The son of Cuban refugees who met in Texas, Ward’s sixteen years of experience in the Austin music scene, including his previous band Sigmund Fraud, are obviousÂ in the band’s high energy, dance-floor filling shows. The members include Ward on guitar and lead vocals, Cari Hutson on vocals, Mike McGurk on drums, Scott Beardsley on bass guitar, and Rodney Corvin on congas and percussion.The horn line, known for enthusiastically leaving the stage and taking the music into the audience, includes Tiger Anaya on trumpet, Houston Rawls on tenor saxophone, Ben Taylor on trombone, and Mark Wilson on baritone saxophone.
Of Hector Ward and the Big Time’s 2011 South by Southwest showcase, the Austin Chronicle wrote, “Being wheelchair-bound doesn’t hinder Hector Ward from leading one of the most dynamic new bands in Austin’s musical universe. With his huge growl and a nine-piece horn-fueled ensemble, the Big Time utterly attacks an assortment of styles, from Southern soul to Latin pop.”
The band’s second album, “Sum of All,” released in March at Antone’s, features originals by Ward and other band members. The release follows years of collecting accolades. In 2009 the Austin Chronicle included Hector Ward and the Big Time on the 2009 best new local acts lists, one writer’s top 25 songs of 2009, and as the critics pick for Best Latin Traditional for the ’09-’10 Austin Music Awards. The band has shared the stage with the likes of Unlce Lucius, Del Castillo, Bob Schneider, W.C.Clark, Carolyn Wonderland, George Devore, Vallejo, Gary Clark, Jr., and Papa Mali.
Of their first album, “Freightline Funk,” release in 2009, Austin Chronicle Music Editor Raoul Hernandez wrote, “Hector Ward & the Big Time sounds like Los Lonely Boys singer/bassist JoJo Garza fronting Tule or Grupo on Freightline Funk, nine pieces busting out raunchy horn-rimmed roots ‘n’ ska as in the hopped-up ‘Azucar.’ Does Willie Nelson know his single malt whiskey flows south of the border on Ward’s ‘Gypsy River’?”
Flyjack are the MUTHAâ€™s of 60â€™s-70â€™s rare groove, RIGHTEOUS rhythms, DYNAMITE soul and SUPERBAD funk – running hotter than a ’72 Eldorado on high octane
Graveltooth hails from Hudson Bend, TX. Their sound takes an old school, down and dirty approach to rock and roll, with heartfelt lyrics and soulful grooves that often venture into psychedelic terrain. Experienced live, the band has a knack of conjuring that rebellious spirit in all of us, transporting the listener back to a long-lost era. It’s only rock-n-roll, but GravelTooth reminds us why we like it.