I was born and raised in Hungary during the Cold War years. My first musical influences came from the West; I liked a lot Bob Dylan, John Lennon, the American rhythm & blues and progressive rock of the English bands.

Then came Janis Joplin with Peace of my Mind and Jimi Hendrix with Hey Joe, and they completely knocked me out. Soon, I was listening the old-timer blues players from the US and I was hooked on this beautiful music forever.

In 1980 with my wife I left for the States. I was fortunate to see the old guys in concerts: Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Sony Terry/Brownie McGee, B B King, among others. I had the chance to attend blues festivals and I got acquainted with the younger blues generation, too. I frequented local pubs where I was amazed by the intensity of the jam sessions and the excellence of unknown musicians. I was floored.

Still, my musical taste was much wider than the blues. I always enjoyed listening folk music, all styles of jazz, the great composers from Bach to Bartok and the contemporaries, too.

I started to write and perform my songs in my early twenties and after going through some "diversions", I got back to this in my forties. It served me well as self-expression and just to have a good time and social life.

In the mid 90's, after trying to play blues and rock music with others, I started to play solo acoustic guitar. I adopted a stage name HAY JOE. It had a fun factor, a down to earth flavor and a reference to my old time favorite song: Hey Joe.

I played in coffee houses, open mike shows and house parties and I was satisfied with the reception I got from the audience. I did not wish to go further than that and having a family I needed a steady job. I played what I liked and said what I wanted. This is still my aspiration.

Around year 2000, I started a band called GREEN REAPERS with my sons. The future looked bright for us. But then came 9/11. I lost my job, and any hope to get reemployed in the recession followed. Against the odds, in 2003 we decided to move back to our old country, and start a new life there.

After we settled down, we put together a new repertoire and started to play shows. By 2006, we recorded a demo in our basement, and the future started to look bright. Than bad luck hit again, and I had to go back to the States to face reality, to get back to my feet and run to stand still. I had to leave my family behind for four challenging years. We had to quit making music altogether.

The story would not stop here, since we are still kicking, strumming and hollering. I am back in Europe now and ready for new adventures. Of course, the kids have other priorities now, but I hope, that soon there will be new chapters written for Hay Joe & the Green Reapers.

You can hear our music and read our lyrics on this site. If you would like to be on our mailing list, leave your e-mail address behind. Your comments are welcome. Check us out time to time.

© 2011 Hay Joe