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“WE’RE JUST A BUNCH OF GUYS FROM JERSEY, AND HERE WE ARE HALFWAY AROUND THE WORLD AND THERE’S GIRLS THERE WITH BILLY WALTON BAND T-SHIRTS,


COMING OUT TO HEAR US, AND THEY WANT TO TRAVEL THROUGH US TO NEW JERSEY TO HEAR THESE SONGS. WE’RE THE VEHICLE, YOU KNOW? IT’S BIZARRE.”


There’s so many I can sit here and list. Skynyrd... every guitar player that was ever in Skynyrd was smokin’. Lowell George with the slide... There’s so many, going back to the blues guys that influenced them, so the ball is constantly rolling.” Walton and his band have opened for Peter Frampton and Robin


Trower. He has jammed with Stevie Ray Vaughan’s backing band, Double Trouble, and has met Jimmy Page, Springsteen, and his E Street Band accomplice, “Little Steven” Van Zandt. Walton and bassist William Paris are longtime musical collaborators


and business partners. They are also family men, both married with two children each. Neither has plans, for the moment, of abandoning their day jobs — Walton works full-time for a music store in Egg Harbor Township. Firmly established with a fan base in England, they are making inroads


on their home turf, helped by Somers Point music impresario Carmen Marotta, son of legendary Anthony Marotta of Tony Mart’s fame. They have dreams of making a great rock ’n roll record and headlining


tours. There could be pitfalls and setbacks along the way, but they’re willing to be patient and take the necessary steps to reach those goals. “Right now, we have a big-time professional agent in the UK but we


don’t have one here,” says Paris. “We don’t have a manager or a label, but we’ve got one part, the live gigs, and it’s paying off... and we run with it.


You go crazy trying to run down everything, so you just enjoy the areas that you do well. Every musician who ever picked up a guitar is really intrigued about their potential in the studio. But right now, we’re mainly a live band, and that’s where we’ve had some of our most successful moments, and that’s not such a bad thing.” The path to stardom — and with Billy Walton and his band, that seems


more like a “when” than an “if” — can be an awful lot of fun, for both the musicians and their fans. “It’s all about playing music, it doesn’t always have to be a plan,” Walton


says. “It’s just playing guitar and having fun. Yes, we’re doing albums and playing with Southside and doing our own stuff, but as long as we can strap the guitar on, plug it in and have some fun, the rest is just work. It’s just trying to move forward and create something cool.” And, really, does it get any more “Jersey” than that? 


For information on the Billy Walton Band’s live shows and recordings, go to www.billywaltonband.com. For information on Billy Walton’s shows with Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, go to www.southsidejohnny.com.


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Restaurant • Bar SPECIALIZING IN PRIVATE PARTIES • CORPORATE EVENTS • CATERING • GIFT CERTIFICATES AVAILABLE njlifestyleonline.com LIFESTYLE | January 2011 23


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