Lawyer by Day – Band Leader by Night – Joe Hughes and Goldenseal to Perform at Lions Fundraiser

Posted on August 22, 2014 By

Call him the Renaissance Man. By day Joseph G. Hughes can be found in the courtroom or at the Red Bank law firm Zager Fuchs P.C. where he is a full partner. In the evening and on weekends, he’s playing guitar and singing in his band Goldenseal.

He’s also a songwriter, volunteer and philanthropist who likes to raise money for good causes and is a member in multiple charitable organizations, such as the West Long Branch Lions Club. Hughes and his band will be taking center stage Saturday, September 13, 2014, at the Lions Club fundraising dinner dance dubbed A Night with Goldenseal.

The event from 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. will take place at the Elks Club, 150 Garfield Ave., Long Branch, and includes a buffet dinner, dancing, cash bar, and a gift auction. Reservations/tickets are $50 per person.

Tom DeBruin, West Long Branch Lions’ Club president, said Hughes and the band are donating their time to perform at the event.
“Joe is a very charitable guy,” said DeBruin, adding that the money raised will go to Lions Club charities, including a local scholarship fund, local charities like the West Long Branch Community Center and Lions Club programs for the blind and visually impaired.

If you live anywhere down the shore, chances are you’ve heard Goldenseal play. The band plays about 70 shows a year, plus Hughes has released three original records. The band, by the way, is named after an herbal supplement called goldenseal, which is believed to boost a person’s immunity to sickness.

“I thought this name was appropriate because I’ve always wanted to perform music that is uplifting and leaves the listener with a positive feeling,” Hughes said.

Growing up, Hughes said he sang in the church choir and spring concerts at school. “I went to law school and passed the bar and got a job as a lawyer,” said Hughes, who is married to Pamela. “At the age of 38, I learned some chords and started writing music and playing open mics.”

Hughes, 52, comes from a musical family. His brother Jerry plays eight instruments and writes musicals, symphonies and popular music. “When I’m not practicing law, I’m performing or writing or practicing music.

“Many of my clients have become fans of my band. Many of my fans have also become clients. Law and music intertwine nicely. And I enjoy both very much,” said Hughes, whose band regularly performs at Bar Association events.

And then there are the many gigs they play each year. Goldenseal has played by the invitation of the military at Fort Dix, McGuire Air Force Base, and Fort Monmouth. They’ve supported veterans, their families and charities, such as the Federated Food Banks of New Jersey and the Jersey Shore Jazz and Blues Foundation. In addition, Goldenseal has donated its time and CD sales from Streets of America to the veteran’s organization Vetwork (www.vetwork).

The band’s repertoire includes Americana-based original patriotic rock tunes, including Streets of America ; This Is My Home and Rock This Place, tunes that have led to record label interest and a “Top Male Performer” nomination at the 2013 JAM (Jersey Acoustic Music) awards for Hughes. They’ve appeared with national acts, including Rick Springfield, Better Than Ezra, Bobby Bandiera, Southside Johnny and Chris Barron of The Spin Doctors. Their style of music has been described as cutting edge pop/rock and roll and the lyrics are positive and uplifting.

Goldenseal’s band members are Pat Martucci, Union, drums; Jesse Kessler, Edison, bass; John Bongiovanni, Wallington, lead guitar; Lee Sanderson, Red Bank, saxophone; Steve Fox, Millstone, rhythm guitar; Barry Edison, Ocean, keyboard; Pete Schwartz, Fort Lee, keyboard; Dennis Eschbach, Red Bank, trombone; Fred Wolf, Jackson, trumpet; Cyndi White, Ocean, backup singer, and Carole Gileski, North Brunswick, backup singer.

For more information about Goldenseal, visit and for more information about Zager Fuchs, P.C., contact Hughes at 732- 747-3700 or email him at

The West Long Branch Lions Club dinner dance fundraiser A Night with Goldenseal is open to the public. Reservations may be made by mailing a check made out to WLB Lions with your contact information to Liz Foggia, 39 Victor Ave., West Long Branch, NJ 07764. If you have questions about the event, contact DeBruin at 732-859-2486.