Growing up in North Jersey, in Orange to be exact; Hector says that "The scene" was a "Melting Pot" of musicians and kids alike. "Bohemian Wallace's in Orange; kids who were part of no scene went there. You know, those of us who had no allegiance to any one group, us kids who did our own thing and didn't follow or fall in with anyone; that was our place. I remember as a kid writing Koko Taylor a letter and she actually wrote back," he said with a laugh. "She actually took the time; I mean, it didn't say much, something like "Keep up the good music" or something like that but she stunned me by responding; so I kept going (laughing). From that club scene and when I got older, I moved to the Jersey shore and joined an R 'N' B band with horns. I got into that whole Jersey Shore type sound and then I formed a blues band. Back then, the economy could hold blues bands years ago; not now though.
Hector, who has fifteen albums and CDs to his credit, says he was hesitant to go the blues route at first, even though he readily admits that he enjoys the genre and has always felt a certain comfort level there as he calls them a "Great fit." "I really hesitated to get it (the blues) out there. Years ago, as I said, the scene supported it. There were lots of clubs and most all catered to top 40 and cover bands but yet they'd also have blues bands. Truth is, you need an audience, it was tough but I've cultivated my audience over the years. Much today depends on music trends. I did blues as an American thing, most kids today like hip hop instead; it's a different groove in America now. For me personally, the blues must swing. A lot of punk bands in a reviving scene here and over in England have taken the swing out and removed it; I don't know it's always wide open for discussion and interpretation. At this point in my life I can't worry about it. At this point I'm me and I do what comes out of that (laughs)."
The blues have been very kind to Billy over the years, garnering him an Asbury Music Award for "Best Guitarist" as well as "Best Blues Band" and a "Living legend" nod. Hector has twice been named "Best Guitarist" by East Coast Rocker Magazine and is a two time invitee to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame's "American Music Masters Series." This Saturday January 10, he brings his talents to The Record Collector located at 358 Farnsworth Avenue in Bordentown City, NJ to celebrate the release of his most recent disc; "The Fire Within."
"The title of the CD is a line from the song "Step It Up," he stated. "We liked the lyric so we took it for the title. Bobby Bandiera actually plays on this tune too which makes it even better." Along with Bon Jovi alumni Bandiera, Hector incorporates the talents of Ween's Dean Ween on the tune "Fake ID." "Yeah, Dean is also on the CD. He and I have many mutual friends in the Trenton (NJ) area; I'm glad he wanted to do it." The Trenton connection continues with his band as veteran drummer Sim Cain lays down the beat. "Sim and I have been performing together since 1984 and the band itself has been together quite a long time; it's been me, Sim and bassist Timmy Tindall but for this show on Saturday I'll be using Wilbo Wright, Timmy has another commitment."
"The Fire Within" is a four song EP which was done as part of a "CD Baby marketing scheme," according to Hector. "I figured I'd get it done faster that way," he said with a laugh. "It really was easier to put out four songs instead of eight to twelve. I also felt that as a unit, we needed to get out, to put out something as it's been a while since our last release. It's a CD Baby marketing scheme; they recommended we release an EP; personally I think it's a scheme to get us to cut two more CDs (Laughs). In today's world, CDs are really more like souvenirs of a show; they are used as more of a promo tool and there's lots of free music being given away. I still love to play and I'll play until the game is over."
Billy says that the plan for this Saturday night's 8 p.m. show is going to be a mixed bag of sorts but that it's all "Good stuff." "We are going to to start with some acoustic stuff," he explained. "Then we are going to get electric and play the whole new record. We are also having a paisley shirt contest because I wear a lot of paisley shirts; pokin' a little fun at myself. We have a few covers done our way to throw in and it'll be a good show."
Tickets are $15 in advance and can be purchased on The Record Collectors website at www.the-record-collector.com.
Saturday is also "An All Star Tribute to Sam Cooke" as part of the continuing Candlelight Concert for Epilepsy Awareness series being held at Trinity United Methodist located at 1985 Pennington Rd. in Ewing, NJ. Scheduled performers are Gary US Bonds, Corey Glover of Grammy Award winning band Living Colour, Sarah Dash of LaBelle, Chris Trapper of The Push Stars and many others. Glover's Living Colour band mate, Doug Wimbush is the musical director for the evening. The show starts at 7 p.m. and tickets are $40 in advance and can be purchased at www.candlelightconcert.org.
Also in Bordentown City on Friday January 9 is the "Songwriters Circle" sponsored by Rock On Radio and hosted by Danny Coleman. This event, which takes place at the 420 Café located in the all purpose room of the First Presbyterian Church at 420 Farnsworth Avenue features The Williamsboy, John Alberici and Astronaut Jones. This trio of Jersey Shore area residents will be telling the stories behind their music as they perform in the round style. This show will also be broadcast live on www.40footholestudio.com for those of you who are out of the area and would like to listen in. There will be light refreshments served and there is a "suggested" donation of $10 with all monies going tpo the performers.
That's it for this week! Please continue to support live and original music and until next week....ROCK ON!
THIS WEEKS CALENDAR LISTINGS
146 Lawrenceville-Pennington Rd. Lawrenceville
Sat. 8:30 p.m. Blue Meanies (Beatle Tribute)
Amarones Windsor Inn
29 Church St. Windsor
Thurs. 6:30 p.m. Scott Cager & Debbie
Fri. 8 p.m. Ernie White & Tom Reock
Sat. 8 p.m. Living The Dream
Wed. 7:30 p.m. DJ John Rossi
Big Shots Bar and Grill/Hebe Music Lounge
835 E Rte. 130 South, Burlington
Fri. 7 p.m. "Light of Day South Jersey" (TBA)
Sat. 7 p.m. Rivers
Wed. 7 p.m. Open Mic. feat. Katie McCorry
Blend Bar & Bistro
911 Highway 33, Hamilton
Tues. 8 p.m. Triviajam
The Backstage at Championship Bar
931 Chambers St. Trenton
Fri. 7 p.m. Echopoint, Shade By Giants, Signs, The Strangers. All ages, $10
Sat. 5 p.m. Knightlife, Canamara, Blue Sun, I Miss You Kid, (TBA). All ages, $10
420 Farnsworth Avenue Bordentown City
Fri. 7 p.m. Rock On Radio "Songwriters Circle" Hosted by Danny Coleman feat. The Williamsboy, John Alberici, Astronaut Jones. $10 (Suggested donation)
24 Passaic St. Trenton
Sat. 3 p.m. James Stewart Sax Quartet. (No cover-$10 minimum)
Chambers Walk Cafe
2667 Main St. Lawrenceville
Fri./Sat. 6 p.m. Dick Gratton
Chickie's & Pete's
183 US Highway 130 North Bordentown
Tues. 8 p.m. Acoustic Music Night feat. The Dawgs
Dog & Bull Brew House
810 Bristol Pike (Rte. 13) Croydon, PA.
Thurs. 7 p.m. Mia Johnson
Fri. (3 p.m.) Visoon (8 p.m.) Coco Butter Band
Sat. (11 a.m.) Michael Leggerie (8 p.m.) Mojo and the Helper Monkeys
Sun. 3 p.m. Tommy Griggz
Mon. 7 p.m. Perry Wolf
Wed. 7 p.m. Jay Regan
116 S. Main St. New Hope, PA.
Sat. 8 p.m. Moose and Bullet Proof
Mon. 8 p.m. Open Blues Jam
All shows 21+
Havana New Hope
105 S. Main St. New Hope, Pa.
Thurs. (8 p.m.) Lyndsey Highlander / Heather Heather. Doors at 6 p.m.. $15 (advance) (10 p.m.) Beat The Clock DJ Dance Party
Fri. 8:30 p.m. Wired
Sat. 8:30 p.m. Jumper
Sun. 4 p.m. Rocky and His Friends
All shows 21+
3108 S. Broad Street, Hamilton
Fri. 10 p.m. El Ka Bong
Sat. 10 p.m. Blind Lemmon Pie
All shows 21+
John & Peter's
96 S. Main St. New Hope, Pa.
Thurs. 9 p.m. J & P's Comedy Presents: The Holiday Hangover Show
Fri. 9 p.m. Spitune
Sat. (3 p.m.) Run To Sandy (9 p.m.) Na Bodach
Sun. 3 p.m. Hardcore Matinee w/ Came Without Warning
Mon. 9 p.m. Open Mic. w/ Chris
Tues. 9 p.m. Hank and Cupcakes
Wed. 9:30 p.m. The Invitational
All shows 21+
2677 Nottingham Way Hamilton
Wed. 10 p.m. Karaoke
Palermo's Of Hamilton
310 Klockner Rd. Hamilton
Thurs. 9 p.m. Karaoke
All shows 21+
1339 River Rd. Titusville
Fri. 7:30 p.m. Steve Bross
Sat. 7:30 p.m. McMillan & Co.
Pete's Steak House
523 Whitehorse Ave. Hamilton
Fri. 9:30 p.m. Gyrl Band
Sat. 9:30 p.m. Kindred Spirit
50 Riverview Plaza Trenton
Thurs. 9 p.m. College Night w/ DJ Paul Desisto
Fri. 9 p.m. The Soul Cruisers
All Shows 21+
Tavern On The Lake
101 Main St. Hightstown
Wed. 8 p.m. Karaoke Night
The Ivy Inn
248 Nassau St. Princeton
Thurs. 10 p.m. Karaoke w/ DJ RON
Fri. 10 p.m. DJ Darius
Sat. 10 p.m. (TBA)
Tues. 8 p.m. Quizzo w/ Bob E Luv
Wed. 10 p.m. Theme Night w/ DJ Rockn Ron
The HOB Tavern
146 Second Street
Sat. 9 p.m. Karaoke
Wed. Open Mic. Night
The Millhill Basement
300 South Broad St Trenton
Check web page for upcoming shows.
The Record Collector
358 Farnsworth Ave. Bordentown
Sat. 8 p.m. Billy Hector CD Release Party. All ages, doors at 7:30 p.m., $15 (advance)
The Sun National Bank Center
81 Hamilton Ave. Trenton
Check web site for upcoming events
Tir Na Nog
1324 Hamilton Ave. Trenton
Fri. (5 p.m.) Bill Shannon (9 p.m.) Bill O'Neal
Sat. 9 p.m. Birmingham 6
Tues. 9 p.m. Open Mic. w/ Taylor Reed
Wed. 9 p.m. Matt Kennedy
All shows 21+
449 South Broad Street Trenton
Thurs. 8 p.m. Cinema Thursdays Presents:"Black Mirror-White Christmas"
Fri. 7 p.m. First Friday Presents: "Young at heArt" a Watercolor Exhibit by Nonagenarian Stephen M. Marusky
Mon. 10 p.m. Service Industry Night w/ DJ-Jay Kountree
Triumph Brewing Company (New Hope, Pa. Location)
400 Union Square New Hope, Pa.
Fri. 10 p.m. Cherokee Red ($5 cover charge)
Sat. 10 p.m. Brad Hinton & The Whippoorwills ($5 cover charge)
Sun. (2 p.m.) John Danaher & The Quietmen (7 p.m.) Open Jam Night
All shows 21+
2572 Pennington Rd. Pennington