Will Cary was born and raised in Louisville, Ky. His first band was a rhythm band led by teacher and beautiful lady, Marie Lynch, at Miss Crawley’s kindergarten at the St. Matthews Armory next to Trinity High School. Singing Beatles songs in a junior high band ended when his voice changed and they went on with the other singers in the band. It wasn’t until college that he returned to singing on stage...
Played his first professional gig at age 15 and went on to join many Louisville bands through the years. He's been a member of The Bollocks, Jil Thorp and the Beat Boys, The Holidays, One Red Romeo, The Serotones, Bodeco, Hellfish, and The Saints, among others. He's played with Bo Diddley, and even auditioned for The New Christy Minstrels ! His style is deeply rooted in the blues and brings a unique energy to every opportunity to play. He's been working with Will Cary for over 20 years and believes this record is the best yet - " I'm proud to have been a part of this project.
The story of BILLY HANKS BAND begins around 1980 when I formed Will Cary and the Nightcrawlers. Jimmy Brown was playing bass in the band “Middle Earth” in the late seventies at the Phoenix Hill Tavern where I had a steady Wednesday gig with special guests Marty Polio, the pantomime artist, and Colonel Pork Chop, who did a soft shoe and “Spoons” act.The Nightcrawlers became regulars at the Phoenix Hill Tavern in the early 80’s with Jimmy Brown on bass and Mike Harpring on drums. At this time Nick Riefsteck was in an art punk band called Jil Thorpe and the Beat Boys and Jeff McAllister was the drummer for “the Names”, a big draw around town with a real polished sound featuring singer, Sheila Lawrence. Then there was young Jeff Rehmet, a 19 year old keyboard wizard with the “Wolf Brothers”, that I met at Allen and Martin Studios in 1982.
We’ve all been friends since the early years and I guess this coming together started when Nick asked me to play some harp on his 1999 album BLACK DOG and we started playing some gigs around town. Around 2005 or so I got a group together to play at the Willow Park Summer Concert series in the Gazebo in the Triangle. In 2011 we went into Downtown Recording Studios to produce our first album, PEACE of MIND. On a whim I decided not to have my name or my face on the album cover and I used “Billy Hanks Band” for the first time.
Where the hell did the name come from you ask? Well…. Local radio mogul Lee Masters from WLRS gave me the nickname Billy Hank after we met during the production of the very first WLRS Homemade Album around 1978. My song
“Oh Jesse” was the first song on side one of that first album and I have used the name Billy Hanks for ASCAP publishing and my record label ever since. Why Billy Hank? My full name is William Henry. Get it? Billy Hank!
Well, that’s the story in a nutshell. Look for the Billy Hanks Band in the near future, as the world tries to get back to normal. In the meantime , enjoy the wonderful music these great players created with me on our new record, CRAZY WORLD.
All the best, Will Cary
Jeff Rehmet is a Louisville, Kentucky based full-time musician performing primarily as a solo act as well as a pianist, keyboardist, vocalist, & arranger for various musical groups. Jeff has been featured on two of Will’s albums: Peace of Mind – 2011 and Crazy World 2021. At 16, Jeff joined his first band then began playing professionally a couple years later. He has traveled extensively both across the U.S as well as playing abroad as far away as South Africa, England, Alaska, & Aruba. Notable groups that he has played with include Linkin’ Bridge, The Impressions, Karen Lovely, The Monarchs, The Mystics, The Lexington Philharmonic, Love Jones, The Sultans, The Don Krekel Orchestra, & The Wulfe Brothers. Jeff earned Master’s degree in music composition from the University of Louisville School of Music. He has received numerous awards both academically & professionally. As an alumni, Jeff was recently inducted into the Jeffersontown High School Hall of Fame. Jeff is honored to be included on Will Cary’s (Billy Hanks) latest release Crazy World.
Lifelong Louisville native and local treasure, Jimmy Brown, has made a career in music. He is known as the former longtime owner of Louisville landmark Guitar Emporium, but his musical experience has been diverse and remarkable. His notable body of work includes playing with The Impressions (Curtis Mayfield’s original group), Louisville indie rock faves Bodeco!, the Stray Cat Band featuring Kentucky Headhunter Greg Martin, and many others too numerous to mention. He was a 2018 Inductee to Stevie Ray’s Hall of Fame and the 2011 recipient of the Kentuckiana Blues Society’s Sylvester Weaver Award for contributions to perpetuating the Blues art form.
It's all Ringo's fault. After seeing The Beatles on the Sullivan Show in 1964, I was hooked on playing drums. I played my very first gig when I was 11 in Japan, where my Dad was stationed. So that means that I've been playing drums for 46 years. Yikes... I've been lucky enough to tour the world, see some wonderful places and met some amazing people and players. I'm still playing and loving it. I endorse DW drums, Zildjian cymbals and Vic Firth drumsticks.