Review: Billy Walton Band – Wish For What You Want

Posted on: Saturday, May 16, 2015


Billy Walton Band – Wish For What You Want

(VizzTone: VTNF 005)

From the same New Jersey shore as Bruce Springsteen, Southside Johnny and Jon Bon Jovi, hail the excellent Billy Walton Band – namely the man himself on guitar and vocals, William Paris (bass & vocals), John D’Angelo (drums), Ian Gray (trombone) and Sean Marks (saxophone). The band have been regular visitors to the UK and Europe over the last few years and have become firm favourites on the club and festival circuit, and it’s not hard to see why.

Walton himself is a fine guitarist and definitely has absorbed some of the New Jersey ‘big hitters’ into his vocal delivery  – the 12 tracks on “Wish For What You Want” range from tough rockers to some soulful blues, with definite influence from especially his former boss, the legendary Southside Johnny – and indeed he was a member of the Asbury Jukes for two years from 2010. Apart from his very fine own band several guest players appear here, most notably the in-demand Mike Finnigan on keyboards.

To cut to the quick the two tracks that jump out here are the lovely “Blues Comes A Knockin'”, with Southside Johnny showing what a fine harmonica player he is, alongside Walton’s tough vocal and slide guitar; the other true gem is the soulful Jersey shore ballad, “Walk That Little Girl Home” . . . reminiscent of classic ‘home turf’ Springsteen, with quite gorgeous vocals and harmonies, and more wonderful work from Mike Finnigan . . . beautiful!

Elsewhere another ‘Juke’, Joey Stann guest on saxophone on the soulful “It Don’t Matter”; and this great album ends in style with “Hudson County Star”, with madcap intro and the horns of Ian Gray and Sean Marks having fun, alongside Finnigan’s rollicking piano, as the track catches fire halfway through to end this recommended album in fine rocking style!

The Billy Walton Band will be back on these shores in June . . . and I would, on the evidence of “Wish For What You Want” . . . try and catch them! Great fun from start to finish from a great band.


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