‘The Hook’ gives back to downtown establishment

NORWICH – “We’ve been playing at the Blarney Stone Pub for probably seven or eight years, and it’s a place that has always supported local musicians, so we figured it was a great time to give back,” said PJ Will of the band The Hook. “For being a small establishment in a tight knit community, they do a lot for local musicians and for people in general.”

The Hook – who has a sound described as a mix of classic rock with the fusion of genres including reggae and bluegrass – has a show set for 10 p.m. Friday at the Blarney Stone in downtown Norwich, and the members have decided to “return the favor to the owners” for their generosity and are playing the show free of charge.

“The Hook is very special to us,” said Blarney Stone Owner Sarah Woods. “We’ve become good friends over the years.”

Additionally, there will be drink specials and giveaways from the Magic Hat Brewing Company.

While the Blarney Stone offers live music downtown every weekend without a cover, there is still an overhead for the cost of the band.

“I got together with the other members and asked if they’d be into playing the show for free, and they were all about it,” said Will. “It’s good to give back. It’s all about the music.”

Will added that the theme of the show will be a ‘blast from the past.’ He said they will be incorporating styles from shows from previous years played at the Blarney Stone, and a musician from Owego will be joining in the fun. Members of the band include Jamie Jones, John Jones, Jayson Parker, and Chris Eves.

“We really just want to give everyone a super good show for free,” said Will. “The venue itself is very unique – the vibes from the crowd are always positive … there’s never any negative energy.”

“We were blown away by their offer, that kind of thing just doesn’t happen,” said Woods. “It’s nice to hear ‘Hey, you’re doing a good job, and we appreciate it.’ I think everyone needs to hear that more.”

The Hook will play for approximately four hours. The Hook is the band that has played the pub’s stage more than any other band, and Woods referenced them as part of “the Blarney Stone family.”

“We care a lot about the people in Norwich who have come out to watch us over the years,” added Will. “Norwich is clearly a community that cares a lot about live music, and Mike and Sarah – and the Blarney Stone in general – is a great place for that.”

Said Woods, “Friday is going to be awesome ... the dance floor is never empty when The Hook plays.”

“People come together with music, it’s just a great thing,” said Will.

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