2022 Hall of Fame
Houston-native Brooks Brown moved to Manchester, VT. in the late 1970s and began planning a radio station when he discovered the city lacked one. The 50,000-watt signal emanating from Equinox Mountain has broadcast a broad blend of alternative music genres to southern Vermont, New Hampshire, western Massachusetts, and New York’s Capital Region since WEQX launched in Nov. 1984. Brooks passed away in Aug. 2013.
Active 1984 – 2013. Watch his inductee video here.
Drummer Joe Daley, guitarist Kenny Hohman and bassist Lori Friday formed the Troy-based trio in 1996. Their self-titled debut was released on Island Records two years later and the band has since released five albums independently. They have widely toured in the U.S. and overseas; Troy’s mayor declared Feb. 25 as ’Super 400 Day’. Hohman and Friday are married; they opened Troy Music Academy in 2011 and have scored music for many TV shows.
Active 1996 – present. Watch their inductee video here.
Vocalist-composer Sara Ayers’ richly textured songs and sonic atmospheres ebb and flow from delicate and luminous lullabies to wall-of-sound banshee wails. “The songs I write are my way of examining and making sense of the world,” she says. The ambient artist has released eight works, appeared on over a dozen compilations, and collaborated on more than a dozen recordings with other artists. Ayers and her husband Greg Haymes launched the online publication Nippertown in 2009.
Active 1970s – present. Watch her inductee video here.
Albany’s Michael Eck has led many musical lives—performing songwriter; roots scholar; multi-instrumentalist working with Aimee Mann, Pete Seeger, Patti Smith and 10,000 Maniacs; serial band member, from the punk of The Plague to the folk of Ramblin Jug Stompers and Lost Radio Rounders; nationally recognized cultural critic, Rock Hall of Fame voter and brand editor; concert/radio/album producer; Caffè Lena board member; publicist; painter; bouncer; roadie; record store clerk and more.
Active early 1980s – present. Watch his inductee video here.
With a partner, Greg Bell organized two Albany shows in the spring of 1992, kicking off a music promotion career that continues today. The Long Island native joined forces with Jeff Guthrie in 1993, forming Guthrie/Bell Productions; Guthrie left within a few years, but Bell continued with the name with “a nice ring to it.” His impact on Albany’s music scene is considerable; he has produced more than 2,500 shows and established the city as a major jam band tour stop. Music promotion was one of two careers; he also taught special education for 26 years.
Active 1992 – present. Watch his inductee video here.
Rich Ortiz comes from a musical family; his father, Steve Jr. signed a record contract at age 21; other musicians in the extended family were featured in a 1971 PBS documentary. He is an acoustic solo act, playing six- and twelve-string guitar, harmonica, and pedal bass, while turning heads with dynamic vocals. He has released two albums and opened for Chicago, REO Speedwagon, Jeffrey Gaines, and others. When not performing, Ortiz is competing professionally in fishing tournaments.
Active 1994 – present. Watch his inductee video here.
A record producer, sound engineer and mixer, Joel Moss has been behind the boards on works by Little Richard, Ray Charles, The Beach Boys, Elton John, Johnny Cash and Tony Bennett, among many others. He engineered sound for over 200 movies and helped produce many Broadway cast albums. He is the recipient of an Academy Award, seven Grammys and two Emmy nominations. A 12-year-old Detroit folk prodigy in the late 1950s, he led the Hebrew folk quintet The Hi-Liters that played Caffè Lena in the early ’60s. He moved to Saratoga in 2002 and today is a broadcast sound and camera technician at Caffè Lena.
Active late 1950s – present. Watch his inductee video here.
Greg Haymes was the front man and percussionist in 2020 Eddies Music Hall of Fame inductee Blotto and was a member of The Star Spangled Washboard Band and the Ramblin Jug Stompers. He also covered music extensively as a newspaper journalist, and with his wife Sara Ayers launched the online publication Nippertown in 2009. The Buffalo native was also an accomplished visual artist. He passed away in April 2019.
Active 1978 – 2019. Watch his inductee video here.