Hector Ward & the Big Time
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Hector Ward & the Big Time

Austin, Texas, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2005 | SELF

Austin, Texas, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2005
Band Rock Blues




"Buddy Magazine"

“I GET TO LISTEN TO LOTS OF new recordings each month, and I must say that Smile Into Life from Austin-based Blues-Funk Rocker, Hector Ward and his eight-piece Big Time band, is one of the most dynamic I’ve heard all year. From start to finish, it’s solid with not one track that I wanted to skip. “Life and Livin’” kicks off the album in such a high-spirited way that you know you are in for a treat. I was reminded of the seventies band, Chicago, with the horn arrangements and rock guitars. Singing the white boy blues,“Taking Lightnin’ Home,” features Hunter St. Marie on lead guitar. One thing that makes this song stand out is the uncommon tempo changes. “Whiskey Pants” is a song of rebellion. “You can kiss my whiskey drinking ass… I loved everything about this energetic album, from beginning to end. A band this tight and this good won’t fly under the radar for long.” - Record Reviews July 2019

"KUTX 98.9 FM Song Of The Day"

When a band’s not only comfortable opening for Eric Burdon & The Animals, but also The Zombies, Christopher Cross, Gary Clark Jr., Ian McLagan and many, many more…they’ve gotta appeal to a lot of different tastes. Whether those tastes are for rock & roll, blues, country, funk, soul, or Latin, Austin octet Hector Ward & The Big Time channels a little bit of everything with expert precision. And after two decades of local musicianship, the eponymous frontman’s Afro-Cuban roots still manage to burst through The Big Time with exciting horn lines, guitar riffs that’ll make you sweat and Ward’s vocals roaring front and center.

Last week Hector Ward & The Big Time dropped their LP, Smile Into Life, and you can catch them tomorrow night at One-2-One Bar. But before you do, loosen up your legs and celebrate Thirsty Thursday with one of Smile Into Life‘s boldest offerings, “Whiskey Pants”! - KUTX 98.9 FM Austin

"Austin 360 On The Record"

Funk, soul, blues, country, rock & roll and more work their way into the Big Time’s big-tent approach that features guitarist and lead singer Ward out front. “Smile Into Life” follows two previous studio albums plus a live album and features a core band of bassist Scott Beardsley, drummer Mike McGurk, trombonist Ben Taylor and backing vocalist Cari Hutson. Many more local musicians flesh out the group’s powerhouse sound, most notably a lively horn section - Peter Blackstock

"“New releases from A to Z, from Hasty Page to Hector Ward & The Big Time, and many in-between”"

As we do quarterly, we’re giving some well-deserved attention to artists who have new album and EP releases coming up on the horizon. We’ve been busy thumbing through more than 1,200 submissions. - Pause & Play

"PREMIERE: Hector Ward & The Big Time Releases New Music Video For ‘Life & Livin’"

As we wrap up another premiere week, we are closing in a quirky and uplifting note as we team up with Hector Ward and The Big Time who has returned with the release of their new music video for “Life & Livin’,” a creative video that blends both live performances with a somewhat experimental narrative as we follow the band and also get a presentation that fits the topic of the lyrics through different visuals. - VENTS Magazine

"Nothing Stays The Same - The Story Of The Saxon Pub"

“beloved musicians such as local luminaries Bob Schneider, Patrice Pike, Guy Forsyth, Joe Ely, Hector Ward, Carolyn Wonderland, The Resentments, Johnny Nicholas, W.C. Clark, Robynn Shayne and others, turn to face the music until they learn their fate might not be sealed after all.” - SXSW.com

"Songs For Social Change 2018"

“Happy to say that the song 'This World' by Hector Ward & The Bigtime was chosen from hundreds by Renaissance Artists and Writers Association to be on their 2018 Songs For Social Change compilation CD, which will be distributed to radio stations worldwide.” - RAWA.net

"Hector Ward & The Bigtime - "Brown Liquor""

There is no wonder why Hector Ward & The Bigtime have received the accolades they have in the live music capital of the world. “Brown Liquor” is engaging with funky, rocking instrumentals met by blues inspired vocals that would make for a stellar live performance. - Indie Spoonful

"Music Is Love - HWBigtime Live Filming at One-2-One"

Music Is Love - Hector Ward & The Bigtime Live Filming at One-2-One - Austin Music Live TV

"Hector Ward & The Bigtime Scorches Thru 22 Kick-Ass Tracks."

Hector Ward and the Big Time has brought us the fantastic live album Evolution: Live at the Saxon Pub. Combining funk, blues, rock, reggae and Latin pop, The Big Time scorches through 22 kick-ass tracks. Ward has a gruff, rough-hewn voice that is perfect for the blues, as well as being expressive and soulful. Most noteworthy though is the great horn section on such tracks as “Brown Liquor” and “Uncle Chas”. The brass embraces the bluesy motif, while expanding it into a more dynamic sound.

The band explores other types of music also: rockabilly (“Gypsy River”, Latin (“La Luna”) and reggae (“Simplify”). With a danceable rhythm, “Freightline Funk” climbs to an explosive climax with some great interplay between lead guitar and horns. “Hot Sauce” is another great funky romp barrelling along at breakneck speed. If this album is any indication, their live shows must be exciting entertainment. - ITSEZBREEZY

"Texas Platters"

Hector Ward has proved a formidable bandleader, commanding the horn-revved band with a throaty growl. The locals' third album leads with its title, Evolution, the 22-track live record bottling Saxon Pub performances 2010-14 like a locomotive through the eclectic tapestry - The Austin Chronicle

"Madness on Main 2017 Rundown"

Oh, yeah. I’ve got to say, I’d never heard a thing about Austin band Hector Ward and the Big Time before seeing their name on the Madness on Main lineup, but damn, I am sold. The band may hail from Austin, but their sound, to me, owes a whole lot more to that state to the east of Texas, with a bluesy, gritty, funky vibe that wouldn’t be at all out of place blasting from some beat-down, locals-only dive on New Orleans’ Frenchmen Street.
It’s got soul and the blues and jazz and rock and funk, all melted down and blended together into a big, steaming gumbo, with frontman Ward’s awesomely powerful voice cutting through the whole thing, flanked by those sparkling, clean horns. This stuff is excellent, and I’d bet Hector Ward and the Big Time are utterly mind-blowing live. Hope I get to test that theory myself… - Space City Rock

"Five Good Covers: Heart Full of Soul (The Yardbirds)"

Austin’s “8-piece Latin Grooves Funk Orchestra” brings the brass and conga percussion. The proud Cuban-American Hector, playing good-Elvis on lead vocals, treats us to choruses in English and Spanish in between snappy sax, guitar, trombone, and trumpet breaks. - Cover Me

"93.7 KLBJ - The Rock of Austin - Local Licks"

My favorite local licks albums of 2016 - 93.7 KLBJ - The Rock of Austin

"KTRU 96.1 FM Top 35"

Fifteen consecutive weeks on KTRU Houston Top 35, Hector Ward & The Bigtime's double album "Evolution - Live at the Saxon Pub" now at # 6 !! - Steven D. Powell

"20 Years with Townes Van Zandt"

“Harold F. Eggers Jr. played Bob Johnston a recording of Hector and he said "I want to produce that boy, he's got it." Hector Ward and the Big Time's album Evolution: Live at the Saxon Pub was produced by legendary producer Bob Johnston, and Hector Ward. Bob Johnston, a producer at Columbia Records who worked on legendary LPs like Bob Dylan's Blonde on Blonde, Johnny Cash's At Folsom Prison and Simon & Garfunkel's Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme.” - Harold F. Eggers Jr.

"All ATX: The British Invasion @ ACL Hector Ward and the Bigtime @ min 29:01"

Hector Ward and the Bigtime @ min 29:01 - KLRU Presents

"Featured Artist - Have An Ass Shaking Good Time"

Hector Ward and the Bigtime - Have An Ass Shaking Good Time - Music Talks.xyz

"Jason A Smith Photography"

“of BowiElvis Fest...Every act brought their A game! I can't pick a favorite, but I can tell you I'm not going to miss Hector Ward next time he comes to Houston, and neither should you!” - Jason A. Smith

"Hector Ward and the Bigtime - On Our Radar"

Love this! Hector Ward & The Big Time TW: @ hwbigtime - JaxxShack

"Brown Liquor"

This song “Brown Liquor” is awesome! Check out the interview we had with HWBT and make sure to check out the video in our video section.
Why did you select this song as your current single?
“Brown Liquor” is a tight and concise song that encompasses alot of our sound in a 3 minute song. We’ve all had one too many and had to walk that sidewalk home on the proverbial Bourbon St., so it resonates. It’s got the horns, the guitar licks and the powerful voice!
How does this single relate to the rest of the Album, EP or Mix-tape?
“Brown Liquor” is a killer song, but HWBT delves into many genres on Freightline Funk.
Of their first album, “Freightline Funk,”, 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’?”
What was the writing process for the song?
Too much Brown Liquor, a good hook/riff by Phil Roach and lyrics by myself (H. Ward).
What does this song’s lyric mean to you?
The songs’ lyrics are simple, one foot on the sidewalk, one foot in the gutter, a summation of life for many.
What would it be like to see you in person performing this song?
We are a fun, high energy band that wants everyone to have an ass shaking good time, so we put on a great live performance with our horn section known for leaving the stage to join the audience.
Could your fans summarize who you are as an artist by this song?
This song encompasses alot of our sound but it doesn’t fully summarize what we do, we are an eclectic mix of FunK/Ska Rock/Blues sprinkled with Cuban goodness.
Is there a video for this song?
There is a “Brown Liquor” video. Brown Liquor – Hector Ward & the Big Time
One last question, what is your motivation behind your music?
We live to play music for anyone, may it be in a living room, park, gig, or Festival, it is a joy to be able to play, it makes is happy and we want to transfer that energy to others - iMoveiLive Online Music Magazine

"KEYE TV Austin Music Monday"

Hector Ward & The Big Time combine a mega mix of blues and rock sprinkled with a little bit of Latin funk. Here are 3 members playing a stripped down version of "This World" for this week's Music Monday. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter @WeAreAustin and find us on Facebook at We Are Austin Lifestyle Show. - We Are Austin

"KTRU 96.1 FM Houston Interview - 2016"


"Folk Uke, Hector Ward & The Big Time and Guy Forsyth"

Ward’s reggae-infused “Simplify” and McGurk’s “Whiskey Pants” delighted audience members, who also helped to sing the refrain for “Taking Lightening Home,” which Ward co-wrote about blues singer Sam John “Lightnin’” Hopkins. He also performed “Ghost Story,” a song about an infamous politician who wanders the prairie searching for a stolen whiskey bottle. - Elmore Magazine

"Big Time Hector Ward and “Little” Will Evans – mmmmmm!"

Hector Ward is a big guy hitting the big time with his band’s brand-new record, “Freightline Funk.” If you have not seen this guy – who is not quite confined in his wheelchair as he rocks the stage and wails on his guitar – then you must either not like bands with horn sections or you just got back from Antarctica (or Australia?). Their stellar CD release party at the Backyard (soon to be an even more exciting venue, I am told!) featured a duet with the boys from Uncle Lucius (and their horn section too - Flanfire.com

"Hector Ward & the Big Time"

The setting is springtime at Shultz Biergarten in downtown Austin at the annual Jam 4 Justice Fundraiser. What an afternoon of incredible music from the likes of the unstoppable Hector Ward and his Big Time band. This amazing young man wheeled himself onstage with such confidence and finesse reflecting in a broad sense how he had overcome his physical misfortune. I had no idea of what to expect and was open to whatever was delivered. I should have known with his new CD entitled, “Freightline
Funk” that a good time was coming! His delivery was soul shaking and I was really glad to have my dancing shoes on!

Hector’s performance was a mix of voodoo surf, Jerry Garcia and a shake of Reggae. His Cuban roots mixes this sound together with an array of horns and dirty guitar licks. Nothing was left wanting in my desire to hear some fabulous new tunes while benefiting the many good causes that our musicians donate their time and energy towards.

Austin is the only place to have these type of musical experiences any day of the week! If you don’t live in Austin now – don’t wait. It’s the best place on earth to call home.

- http://marisue.com/

"Texas Platters"

"Que rico! Hector Ward & the Big Time sounds like LLB 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"?" -Raoul Hernandez - Austin Chronicle

"Say Uncle"

"...Equally surprising was the night’s opener, Hector Ward. At first blush he's another soul shouter in the vein of Nakia and T Bird, but Ward and his Big Time horns delved into ska, surf, Latin, funk, and country with startling command. Now I need to see them again to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating. A band this good won’t continue under the radar much longer." -Jim Caligiuri
- Austin Chronicle

"South by Southwest Showcase"

“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."” - Jim Caligiuri, Austin Chronicle


2009 - Release:  Freightline Funk
           Label:  Blackfinger Records
           Format: LP 11 Tracks

2011 - Release:  Sum Of All
           Label:  Blackfinger Records
           Format: LP 10 Tracks

2016 - Release:  Evolution: Live At The Saxon Pub In Austin Texas
           Label:  Blackfinger Records
           Format: Live 22 Track Double CD
           Produced by Bob Johnston and Hector Ward

2019 - Release:  Smile Into Life
           Label:  Blackfinger Records
           Format: LP 09 Tracks



Hector Ward & The Big Time's new LP “Smile Into Life” is now available at all outlets!

Official 2019 SXSW Film Selection: Proud and honored to be featured as an artist alongside amazing Austin talent and friends in the new documentary film Nothing Stays The Same - The Story Of The Saxon Pub to World Premier at SXSW 2019!! 

From the live music capital of the world, Austin, Texas band Hector Ward & The Bigtime are a hot act to watch and a force to be reckoned with. This horn driven and respected independent band blurs the genre spectrum with astonishing command.

Tasty horn-rimmed roots, raunchy guitar licks, powerful vocals and an INCREDIBLE live performance are what fans will get.  With Ward fronting the impeccably talented Bigtime and filling dance floors with their legendary live shows. 

HWBT has received several Austin music scene accolades including Austin Chronicle's Best New Local Acts list, one Writer's Top 25 songs,  a Best Of Critics Pick in the Austin Music Awards. The band has four records in distribution, 1. 'Freightline Funk'  2. 'Sum Of All'  3. 'Smile Into Life' along with a 22 song live record, 'Evolution - Live From The Saxon Pub'.  This live album was produced by the legendary Bob Johnston and Ward and spent fifteen consecutive weeks on The Top 35 Albums at # 6 at KTRU 96.1 FM Houston and is currently receiving airplay on syndicated shows throughout the US and Europe. Renaissance Artists and Writers Association (RAWA) 2018 Compilation CD song pick.  The band also puts on the impressive annually running Blackfinger Festival during Spring Break now going on it's TENTH year that is a four day event with 35 plus of some of Austin's best bands.

Hector Ward & The Bigtime are honored to have received kind press and reviews in The Austin Chronicle, Indie SpoonfulSpace City Rock, Elmore Magazine, Chant La Bon, KTRU 96.1 FM Houston, The Austin Chronicle, iMoveiLive, KLRU Presents at The ACL Moody Theater, Cover Me and ITSEZBreezy among others.

The band is also proud to have shared the stage with: Eric Burdon & The Animals, The Zombies, Christopher Cross, Gary Clark Jr., Black Joe Lewis and The Honey Bears, Ruthie Foster, Brownout, Del Castillo, Bob Schneider, W.C.Clark, Ian McLagan, Carolyn Wonderland, George Porter Jr., Dennis Quaid, Malford Milligan, Ben Kweller, Red Young, Stanton Moore Trio,VallejoGuy 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.

Band Members