With over thirty five years of performing under his belt, Billy Hector is regarded as one of the best songwriters and performers on the scene, recognized by critics and fans as one of the "hottest guitarists you'll ever see". He has been called "a state treasure" and is recognized as a "Living Legend" by the Asbury Park Music Awards and recipient of their Top Guitarist Award as well as The Jersey Shore Jazz & Blues Foundation's Lifetime Achievement Award. In this tradition of excellence and true to it's title, Traveler, Billy Hector's sixteenth independent release takes the listener for a welcome trip across a varied range of the opulent roots/rock landscape, driven by Hector's signature style of solid songwriting and guitar brilliance. "Polly Anne", the driving and straight ahead guitar-forward opener about a nomadic girl's search for order in her life warms you up for the title cut of this release. Hector fans will remember the original "Traveler" from Undertow, his ninth release in 2002. Though nicely paced, this version adds an eerie and more melancholy tone to an already somber song as Hector's vocals intersperse with reverb-filled and richly woven guitar lines. Next up, the twang in "Never Let You Down" engages you before diving into the rhythm surf guitar back-note of "Candy" and then Hector "speaks his mind" in "Last Train". Was that a little nod to T-Rex in there? You be the judge. Want some clean tasty slide work in the front seat with you? "Midnight Buddha" delivers it in spades before Hector wheels you into the Santo and Johnny-like guitar prettiness of "Wild Heart" featuring the sultry vocals of Suzan Lastovica. Then it's on to the sheer foot tapping hookiness of "Overloaded" before passing through "Midnight in Her Eyes" which starts out with a Clapton-like guitar structure before Hector brings it to a close with a mesmerizing and dreamy piece of guitar work. And finally, in the "Bonus Round" of the album, Hector brings you to a satisfying finish far from where you started with the wonderfully weighty and deliciously sexy backnote of "Play So Rough". Except at this point, you realize that you're NOT satisfied...Traveler may have finished but you're fully drawn in and you want more! All thirteen tracks on the CD were recorded by Troy Topinka at Monmouth Academy of Musical Arts and mixed by Suzan Lastovica at Bustahump Acres. All songs were written by Billy Hector and Suzan Lastovica. Stylish and hooky for sure but as always, well-crafted and purposeful. Three decades into it and stronger than ever, the collective experience and skillfulness of Billy Hector and Suzan Lastovica yet again deliver everything you need and nothing you don't.
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