Review: Billy Hector – Old School Thang

Posted on: Saturday, May 30, 2015

Billy Hector - Old School Thang.jpg

Billy Hector – Old School Thang

(Ghetto Surf Music: GSM 025)

A new name to me, but Billy Hector has been doing his ‘thang’ out of New Jersey for 35 years now, and on his latest release shows why he has picked up some ‘best guitarist’ awards on the East Coast as he tears through the eleven tunes here – all original, bar one cover. He calls on a large pool of local musicians and together with his fierce guitar and more than serviceable vocals, they have combined to record a most enjoyable album.

For me, the two tunes that ‘bookend’ “Old School Thang” are the stand outs – the opening “She’s Gone”, with lots of tough guitar and the horns of Tommy Labella and Steve Jankowski giving it a very Latin feel; and the closing 8:05 of “People Of The World” rides on a lovely funky groove, with the horns again to the fore, and with a great saxophone solo from Stax recording artist, Mel Taylor.

Elsewhere Hector gives a powerful interpretation of Don Nix’s blues classic, “Goin’ Down” and gets funky again on the title cut, “Old School Thang”. He shows  his slide prowess on a couple of tracks, the wry “Fake ID” and also on “Come On Home” with guest harmonica from Ken Sorensen. He hits an Albert Collins vibe on “Hammer”, which is most appealing.

To sum up, highly recommended for all blues guitar fans, who like their blues a little varied . . . well worthy of checking out!


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