By Thom Jennings firstname.lastname@example.org
Niagara Gazette — Bruce Wojick used to make the pizza at one of Niagara Falls’ most popular pizza places and Jamie Holka delivered them. The pair shared a passion for music and when Wojick left the employ of the pizza place Holka had an idea.
“I had known him since we were kids, and we wound up working together and we were playing in different bands and became really good friends. When he left I told him we should do a two-man acoustic thing and make the same money we would working at the pizza place,” Holka recalled during a recent phone interview.
Fifteen years later, Wojick and Holka are still pleasing the palettes of Western New Yorkers, but instead of delivering pizza they are satisfying musical tastes.
The pair will be performing a special acoustic gig on Wednesday at the Ninth Ward at Babeville located at 341 Delaware Ave. in Buffalo. The gig will be recorded and may eventually be released as an album.
Both artists have firmly established careers. Wojick did stints in three popular regional bands, God’s Children, Klear and Strictly Hip. Holka is a Berkley educated finger-style player whose unique arrangements of popular songs are breathtaking in their complexity.
Wojick paints the musical landscape and Holka fills in the detail. As the saying goes, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and that is saying a lot considering the fact that Wojick and Holka are considered amongst the upper echelon of Buffalo-area guitarists, and beloved in their hometown of Niagara Falls.
“When we play my stuff together as a duo, it’s just brilliant what he adds in guitar and vocally. So many people say great things when we play together. You know he is a brilliant guitar player and playing with him has made me a better guitarist,” Wojick noted.
If you attend concerts or major events in the area, it’s likely you don’t have to be sold on the talent of the pair. Wojick and Holka have made regular appearances as support acts at Artpark and for the Lockport Canal Concert Series.
Beyond their public persona, I had the distinct pleasure of talking to both of them over the course of two days, each of them for around a half an hour. The original intent was a formal interview, but Holka and Wojick are fantastic conversationalists and lovers of all types of music.
They should be, the two are not just part-time musicians playing a sporadic gig, they are professional, full-time musicians. Holka told me that last year he played 235 gigs and this year is looking to be around 250, I would imagine Wojick’s numbers are comparable.
“If you are willing to do it and have a good reputation you can make a living as a musician, but it takes time,” Holka said.
Wojick has also released an eponymous solo album available on iTunes and Amazon, and has plans to release a follow up early next year.
Perhaps most importantly, Wednesday’s show gives fans of the duo a chance to support and show appreciation for two guys that have contributed a lot the local music scene. Tickets for the 8 p.m. show are $10, less than the cost of a large pizza. Check out babevillebuffalo.com for more information about the show and how to purchase tickets.Thom Jennings covers the local music scene for Night and Day.