmons, Bruce Springsteen, Johnny Johnson, John Hammond Jr., Max Weinberg, Hot Tuna, The Nighthawks, and Johnny Winter.

In 2001 Hank moved from New York City to Houston, TX, picked up his acoustic guitar again, and began writing songs. Since then his compositions have garnered him honors in national songwriting competitions including: The South Florida Folk Festival, The Kerrville Folk Festival, The Woody Guthrie Folk Festival, The Suwannee SpringFest, The Dallas Songwriters Association and the Austin Songwriters Group.

He has produced 3 CDs as a songwriter, “Medallion” (2005) combined elements of Folk, Blues, R&B and Rock & Roll with Brasilian, Cuban, African and Indian rhythms. For his outstanding production work on “Medallion”, he was nominated for the 2006 Producer of the Year award by the Academy of Texas Music. “American Dreams” (2008) is a dark portrait painted in broad strokes on a canvas of pure Americana, with songs alternating between bluegrass, gospel, country, folk and good ol’ rock & roll. For his songwriting and performance work on “American Dreams” he was nominated for the 2009 Singer/Songwriter of the Year award by the Academy of Texas Music. “There Was A Time” (2010) stands in sharp contrast with his earlier works. With it’s tight, sparse arrangements, and brevity, in both song and lyric and drawing on traditional