Billy Hector – Old School Thang | Album Review

billyhectorcdBilly Hector – Old School Thang

Ghetto Surf Music

11 tracks/49:40 Running Time

Billy Hector is veteran guitarist with roots in the Asbury Park and Jersey Shore music scenes.  This oft-awarded, self described workingman’s musician, has released  sixteen albums to date and is a revered icon in New Jersey and beyond.

Mr. Hector is most comfortable in a power trio configuration but when he throws in a badass horn section augmented also with the occasional b-3, the results are stupefying. Four tracks including the title track are done in the trio format. Track  4 “Fake ID” adds an extra guitar in the presence of Mickey Melchiondo. Track 6 “Come On Home” includes Ken Sorensen on harmonica Winston Roye on cowbell.

The horn section consists of Tommy Labella on sax and Steve Jankowski on trumpet and trombone.  Along with organist David Nunez they appear on tracks 1, “She’s Gone,” track 2, “Goin’ Down,” track 5,” Vitamin Big Daddy,”  and track 11, “People Of The World.” On track 10, “Short and Sweet Blues,” Pete Maurer plays trombone and Carlos Francis, trumpet.

Rounding out the rhythm section are Sim Cain on drums (tracks 1-7, 9 & 10), Larry Crockett (track 8) and Rich Monica (track 11), Tim Tindall is on bass (tracks 1, 4 ,5,6, 7 , 9 & 11. Winston Roye plays bass on tracks 2, 3, 8 & 10. Just as in his live performances, Billy likes to mix and match his bassists and drummers.

On track 9 there are backing vocals by Susan Lastovica (Mrs. Hector) and Joshua Mark.

Now to the music. Billy Hector is a driven guitarist. Old School Thang contains two slow Blues numbers, track 7, “Evil, Slick ‘N Sly and track 10,  “Short and Sweet Blues.’ There’s a medium tempo ballad, track 9, “Rita.”  Everything else is let it all hang out, up tempo, get out on the dance floor and groove, Blues, Rock and Funk.

Hector’s voice is strong, confident and convicted. It augments his playing in a similar way that Jimi Hendrix’s vocals complimented his playing.

Standout tracks include track 1, “She’s Gone,” a layered, deftly crafted, guitar and horn driven scorcher that includes a snatch of a chorus possibly borrowed from Alvin Cash and the Crawlers, “Twine Time.”  Track 2 is a cover of the Don Nix tune, “Going Down.” Though the song has been recorded by countless artists to the point of saturation, Hector does a very credible version on the order of Freddie King. Track 5, “Vitamin Big Daddy,” is a fun guitar burner that throws in some Jazzy horn lines that recall “Walk On The Wild Side,” by Jimmy Smith. Can’t avoid the crazy fun hooks in track 4, “Fake Id.”

Got my baby and my cocaine
got my pork roll and cheese
got my dba (?) card
 and my fake id…

Whoa daddy. That combination could be bad for your heart.

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