Billy Walton Band review…April 3, 2015

BILLY WALTON BAND

WISH FOR WHAT YOU WANT

NO FRET/VIZZTONE  VTNF 005

WISH FOR WHAT YOU WANT–TRUE LOVIN MAN–MOUNTAIN–COME ON UP–BLUES COME A KNOCKIN–FORGIVE AND FORGET–CHANGE–WORRIED BLUES–TILL TOMORROW–WALK THAT LITTLE GIRL HOME–IT DON’T MATTER–HUDSON COUNTY STAR

Guitarist Billy Walton has long been a vital part of the vibrant musical scene on the Jersey Shore, spending several years playing with the Asbury Jukes under the astute tutelage of Southside Johnny.  Striking out on his own, Billy has four releases under his belt.  For his fifth, he teamed up with producer Tony Braunagel to conjure up “Wish For What You Want,” twelve cuts that explain what that Jersey sound is all about–guitar-driven, horn-leavened blues-rock and soul that is perfectly augmented by Phantom Blues Band alumnus Mike Finnigan, who adds another dimension to an already-great sound with his stellar keys work.

The party starts with the gritty title track, where “You can wish for what you want, but you gotta have the things you need!”  Billy’s tale of growing up “making a living with my hands” in a tough environment is “Mountain,” while he vows to a lover that he’s learned to “Forgive And Forget,” and his guitar gets a real workout along with the horn section on this one.  “Change” has some unique echo-effect guitar work set over a psychedelic groove, and Mike’s piano intro gives way to Billy’s soulful vocal asking for a second chance, realizing “you’ll never make it Till Tomorrow if you’re hung up on yesterday.”  The set closes with a humorous look at the Jersey political landscape, “Hudson County Star.”

We had two favorites, too.  The fellows in Jersey all know how to party, and the rockin’ call to “let the music get to you” is “Come On Up and have a good time!”  And, Southside Johnny himself blows some cool harp on the acoustic warning, “don’t answer the door when The Blues Come Knockin.”

Billy Walton has the perfect formula for success–great guitar sounds, killer vocals, and a backing band that loves what they do.  “Wish For What You Want” perpetuates that soul-rockin’ Jersey Shore sound!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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