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NJ guitar legend Billy Hector joined host Greg Lewis in the WNTI studio for this weeks edition of 'Rock-it Science' Thursday May 14, 2009 - 8-10 PM. Billy shared stories from his thirty plus years in the business, performing live and previewing tracks from his new release 'Traveler'. Billy will be playing at the Bourbon Street Blues Festival at Lebanon Township Park Saturday afternoon May 16.
Frontman Billy Hector has twice received the Best Guitarist Award from music critic Bob Makin of the East Coast Rocker who states, "Billy plays with guts and displays some of the best chops you'll see anywhere."
Billy and his band shared billing with Bonnie Raitt at The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's "Tribute to Muddy Waters". Raitt afterwards said the beauty of Hector's sound brought tears to her eyes. Billy recently took home 3 Asbury Park Music Awards for "Best Guitarist", "Best Blues Band" and the "Living Legend Award".
Early on in his career, Hector identified himself as a versatile player with a smooth and a dynamic style all his own. He began playing in The Shots, The Stone Pony's R & B houseband.
Hector then went on to form Hot Romance, a band whose original songs received airplay on New York radio station WNEW-FM. As lead guitarist for The Fairlanes, a 5 piece blues rock band, Hector co-wrote and released 3 independent recordings on the Blue Jersey label which received both a healthy amount of airplay and critical acclaim. Regrouping as a power trio for the past ten years, the BILLY HECTOR Band includes drummer Dan Hickey and bass player Winston Roye (Bernie Worrell, Nile Rodgers, Herbie Hancock). With thirty years of performing under his belt, Billy Hector is recognized as one of the hottest guitarists and songwriters playing the original circuit and serves up what more than one reviewer has called "one of the best shows you'll ever see".
The New York Times caught up to Hector's act in a feature article that captured Hector's fame-resistant, artistically pure approach to music with the headline: "It's a Living;Working 250 Nights a Year, Winning Fans One by One".
In the story, Hector describes leaning toward blues when he realized as a youngster that The Rolling Stones, one of his favorite bands, sounded like Muddy Waters. Before long he developed a unique sound that led some less innovative minds to question how to classify his music. They figured he was too much blues for rock 'n' roll and too much rock 'n' roll for blues. With the release of his eleventh self-produced CD on the Ghetto Surf Music label, Hector makes no apologies for not imitating the rest of the pack.
Billy Hector began playing guitar over 40 years ago at the age of nine. His influences include Freddie King, T-Bone Walker, The Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix. A 1974 Stratocaster is this fret-master's main guitar powered by an "an old Bassman". For slide work he uses a Telecaster and a Gibson Firebird. Also see an excellent NY Times article by Kevin Coyne about Billy Hector.
Material courtesy of billyhector.com
Also, see Greg Lewis' bio.