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Saturday, May 18, 2024


Blues Power Trio to Debut at Cabanas


By Jack Fichter

CAPE MAY— Billy Walton is a guitar player in the tradition of Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Guy and Eric Clapton, leading a power trio in blues-based rock.
He also has ties with the North Jersey-Bruce Springsteen, Bob Jovi, Stone Pony crowd. Walton toured as a guitarist with Southside Johnny (Asbury Dukes) in England last year.
Like a late blooming version of Derek Trucks, Walton has been playing shows at Jersey Shore bars since the age of 15.
Walton played in a band called Boccigalupe & the Bad Boys, which featured Tony Amato, a veteran of the Asbury scene since the 70s. The nickname Boccigalupe was actually given to Amato by Bruce Springsteen & Little Steven Van Zandt.
During his time with Boccigalupe, Walton played countless shows in both the United States and Europe and sat in with numerous of rock luminaries including Springsteen, Gary US Bonds and Stevie Ray’s Vaughn’s backing band, Double Trouble.
The Billy Walton Band featuring William Paris on bass and John Hummel on drums makes its Cape May debut at Cabanas on May 8. Paris, who was also a member of Boccigalupe & the Bad Boys, told the Herald the trio came together in 2007 and began focusing on writing their own songs.
The band opened a shows for Johnny Winter, Robin Trower and Southside Johnny’s New Year’s Concert at the Count Basie Theater in Newark.
England has a very vibrant Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, Southside Johnny fan base, said Paris, along with a massive blues-rock scene as well. Paris said blues players from B.B. King to Warren Haynes of the Allman Brothers keep the art form alive here and overseas.
Walton made a connection with Roger Mayer who invented guitar effects pedals including the Octavia pedal Jimi Hendrix used on “Purple Haze.”
“Roger loved Billy’s performing so much, he’s come to every one of our London gigs in the last seven tours,” said Paris. “Roger Mayer uses samples of Billy playing his effects on his Web site.”
Mayer worked with Hendrix, Stevie Wonder and Bob Marley in the recording studio. Paris said Mayer acknowledges Walton as one of the best up and coming younger guitar players.
Paris said the British audiences listen and watch intently and analyze the playing.
“They’ve seen it all,” he said.
Vocally, Walton sounds a bit like Jon Bon Jovi. Walton plays guitar as a mix of blues/rock with rhythm and blues (R&B) influences.
“For me as a bass player, I’m trying to get the best of both worlds with the dynamic, shear power of the rock plus the subtlety and the groove and the flow of the R & B,” said Paris.
The Billy Walton Band’s set list includes original material, some Hendrix and “some funky, groovy kind of stuff,” said Paris. You will hear plenty of jams that may include Joe Walsh, Peter Frampton including using a guitar talk box, some Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughn and maybe a deeper cut from Lynyrd Skynyrd.
You can preview the band on its Web site:

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