My first show was in 72, I’d like to say I’ve seen everyone during these past 50 years, but that would be silly to say, but what I can say is that I witnessed some of the finest guitarists during my tenure as a concert goer, which brings me to the subject of this review, so let me introduce to you, the Hector C. Experiment. His name is Hector Camarena, born and raised here in El Paso, a staple here in our local scene, I personally have known for the past 3 years mainly working as a sound engineer here in El Paso and its public knowledge he plays guitar, I’ve seen him play in two other bands during my time as a music photographer, but that’s not what the story is about, it’s the project he has going on now, so let me fill you in. It was almost a year to the date that this line up last played, it was 15 November 21 when he opened for Nita Strauss @ the Rockhouse, it was also my first taste of Hector as a solo act, watching from side stage, I also have a straight shot of the Green Room door, and low and behold, who sticks her head outside the door was Nita with a look on her face of straight up curiosity, needless to say, she strolled out and watched Hector from stage left as well as did a short video of his performance, long story short, she was extremely impressed, found out who he was and posted on her IG that video and quoted saying , This dude is on fire! It doesn’t get any better than that, an endorsement by Nita Strauss, that’s pretty cool in anybody’s book.
Hector is 45 years old, been playing for 43 years, yeah, that’s what I said, you’ve been playing since you were two? His answer was yes but didn’t really take it seriously until he was 10 or 11. His influences are Eddie Van Halen, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani and John Petrucci
, oh yeah, I see it clear as day, I have seen these four multiple times and, in my opinion, Hector would fit in with this crew like a well-worn glove, I would even throw in John 5 and Dimebag in the mix, this is how impressed I am. He has a solid band behind him, Kevin Armstrong on Guitar, Jay Haake on Percussion and Tury Saldana doing the honors on Bass and of course, they all have other projects going on, but have been doing this with Hector for a hot minute now. The 45-minute set is strictly instrumental which gives it that Satriani/Vai feel to it, Hector takes control of the stage with his acute shredding, it’s difficult to take your eyes off of him, his finger work is second to none, truly incredible, truly gifted.
In closing, when asked what the future holds, he stated he’s content on continuing his endeavors as a sound engineer as well as helping to record locals in his in-home studio, that I did not know. As in the Hector C. Experiment, no serious plans, he just wants to play music and rest assured, his circle wants to play with him. There’s something super special about this multi-talented young man, a guitar virtuoso in his own right, any questions, just ask Nita Strauss the next time you see her, she’ll tell ya and I’ll tell ya, he’s the jewel of West Texas, hands down.