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Old 08-13-2019, 03:48 PM
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Default Billy Hector - Old School Thang (2015)

Billy Hector - Old School Thang (2015)
EAC | FLAC | Tracks (Cue&Log) ~ 321 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 116 Mb | Scans included
Blues-Rock, Blues | Label: Ghetto Surf Music | # GSM025 | Time: 00:49:33

Hector, a two-time winner of East Coast Rocker's "Best Guitarist" award, has more than 35 years of live performances, including two appearances at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame American Masters Series. "Old School Thang", Hector's 11th album on the Ghetto Surf label, features a supporting cast of musicians that have been part of his musical family for 35 years adding horns, keyboards and harp to Hector's more familiar styling of bass, drums and guitar.

The latest album, Old School Thang from Billy Hector is slathered in blues and quite the listen. Hector dishes out his songs in a variety of formats, ranging from traditional and swampy, to trans-blues.

"She's Gone", a great track to open with, grabs me with the smooth Santana-influenced guitar licks. It sounds so good, especially with the accompaniment by David Nunez on organ, and the horn section made up of Tommy Labella and Steve Jankowski. Hector breaks out the big guns and totally nails down a cover of Don Nix's "Goin' Down" in a tribute to Freddie King. The musicianship is nothing less than phenomenal. This is what the blues is all about. I love the funky rhythm on title track, "Old School Thang". If Prince decided to cross over to the blues, I think this is very close to what it would sound like. I have to mention the awe-inspiring drums provided by Sim Cain, which made me think of the late great Chuck Ruff who played drums on the iconic song, Edgar Winter's "Frankenstein".

"Rita", a despairing and tragic tune which seems to fall in the same wheelhouse as the music of Tom Waits, has a nifty way of getting stuck in my head. For the finale, Hector closes out "People of the World", a tasty treat full of groovy jams coated with organ and horns. Funky repetitive grooves reminiscent of the trans-blues music of Otis Taylor, keep this one going for eight minutes.

Every song on Old School Thang is a winner. This album comes highly recommended.

2015 finds New Jersey blues guitarist Billy Hector on top of his game. Hector has been plying his trade since the 70's and it shows on a fine set that displays his undoubted abilities as a singer-songwriter-guitarist. The Hector story starts in the 70's in a band called The Shots that became the house band at the legendary Stone Pony in Asbury Park, where Springsteen and Southside Johnny started out, before a stint as guitarist for Hot Romance would lead to The Fairlanes and eventually he formed the Billy Hector Band in 1993. Musically Hector had found himself at ease with a range of styles from horn-driven R&B to bluesy rock and all of these influences are still recognisable on 'Old School Thang'.

Hector is equally adept leading a power-trio or expanding the sound with horns, organ or piano. On the title track 'Old School Thang' the terrific work of the rhythm section of Sim Cain (drums) and Winston Roye (bass) is a highlight as they lay down a solid groove to allow Hector to stretch out with some terrifically funky lead lines that demonstrate his dexterity and Cain steps up to take a great solo. The much loved, and recorded, Don Nix blues standard 'Goin' Down' is dusted off and receives a stormin' rendition that stands comparison with the likes of Freddie King and Jeff Beck who popularised the song. The extended album closer 'People of the World' gives Hector room to stretch out on a slow burner of a tune with added funk from the horns of Steve Jankowski, Tommy Labella and Mel Taylor.

There is no danger of things getting predictable on this album as 'Evil, Slick 'N Sly' lays down a nice slow groove with Hector taking on a guttural vocal that is reminiscent of early ZZ Top with a dash of Tom Waits while 'Fake ID' and 'Come On Home' highlight his slide guitar work and the later the harmonica of Ken Sorensen.

'Old School Thing' is an impressive album that covers the blues basics and goes beyond. The playing and the production by Hector and Suzan Lastovica (Mrs. Hector) are exemplary throughout making this a very enjoyable album that should appeal to a wide range of listeners.


01. She's Gone (3:16)
02. Going Down (4:27)
03. Old School Thang (6:01)
04. Fake ID (4:57)
05. Vitamin B (2:59)
06. Come On Home (4:38)
07. Evil. Slick'n Sky (3:47)
08. Hammer (3:38)
09. Rita (5:05)
10. Short And Sweet (2:41)
11. People Of The World (8:04)

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