Hector Ward & the Big Time
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 obvious in the band's high energy, dance-floor filling shows. The members include Ward on guitar and lead vocals, Cari Hutson on vocals, Phil Roach on guitar, Mike McGurk on drums and vibes, Scott Beardsley on bass guitar, and Dave Farris 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, Matthew Price on trombone, and Mitch Quintanilla on saxophone, flute and clarinet.
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'?"