When: Aug. 5, 2020, 7 p.m.
The Wyllis Street Band includes locals, Stephen Woods on rhythm guitar, Andy Young on lead guitar and vocals, CJ Hurley on vocals, Marc Rickard percussion and vocals and Jess Rosen with vocals. The bands genre includes rock, blues and a variety of classics and some more obscure songs ranging from the 60’s through the 90’s.
The Wyllis Street Band started about 6 years ago in Steve and Kay’s dining room when Steve’s wife Kay encouraged he and Andy Young to get together and start playing again to help pass time during the winter months. They called themselves “Bits and Pieces” because neither could finish a song all the way through. Kay encouraged the guys to pick several songs every week and come back with them finished for practice. After several years of this she said they needed something else to work towards and needed more people in the band. In the summer of 2016 CJ Hurley and his wife Barbara Pierce moved to Oil City from Portland Oregon and through local art and music ties they became friends with Steve and Kay. The guys were looking for someone else to sing with them and invited CJ to sit in on a couple practice sessions. It all worked out and each of them brought different kinds of music to the table. Kay now decided it was time to work towards something bigger and better and she booked them to play on Pipeline Alley that summer.
Stephen has played guitar for about 50 years but very infrequently until recently. Music comes naturally to him and his friends marvel at his ear for hearing a song and being able to play it with little effort. He trained under local music legend Bill Huber Sr. who became a mentor to him. Stephen has played off and on with locals musicians such as Bill Huber Jr., Jeff Albright, the McLouth brothers and the Feroz brothers.
Andy Young grew up in a musical family in Oil City with several older brothers performing in local acts. Andy was in two bands when he was young and 6 years ago, he picked up his guitar again to start playing with Steve. He also brings a lot of vocal talent to the group.
CJ Hurley is a well-known artist who moved to Oil City in 2016. He’s been singing his whole life, but Wyllis Street is his first band experience. He met Steve and Andy shortly after moving and starting joining their music practices three years ago.
Drummer, Marc Rickard of Seneca, has recently started playing with Wyllis Street and will make his public debut at the Pipleline Show. Marc is employed full time as an environmental expert at PennDot. His love of drumming began with beating on his desk as a youngster, which he’s been doing ever since! Outside of work, his interests are music and spending time outdoors, especially hiking.
Jessica Rosen was born and raised in Scranton, PA. She first appeared on stage at the age of 4 as a ballerina and jazz dancer. At the age of 5 she started taking classical piano lessons. When she was 8 years old she was invited to perform in “The King and I” when the New York Broadway production visited The Masonic Temple in Scranton. Throughout her childhood she performed in several productions of the Nutcracker through The Ballet Theatre of Scranton.
After graduating from high school she moved to Pittsburgh and attended Duquesne University. She graduated with a BSBA in Marketing and moved to Oil City.
Besides his love of music, locals know Stephen as owner of Hileman and Woods in downtown Oil City. His wife, Kay, is retired from PNC bank and is well known for her tireless efforts promoting art and music in the community.
Andy grew up in a musical family in Oil City with several brothers performing in local acts. 40 years ago, Andy himself was in two bands but a career in the printing business and raising two daughters took over his time. He went 20 years with his guitars sitting idle. With grown daughters, a career change to becoming a nurse, and a little more free time on his hands, he found himself interested in getting back into music.
Stephen had also taken a leave of absence from his guitar but had recently picked it back up in earnest. Enter Kay Woods—Stephen’s wife, Oil City arts activist, and long- time friend and neighbor of Andy and his wife Jeanne Young. When Kay learned that Andy had left his music behind but was interested in playing again, she decided the two needed to get together with their guitars. She became the informal band manager and organizer of regular music sessions. This started weekly gigs at the Woods’ Wyllis Street home where it is not unusual to have an audience of friends and neighbors.
In summer 2016, CJ Hurley and his wife Barbara Pierce moved their art and interior design business to Oil City from Portland Oregon. Through ties in the local arts community, they became fast friends with Kay and Stephen. At the time, Andy and Stephen were looking for someone to sing with them and invited CJ to join in a practice.
Next Andy thought that maybe they should have some drums or percussion so In the spring of 2019 they pulled Marc Rickard out of the audience at Karma, because he looked like a drummer, and thus the band grew again. Then last fall Kay and Barbara saw Jess Rosen performing karaoke at a local establishment and asked her to come to band practice the next week and she loved it and they loved her so now they have a 5 piece band.