Is it possible to be happy if you’ve built your musical career playing the blues? The jovial, infectious laugh of Billy Hector would seem to imply “Yes.”
“I have a lifetime of listening experience,” laughs the veteran blues-rocker. “I saw the Beatles on Ed Sullivan. It changed the world!”
Though initially lured in by the Fab Four and their contemporaries from across the pond, it wasn’t long before the aspiring musician found influence from a different source.
“The blues speak to me. It has an impact,” Hector explains. “It has an emotional impact; I know what they’re talking about.”
Though his guitar lessons began at age 9, his college years were spent studying jazz guitar and music history at William Patterson University.
“I get really nerdy about music in general,” he says. “I look at it closely and remember little musical things the same way people remember quotes and passages from books.”
After forays into rock, New Waveand other genres, Hector decided to focus on the comment element which he brought to each: the blues.
“We started seriously playing as a blues band in 1985,” he remembers. “And no one cared.” After a shuffling of members and some false starts, the band pared down to a trio, which has remained relatively consistent ever since.
“I’ve known all of these guys since 1988,” says Hector.
Recently, Hector released “Choice Cuts,” a retrospective of his career.
“It’s a whole bunch of tunes from the last 20 years or so,” he says. “It’s almost a box set, but not quite.”
As for the future, Hector’s main goal is to expand his audience and generate more listeners. “I still have the dreams of a 24-year-old. I’d like to have you, and all of your friends, as a fan. Why not?”
LEARN MORE: BillyHector.com
THE MEMBERS: Billy Hector: Guitar, vocals; Timmy Tindall: Bass; Dan Hickey: Drums.
COMING UP: See them at the Camp Jam in the Pines at the Buena Vista Campground in Buena, Saturday, Sept. 28 at 8:45 p.m.; or 8 p.m. every Wednesday at Marlins in Point Pleasant.