Guitar, Bass, Ukulele, Mandolin
While other guys his age were going to college, getting married, buying homes, and building professional careers, Hector Anchondo was playing guitar. He lived on the road, and when he wasn’t on the road, he lived on couches. He got jobs as he needed them, but quit as soon as he could get back on tour. He put off having kids. He put off marriage. Instead, he played guitar.
His guitar playing became a thing of legend in the Omaha area, where he was based. But as much as he was beloved by his thousands of fans in the Heartland, he remained largely unknown to the rest of the world.
Not anymore. With a finish in the finals at the 2016 International Blues Challenge and his masterful 2017 album Roll the Dice getting global radio play and leaping to the top of blues charts, Hector Anchondo is at long last taking his rightful place at the forefront of the contemporary blues world.
Growing up on a Missouri farm, Anchondo picked up guitar as a teen, soaking up roots music, Latino music, bluegrass and old blues. As soon as he finished high school, he headed for Omaha to start a career in music.
The young guitarist started hitting jam nights every week, where older musicians recognized his prodigious talent and took him under their wings. Within only a couple years, he had a hot original Latin and reggae band and a song on local radio. Anchondo toured with that band almost non-stop for the next 10 years.
When the recession of 2008 happened, work dried up in the music scene. Anchondo realized it was an opportunity to do something that had been pulling at him for years. He wanted to play blues, full time.
When you put your mind to doing the thing you were born to do, the universe helps. Anchondo got an unexpected call from an old friend in St. Louis who had a record label, and who wanted to help him make a blues album.
The album did well; he did another two years later. Omaha embraced Anchondo’s new direction and sent him to the International Blues Challenge twice. In 2015 he made the semifinals; In 2016 he made the final nine.
Things keep getting better. Anchondo’s 2017 album Roll the Dice immediately made major waves on blues charts and blues radio worldwide, hitting the top 25 on the Living Blues chart and spending many weeks on the Roots Music Report blues and blues rock charts. Critics fell over themselves to heap the album with praise, calling it “fabulous”, “inventive”, “magnificent”, and “absolutely beautiful.”
Already another album is in the works, and Anchondo is expanding his tour base. Soon audiences all over the world will get a chance to experience what Omaha fans have loved for so long; the smooth smoky voice that can make you smile even as tears fill your eyes, the audacious grooves of his powerful band, and the lyrical mastery of Anchondo’s guitar, telling the story of a life lived for the love of music.