Mt. Vernon Register-News


April 16, 2011

Musically Speaking: Hamilton County guitar player falls under radar with area bands

MT. VERNON — His name is Josh Hays.

He is a lifelong resident of Hamilton County.

A boilermaker welder by day, and sometimes night, Josh is a member of Belleville Local 363, the same local as my late father, LeRoy Clark (1990), who plied the same trade for 43 years.

With Josh’s ability to make an electric guitar absolutely scream, “Here I am,” I am wondering just how it is that this young man has this much talent and has seemingly fallen under the radar of all of these bands in our area?

Seems like there is always a band out there that would appreciate a talented guitar-player, so why is it that Josh has not played regularly with a performing act since 1996, 15 years ago?

As many of you already know, last Sunday was the final day for the weekly event, the Genkota Jamz, for the 2011 season at Genkota Winery in Mt. Vernon.

Josh has been a participant for the final two weeks and we have seen and heard some amazing performances.

That’s the reason that Josh is being featured on this week’s radio program. I will have an interview with Josh, as well as a sampling of what I’m blathering about.

When you, the valued radio listener and column reader, hear what Josh adds to what was basically an enhanced performance of South of 70, followed by some exceptional blues covers, I think that you may agree with my assessment.

Tomorrow night, Musically Speaking will feature some amazing guitar work by Josh Hays.

I can tell you now that my favorites are the performances of “Little Wing” originally recorded by Jimi Hendrix and “One Way Out” from the Allman Brothers.

As it has been said on each and every television infomercial that has ever aired since dirt was new, “But wait, there’s more!”

By simply tuning in on radio or logging on the Internet, however you get your Musically Speaking, you will also be able to hear one of the more rare recordings that I have heard over the last 30 years.

A sampling of what can happen when a bored rythym-section and some vocalists get tired of waiting for a guitar player to join them, as Del Herbert (bass guitar), Brent Hahn (drums) and Terry Owens, with Laura Vladetich belt out an impromptu version of the 1968 Led Zeppelin classic, “Whole Lotta Love,” sans any guitar work.

“Guitar? We don’t need no stinkin’ guitar!”

Don’t forget to check out You can send your comments to

Enjoy this week’s terrestrial radio show, or Internet radio show, and please be careful out there.

Don’t drink and drive or text and drive.

The Illinois State Police are counting on it.

  • Jack Clark is the host of Musically Speaking, a local radio program heard Sunday evenings at 6 p.m. on 102.1 WIBV.

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