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Hector Ward & The Big Time | Have An Ass Shaking Good Time!

Looking back, I never cease to be amazed at where I am on this journey. When you think about it, it ‘s hard to truly know exactly where one will be on life’s path a month, a year, much less 10 or 20 years into the future.

A first generation American kid of Cuban immigrant parents who met in Texas, it’s no surprise that music was in my blood from the beginning. The aroma of black beans and rice coming from the kitchen and my mom jamming some Latin grooves mixed in with some Van Morrison with me in the living room are some of my earliest memories.

After mom re-married to Ward, we moved out of the city and to the rural outskirts of Damon, Texas, where we started a new chapter. Country living, new siblings, baseball and Friday night lights, All-State status, coming of age and eventually college bound.

After a year of studying and playing football in college, a late night auto accident on my way home nearly took my life and changed my daily routine ever since.

From that day my determination grew stronger, my will even more so.

Hector Ward & The Big Time

Eventually finding solace in Austin, I picked up a guitar and felt my calling.

Being surrounded by a pool of unbelievable talent brought me great joy and satisfaction. Getting together with cats to form our first band, Sigmund Fraud laid the groundwork for where we are today. As a musician, the one thing I’ve always wanted is to not be classified or bound by one genre or sound. If a Rock or Blues riff inspired me, I wanted to play it. When a Latin, Island or Creole Brass rhythm got me moving, I wanted to do it . If I felt my upbringing in a country tune, I wanted to write one and play it.

That’s what I’ve done. I’ve surrounded myself with musicians and friends that also feel this way. When you come to our live shows you’ll understand how good it feels to move to the seamless blend of styles we perform.

We live to play music for anyone, whether in a living room, park, gig or Festival, it is a joy to be able to play, it makes us happy and we want to transfer that energy to others.

What are some memorable gigs? There’s not enough space here to go into it fully but being on the Austin City Limits stage with Eric Burdon and the Animals and Ian McLagan was a dream come true. I personally throw a three day music festival every year during SXSW called “The Blackfinger Festival” named after one of our songs.

In it’s eigth year running now, I can honestly say that all of those have been a blast and very memorable. We’re also proud to say that we’ve shared the stage with The Zombies, Christopher Cross, Gary Clark Jr., Black Joe Lewis and The Honey Bears, Ruthie Foster, Brownout, Del Castillo, Bob Schneider, W.C.Clark, Carolyn Wonderland, George Porter Jr., Dennis Quaid, Malford Milligan, Ben Kweller, Red Young, Stanton Moore Trio,Vallejo, Guy Forsyth, Ozomatli, Eric Tessmer, Shiny Ribs, Papa Mali, Nakia, T-Bird & The Breaks, Riders Against The Storm, Tommy Taylor, Van Wilks, Tommy Shannon, Uncle Lucius and Bill Carter.

I’m thankful to the members that have come and gone within the band. Those who have written, contributed, recorded and played all those late night gigs with me. As with many bands, they are part of the fabric along the journey.

Our band is now myself on guitar and lead vocals, Pearl Turner on backup vocals, John Kalny on Drums, Scott Beardsley on Bass Guitar, Rain Cross on Guitar, and Rodney Corbin on congas and percussion. The horn line, known for enthusiastically leaving the stage and taking the music into the audience, includes Stephen Farmer on trumpet, Oscar Ornelas on Tenor Saxophone and Ben Taylor on Trombone.

We released our first album, “Freightline Funk” in 2009 to the acclaim of being called “One of the most dynamic bands in the Austin universe” by the Austin Chronicle. Our second studio album in 2011, ‘Sum of All” follows up with some more killer jams and sonic excellence. Studio recording is great and all but our live shows are what we’ve come to be known for. Our latest release this August 2016, “Evolution – Live From the Saxon Pub” is a 22 song live album recorded from many live shows and with various members over time. Please, if given the remote possibility of experiencing one our shows, do it. You’ll walk away with a smile on your face having had an ass shaking good time!

What’s next? It’s hard to know but the world is a big place and we want to take our jams to the people!

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