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Gary Hoey Keeps Christmas Rockin'

Of the Oakland Press

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Thanks to his successful “Ho! Ho! Hoey!” holiday albums, Gary Hoey has become rock ’n’ roll’s reigning king of Christmas. And that’s not likely to change any time since he plans to do a third edition of the series in 2008.

“We’ll do it in July with the air conditioning blasting,” Hoey, 47, says with a laugh. “I usually bring in all our decorations and decorate the whole studio with Christmas lights. We shut the door, put on the A/C and it feels like Christmas.”

After two previous “Ho! Ho! Hoey!” sets in 1995 and 1997, Hoey acknowledges that “people ask me, ‘Are there any songs left?’ ” He promises there are — including a version of “O Holy Night” that’s part of his shows — and the guitarist plans to poll fans on his Web site for their ideas. Hoey may also write some original songs for the album and import some “special guests” to give bring a new flavor to the project.

Hoey also wants to work on another album of non-holiday music to follow up 2006’s “American Made” and is confident that people generally do know that the holiday sets represent a small percentage of his output since 1992.

“I think that overall it’s brought me a whole lot of new fans I probably wouldn’t have had,” Hoey explains, “but, yeah, I want to work the other 11 months, too. The real fans know this is just one side of what I do. But when you’re trying to make it doing instrumental music, you need all the ammo you can get to survive.

“So a lot of people have discovered me through the Christmas (albums) and realized, ‘Hey, the guy has other stuff besides Christmas.’ They figure out there’s more to it than just Christmas.”

Gary Hoey and Space Nelson perform Friday (Dec. 7) at the Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave. Ferndale. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $17. Call (248) 544-3030 or visit www.themagicbag.com.

Web Site: www.themagicbag.com

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