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Brooks Williams at the me&thee (Ian Foster opens)
me and thee coffeehouse
Marblehead, MA
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Brooks Williams at the me&thee (Ian Foster opens)
Brooks Williams, from Statesboro, Georgia USA (the town made famous by country-blues legend Blind Willie McTell and his song Statesboro Blues), creates a super-charged roots music that is electrifying and fighting-fit. Keys And Chords in Belgium describes Williams' music as "A beautiful fusion of blues, old country and a touch Americana."

fRoots says of Williams, he "really rocks, stirring up soulful Americana, full-on blues and tasty rootsy grooves." Like drinking whiskey from a honey jar, you get both the sweet and the bite.

Brooks Williams got his start in the clubs and bars around New York and Boston (the same music scene that years earlier sparked the careers of Bonnie Raitt and Chris Smither). There, playing 5-6 nights a week, he developed his signature roots sound.

Brooks Williams is a great singer. In 2013 he was nominated best male vocalist by the UKs foremost roots-music mavens, Spiral Earth. AmericanaUK says, he has a beautiful voice that you just melt into. He has that way of delivering a song that plays with the line the way a slide guitarist teases the notes from the strings.

And hes one helluva good guitar player, ranked in the Top 100 Acoustic Guitarists. The San Antonio Light says that Williams is a fret monster who has to be seen to be believed! Whether playing his trusty National resonator slide guitar, his road-worn Collings acoustic or his tobacco-burst Washburn hollow-body, this guy knows a thing or two about the guitar. Over the years hes picked alongside Taj Mahal, John Hammond, Paul Jones, Chris Smither, Little Feat, Maria Muldaur, Shawn Colvin and Leo Kottke, to name but a few.

With twenty-two albums to his name, including My Turn Now (2016) and Shreveport Sessions (2014), Williams music has featured on the BBC (UK), RTE (Ireland), CBC (Canada) and NPR (USA) and has charted on the FOLKDJ stations. He can also be heard on Satellite and Internet radio throughout the world. WUMB-FM radio in Boston (USA) voted him one of their Top 100 Artists. Lauded by the likes of Guitar Player, Blues Matters, Acoustic, Maverick, fRoots calls Williams Americana at its finest!

Over the years Williams has recorded for labels as diverse as Signature Sounds, Green Linnet Records, Reveal Records, Solid Air Records, as well as his own Red Guitar Blue Music. Hes learned the studio trade first-hand working with roots music producers like Colin Linden (Blackie And The Rodeo Kings, Bruce Cockburn) in Toronto and Phil Madeira (Buddy and Julie Miller, Emmylou Harris) in Nashville.

Brooks Williams tours relentlessly. According to Williams, Ive played such a huge variety of gigs over the past few years, and not always to audiences who speak English, and Ive toured with a band for the first time in my career as well. Recent appearances include Celtic Connections (Scotland), Meneer Frits (Netherlands), Cambridge Folk Festival (England), Falcon Ridge Festival (USA), Cathedral Quarter Festival (N. Ireland), and Winnipeg Folk Festival (Canada). All in all, thousands of gigs over thousands of miles!

And he has just created the best album of his twenty-eight year career: My Turn Now (2016).

Recorded in both England and America, My Turn Now features 11 songs (7 original and 4 covers), brought to life by a muscular trio of Williams on resonator guitar and lead vocals, Richard Gates on electric bass, and co-producer Chris Pepper on the drums. Also featured is very special guest Sally Barker on backing vocals.

At the centre of My Turn Now is Williams songs. Rocking. Economical. Ironic. The arrangements are tight, and yet the performances are rich in blues pathos. Words like timeless, astute, archetypal just about cover it. And it's all about contrast. Theres Jokers Wild, with its hard-hitting lyrics and J.J. Cale groove. Or Rosalyn, with Wilco-esque chords telling the tale of a doomed love affair. Theres My Turn Now, a full-on Johnny Winter-fueled blues about a motorcycle racer whos fed up with losing. Theres Nine Days Wonder, with jaunty Ry Cooder-esque slide guitar and a cynical lyric about short-lived sensations.

And theres Year Began, one of Williams most compelling songs to date, about the fateful jump of Evil Knievel over the fountains of Caesars Palace on New Years Eve in 1967. And if that werent enough, who would think Mose Allisons caustic Your Mind Is On Vacation could make such a good rocker? Its all there but the howling feedback.

IAN FOSTER

Newfoundland native Ian Foster comes from a place of stories, and he knows how to tell them. Hes a road worn troubadour who has been described as having a keen poetic sense and a searchers infinite wisdom in his writing, and yet can make you laugh between songs. He writes in a modern folk style and exudes a love of storytelling. CBCs Bob Mersereau described him as being a fine example of what a 21st century folk performer should be doing.

Often likened to Canadian songwriting icon Bruce Cockburn in both writing and guitar style, Ians music has been described as thoughtful, introspective, cinematic, hopeful, atmospheric, and cathartic by critics and fans alike. He has numerous awards, nominations and co-writes to his credit, including SOCAN Songwriter of the year nominations, Lyric finalist for the International Songwriting Competition (Nashville, TN), and a co-write with Canadian songwriting legend Ron Hynes.

Ian has toured in Canada, the U.S., Germany, The Netherlands, Austria, and Italy, and has had his music played on radio internationally. He has performed his music for audiences of all ages  from school workshops to seniors homes; festivals in Canada, U.S., and Italy; soft seat theatres, churches, pubs and house concerts.

Discussion

Location

me and thee coffeehouse (View)
28 Mugford St
Marblehead, MA 01945
United States

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Categories

Music > All Ages
Music > Blues
Music > Folk
Music > Singer/Songwriter

Kid Friendly: Yes!
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!

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