Ghetto Surf Music
An Exciting and Pretty Damn Unique Soulful Blues Hybrid.
My love of The Blues has been unstinting ever since I first ‘borrowed’ my elder brothers Rory Gallagher and Johnny Winter albums back in the early 1970’s; and my love remains pretty much undiminished now in 2018 as I somehow still manage to discover new artistes with their own unique way of making this historic genre fresh and indeed exciting!
Ladies and gentlemen; I present for your delectation…….Mr. Billy Hector from New Jersey.
Was it was the sparkling slide guitar on opening track Wizard of Babylon that hooked me in, or the way Hector’s distinctive voice and almost sexy guitar playing oozes seamlessly between BB King, Robert Cray and Gary Moore territory with grace and skill; but instantly hook me in he did; and when the title track Someday Baby came wailing from the speakers immediately afterwards I knew I was listening to something very, very special indeed.
Somehow Billy manages to combine Blues Rock with Super-Soul, Funk and even a touch of Jazz Rock in his superb playing on Jolene and the astonishing Road to Happiness as well as many others here too.
But, these days great guitarists are ‘two a penny’ so…….. what makes this album by Billy Hector stand out in a very crowded market is, first and foremost the quality of his songwriting.
In my eyes he can also write a love song that transcends genres like very few others can manage, with Moonlight in Her Eyes sounding like it would have blown our minds if Jimi Hendrix had recorded it; and Creeper delves into territory that very few apart from Sly Stone or perhaps Prince would dare enter; but Hector does with great composure and class!
It’s all too easy to hear why Hector has been winning Awards for decades now and was even both Hubert Sumlin’s and Joe Louis Walker’s ‘touring guitarist,’ when he gets into a groove on Hit The Road and the sweet and sassy instrumental Bareback; which I don’t think is about horse riding! But I return to Hector’s singing and his actual songs; which are all never less than excellent.
Two songs in particular stand out like bright red poppies in a field of beautiful golden wheat; and that’s the timeless Jolene (no….not that one) which has a little bit of everything in it; but sounds like no other Blues n Soul hybrid I can think of and the song that actually takes the accolade of Favourite Track by a whisker……. Butt Naked and Funk; which is exactly as cool and sexy as you’d hope for from a title like that.
There’s a lot going on here with Billy Hector merely fronting an amazing Big Band that I’ve hardly even alluded to but boy, oh boy are they red hot; evoking memories of the night I saw BB King at Newcastle City Hall when the great man allowed just about everyone to have a moment in the spotlight; but never enough to over shadow his own unique talents…..which is exactly what Billy Hector does on SOMEDAY BABY.
Released August 25th 2018