Pat McGee Band with Special Guest Ari Hest at The Music Center at Strathmore by Mike Spain

The Washington area music scene was well represented at the Pat McGee Band concert at the The Music Center at Strathmore on Friday, September 29, 2012. Members from Edie from Ohio and The Potato Caboose joined Pat McGee and his band on stage. The area’s future music scene was represented by horns and string sections from Bishop Denis J. O’Connell High School. Strathmore even threw a tailgate party at the Mansion to give the show more of a homecoming feel.

Talented singer/songwriter Ari Hest opened the show with a solo performance accompanied only by a six string and twelve string acoustic guitar which he played himself. Highlights of his set included his songs  “Business of America“ and “Sleep Tonight.” He also performed an incredible cover of Jimmy Ruffin’s “What Becomes of the Broken Hearted.” The song had a different feeling to it stripped down to only guitar and vocals. The arrangement was also tweaked a little to make it more emotional.

There was a short intermission between sets.

Aru Hest. Photo courtrsy of

Ari Hest went up to the merchandise table and signed autographs during the break. The Pat McGee Band hit the stage about 9 PM and played a two-hour set. John “Red” Redling who used to play for The New Potato Caboose sat in with the Pat McGee Band for the entire show on keyboards. The high school horn section came out to perform the song “Minute” with the band. The next guest was Julie Murphy Wells from Eddie from Ohio who added backing vocals on “The Story.”

The guests kept coming as Michael Clem from Eddie and Ohio joined Pat McGee and his band for several songs adding backing vocals, additional guitar, and harmonica. Eddie Hartness also from Eddie from Ohio added his drumming and percussion skills for most of the show.

The set list was packed full of Pat McGee favorites such as “Rebecca,” “Runaway,” “Haven’t Seen for A While,” and “Come Back Home.” Certainly it was a treat for Pat McGee to come back to his Washington area roots and play with musicians he used to watch in his younger days. However, I think the biggest treats were for the O’Connell students who play on the Strathmore stage. It was neat to watch Michael Ghegan work with the horn section giving them pointers and jamming with them. Ghegan played keyboards and saxophone and addition to helping Pat McGee out is a successful session musician. Pat McGee created memories for fans and musicians alike during this unique show. He also made sure the teenage musicians were able to take their bows at the end of the show.

O’Connell musicians pose at the end of the show at the Strathmore, North Bethesda with the Pat McGee Band. Photo by Daniel Glass Photography.

Running Time: Approximately three hours with a short intermission between sets.

The Pat McGee Band played one night on September 28, 2012 at The Music Center at Strathmore – 5301 Tuckerman Lane, in North Bethesda, MD. To view their upcoming events, check out their calendar.


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