“It’s all about the song. It has to be. If it isn’t, then as far as I’m concerned, you’re missing the point.” These words spoken by Pat O’Shea in a recent interview speak volumes about the singer/songwriter/guitarist and his band The Honest Men. In a world where much of the music of the day runs rampant with empty bravado and even emptier content, a band like The Honest Men is a lung full of fresh air. Five members all focused on “the song”. “It’s really a ‘sum of the parts’ kind of thing” explains O’Shea. “I’m a guitarist, a guitar solo is a great thing – as long as it serves the song. But not every song needs a guitar solo or maybe not even any kind of solo. And these are the kind of songs we write. Songs that speak, that speak to me. If it speaks to me then I have to believe it’s going to speak to others.”
O’Shea has the kind of musical pedigree many only dream of having. He spent six years as guitarist for the legendary Levon Helm. He toured extensively during that time playing “…joints to festivals and everywhere in between.” He has also played guitar along side the late blues legend Hubert Sumlin as a frequent substitute in the Howlin’ Wolf Tribute Band. He did a stint playing guitar for Grammy winning bluesman Joe Louis Walker. O’Shea has also performed and/or recorded with James Cotton, Kim Wilson, Johnny Johnson, David “Fathead” Newman, David Johansen, Bobby Keys, Bernard Purdie, Jerry Jamott, Lee Roy Parnell, The Kentucky Headhunters, Delaney and Bonnie Bramblett, Larry Campbell, Tony Garnier and Dave Edmunds.
The rest of The Honest Men bring a combined over 80 years of touring, performing and recording experience. All have spent the majority of their lives as career musicians and are staples in the enormous music scene in and around the New York metropolitan area “Its the best band I’ve ever been in” says O’Shea. “I’m thrilled to have these guys around me, they’re some of the best players I know. I’m a lucky guy to get to play with my best friends night after night.”
“It’s straight ahead American rock and roll,” says O’Shea. “It’s songs with strong musical content, three part harmonies, parts that grab you and refuse to let you go, and some of the most honest song writing you’ve heard in a long time.”