St. Patrick's Day at Empire City: County Clare Native Guss Hayes to Perform COUNTY CLARE, IRELAND NATIVE, LONGTIME YONKERS RESIDENT GUSS HAYES BACK AT EMPIRE CITY CASINO AT YONKERS RACEWAY FOR ANOTHER ST. PATRICK’S DAY PERFORMANCE ON FRIDAY, MARCH 17
BigNews.Biz - Mar 17,2017 - Yonkers, New York — Magical Irish music provided by Ireland's County Clare native Guss Hayes and his band have been part of the fabric of the city of Yonkers and Yonkers Raceway for three decades, and most notably on St. Patrick's Day.
Long a tradition at the raceway, and Empire City Casino since its opening in 2006, Hayes will bring Irish classics to smilin' Irish eyes from 6pm to 2am in the Entertainment Lounge, among the highlights of the St. Patrick’s festivities on Friday night, March 17.
Hayes, the former owner/performer at Tara Restaurant almost 30 years, is a favorite of guests and president and CEO Timothy J. Rooney alike.
"One of our main venues is surely Yonkers Raceway and the Empire City Casino,” says Hayes. “We have been entertaining for Mr. Tim Rooney for 30 years at the raceway for a variety of affairs. He has been very kind to the band and now performing at Empire City Casino has become part of our exciting routine.”
The native of County Clare in Ireland has his roots firmly planted in Westchester with his wife Theresa, though they return to the homeland often.
“I come from Ennistymon, a town in North Clare,” says Hayes. “Ennistymon is translated to River Side. It is a beautiful town with a river running through it that has an amazing and much photographed Falls. It is also known as a Market Town with a lot of tradition and history. When I left my hometown we had forty pubs, today there are eight of them left.
“In the days growing up most of the Pubs had a dual purpose, one side of the store had a bar where you would buy a drink, the other side had a shop where you might buy candy, flowers, groceries, meat, coal or even find the services of an undertaker. Yes, an undertaker, which is one of the pubs still in business! So the bars were not just for serving drink and you could be sure of a session too!”
Hayes, still with a twinkle in his smiling Irish eyes, says that his two favorite Celtic classics are “The Old Man” and “Song for Ireland,” which will surely be in his repertoire for St. Patrick’s Day.
“I have some personal favorite Irish songs,” reflects Hayes. “One was written by a great Irish song writer named Phil Coulter and it is called ‘The Old Man.’ It's a beautiful story about a sons love for his father. Another is ‘A Song for Ireland,’ and listening to it if you close your eyes makes you feel like you're travelling home. We have a great saying in Ireland that goes
‘All our wars were merry
All our songs are sad’
“Irish music can be uplifting and have you dancing in your seats one minute and the next the tears are rolling down your face,” continues the popular musician. “We are a very nostalgic people. We have spent our existence emigrating, returning, returning, and emigrating."