Thursday, May 17, 2012

Billy Walton Band from UK to Somers Point

The Billy Walton Band, seen here performing at the Regal Theater in Evesham, Englandin England earlier this year, are a native Jersey Shore band that has developed a good following on the other side of the pond. 

Many thanks for the photos by Ian Cameron

Billy will do double duty at the Trop this coming weekend (May 26) when the Billy Walton Band opens for Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, and then he plays lead guitar with the Jukes, a double dynamite show.

They also play on accassion, at Tara's in Cookstown, in the Jersey Pines, Breezes in New Gretna and Sweetwater Casino, and will play their annual concert on the Somers Point Beach this year as well as dozens of other gigs at the Shore this summer. 

Photos compliments of bass player William Paris

Latest email:

We want to thank everyone who was so supportive and helpful during our recent UK tour.  17 shows in 19 days was a lot of fun.  We made alot of new friends.  We'll be seeing everyone again.  Major news coming overseas!

Now our gigs are coming in.  Summers right around the corner.  Just picked up a gig in AC at the Trop opening for Southside Johnny!  Billy will lead his band AND play with the Jukes!  See you soon.  Also, don't forget to order our new cd, Crank It Up!

18  Cabana's, Cape May NJ
19  Curran's, Palmyra, NJ
24  Breeze's, New Grertna, NJ
26  Tropicana, AC, NJ w/ Southside Johnny
27  Sweetwater Casino, Sweetwater, NJ
31  Sellersville Theater, Sellersville, PA w/ smokin Brit blues guitarist Matt Schofield!!
Always double check our site & the venue site to confirm!!!!
Thanks - Billy, William, Taz, & Johnny 

Grahame Rhodes wrote:

Billy Walton Band – Crank It Up!
(Mystic Records: MYS CD 208)

From Asbury Park, New Jersey, the Billy Walton Band have been regular visitors to the UK since 2007, and initially toured on the back of their excellent “Neon City” debut album, which blended a hard rock style with some classic home area soul influences from the great Southside Johnny, with whom Billy Walton currently holds down the much-coveted guitar ‘seat’.

This, the band’s third album, following “Live At The Stone Pony”, is again on the rocky side in places, but still with a few lovely soul-tinged tunes . . . . you don’t ‘sit in’ or play with such legends as Southside Johnny, Bruce Springsteen and Gary US Bonds and not pick up some good habits!

On “Crank It Up!”, apart from Billy Walton on lead guitar and vocals, the band comprises: William Paris (bass), Rich ‘The Taz’ Taskowitz (saxophone) and Johnny D’Angelo (drums) – and what a fine outfit they are. The opening “Deal With The Devil” rides on a nice opening acoustic groove, before giving way to Walton’s gritty vocal and slide guitar and the band kicking in.

The following title cut, “Crank It Up!” is a tough rocker that features Taskowitz’s saxophone, together with some blistering Walton guitar, and at times recalls another of the Jersey Shore’s heroes, Jon Bon Jovi, whom to me, Walton is a lot like vocally at times.

The riffy “Lifeline” has a Stonesy vibe to it with Billy Walton’s choppy guitar work; and next up is the delightful, soulful “The Night The Deal Went Down”, calling up hot summer nights on the Jersey boardwalk, and more great work here from Rich Taskowitz. The soul feel continues on the lovely “Til Tomorrow”, again with a ‘home town’ edge to it and delivered with a fine vocal performance from Walton.

The pace is taken down on “Night Turns Blue”, a ballad of the highest order with some sweet guitar licks and a soaring solo; the funky blues of  “One In A Million” is another highlight, with the saxophone featuring again to fine effect, with Walton’s searing playing. Walton takes us home again on “Summertime Girl”, another tune crafted on the Jersey boardwalk and surely influenced by “The Boss” himself!

The band put the hammer down on the rocking “Hot Blues”, driven by the very good rhythm section of long-time bass player William Paris and in-demand drummer Johnny D’Angelo; with proceedings rounded off with the breakneck rocker, “Black Jack Dealer” . . . with some great piano and also more sterling work from Rich Taskowitz.
Walton is a fine singer and guitarist, with a very capable band, and it’s easy to see how UK audiences have taken to him and the band, and his prowess live has been admirably  captured here in the studio on “Crank It Up!” Definitely an outfit worth checking out, be it live or recorded.

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