Brooks Williams

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Past shows

  • Brooks Williams

    This show was on Nov 28th, 2014 | 28 people watched
    1 Comment
    • Dec 12
      Always great shows from Blue Rock, especially with Brooks Williams
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  • Brooks Williams

    This show was on Nov 1st, 2013 | 24 people watched
    4 Comments - See all
    • Nov 2
      Loved Brooks as always. Audio quality of broadcasts is good, but video quality is poor...any way to improve that ?
    • Nov 2
      We watched the Brooks Williams concert last night from Yorkshire, England, it felt like we had front row seats in the Caffe Lena. Brooks was fantastic as always. This was our first time as Concert Window viewers, we will definitely do this again. Martyn & Lesley
    • Nov 4
      Broks was great! Saw both shows at Passims and Cafe Lena. Keep up the good work!
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Bio

Brooks Williams
www.brookswilliams.com

“I’ve known Brooks for many years. He’s a lovely player, a lovely singer, and a great writer and a lovely man. The real thing” Martin Simpson

Ranked in the Top 100 Acoustic Guitarists, Brooks Williams is one of the most versatile and entertaining performers on the acoustic roots music scene today. From Statesboro Georgia USA, he is a... more

Brooks Williams
www.brookswilliams.com

“I’ve known Brooks for many years. He’s a lovely player, a lovely singer, and a great writer and a lovely man. The real thing” Martin Simpson

Ranked in the Top 100 Acoustic Guitarists, Brooks Williams is one of the most versatile and entertaining performers on the acoustic roots music scene today. From Statesboro Georgia USA, he is a proverbial triple threat: a fiery guitarist, a smooth-as-silk vocalist, and stunning songwriter.

A road warrior, in the truest sense, Williams has toured throughout the world including the USA, Canada, Ireland, the UK, Turkey, France, Italy, The Netherlands and Africa. Appearances include Shrewsbury Folk Festival and Cropredy Festival in England, New Bedford Folk Festival in Massachusetts, Celtic Connections in Scotland, and Uncle Calvin’s in Texas. Over the years he has shared the stage with such music luminaries as Taj Mahal, Eddie Reader, Shawn Colvin and Chris Smither, to name but a few.

With 20 albums to his name, including his 2013 favourite New Everything, Williams’ music has featured on the BBC, 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.

Genre Defying Guitarist Singer Songwriter
Brooks Williams is a genre defying guitarist singer songwriter. It’s roots. It’s acoustic. He walks the line between blues and Americana, but there’s a bit of jazz and rockabilly thrown in for good measure. Imagine Doc Watson, Willie Nelson, Lonnie Johnson and Blind Boy Fuller sitting in a bar having a jam – and you’re just about there!

He’s he proverbial triple threat: playing a fiery guitar, commanding a rich and silky voice, and writing hook-laden songs. He is one of the most diverse and entertaining performers on the acoustic roots music scene and is ranked one of the world’s Top 100 Acoustic Guitarists.

The San Antonio Light says that Williams is a “fret monster who has to be seen to be believed!” For 25 years he has been wowing audiences worldwide, every night delivering the deepest and most intense interpretations of everything from early blues to inventive covers to his own recent original compositions. Dirty Linen calls him one of “America’s musical treasures.”

Road Warrior
In the time-honoured road-warrior tradition, Williams has honed his songs on stages from Dallas to London, Istanbul to Anchorage, Toronto to Dublin, Detroit to Glasgow, Nairobi to Belfast, New York to Sardinia. He has gigged with Taj Mahal, John Hammond, Eddi Reader, Paul Jones, Billy Bragg, Little Feat, Maria Muldaur, Shawn Colvin, Boo Hewerdine and Leo Kottke, to name but a few. Recent appearances include Celtic Connections, Mo’ Fest, Glastonbury, Shrewsbury Folk Festival, Cambridge Folk Festival, Ely Folk Festival, Birmingham Jazz and Blues Festival, Maverick Festival, Ards Guitar Festival, Kerrville Festival, Crawley Blues Festival, Marlborough Jazz Festival and Moab Folk Festival. All in all, thousands of gigs over thousands of miles!

Influences
Born in Statesboro Georgia USA – from the land of blues legend Blind Willie McTell – Williams’ southern roots took hold of his music when he moved to Boston Massachusetts USA in his late teens. It was there, in the little clubs and bars of New York and New England, that he developed his sound, playing 5-6 nights a week. The mid-week gigs were in raucous bars (think Blues Brothers and chicken wire and you’re nearly there!) with Williams typically playing for four hours without stopping. The weekend gigs were in quiet coffeehouses (the same ones that year’s earlier featured the likes of a Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Bonnie Raitt, Chris Smither, Suzanne Vega and Tracy Chapman) where audiences hung on every riff and lyric. Williams learned his trade between these two extremes.

Airwaves
No stranger to the studio, Brooks Williams has, at last count, an amazing 19 CDs to his name, including New Everything (2013), Baby O! (2010), State Of The Union (2012), The Time I Spend With You (2008), and Knife Edge (1996). He has been played on the BBC in the UK, RTE in Ireland, CBC in Canada and NPR in the USA and has charted on the FOLKDJ stations. He can also be heard on Satellite and Internet radio throughout the world. Over the years Williams has recorded for labels as diverse as Reveal Records, Signature Sounds, Green Linnet, and Solid Air Records, as well as his own Red Guitar Blue Music. He’s 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. Lauded by the likes of Guitar Player, Blues In Britain, Acoustic, R2, Maverick, fRoots calls Williams’ “Americana at its finest!”

At Home
In recent years Brooks Williams has made his home in Cambridge England and has dedicated a portion of each year to leading workshops on blues and Americana guitar, as well as working on special projects focused on the folk arts. He is a visiting lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, working with aspiring musicians in the popular music programme. In 2012 Williams was awarded an Arts Award by the South Cambridgeshire District Council for his involvement in the local arts scene. Also in 2012, Williams contributed his voice and guitar to BBC Radio 2’s Radio Ballads, a six-week broadcast celebrating the London 2012 Olympics.

Absolute Master
Voted one of the Top 100 Artists by WUMB-Radio Boston, Brooks Williams is a musician of staggering depth and breath, with an easy-going vocal delivery, groove-laden songs, and monstrous guitar chops. AmericanaUK says: “It goes without saying that he is an absolute master with a six string but Williams’ talent doesn’t end there. He is personable and funny and easy to relate to when he shares anecdotes in between songs, which are themselves catchy and upbeat. On top of it all he has a beautiful voice that you just melt into. Brooks Williams is impossible not to like."


Blues Matters proffers this about Brooks Williams “…classy, tasteful, bright and hugely enjoyable!”

QUOTES
“The masterly Brooks now proudly presents his latest solo set [New Everything], a typically classy mix of blues, raggy Americana and healthy new originals, impeccably played and sung as ever. Self-recommending and absolutely beyond criticism!” (fRoots)

“I suggest you get out and buy this album [New Everything] as soon as you can!” (R2)

"What a joy this man is to watch. It goes without saying that he is an absolute master with a six string but Williams’ talent doesn’t end there. He is personable and funny and easy to relate to when he shares anecdotes in between songs, which are themselves catchy and upbeat. On top of it all he has a beautiful voice that you just melt into. Brooks Williams is impossible not to like." (americanaUK)

“A classy affair from start to finish, straddling the roots music boundaries of blues, folk and classic Americana. The man himself is a superb acoustic guitar fingerpicker and slide player, with a most appealing voice…Definitely one of the best things I have heard this year” (Blues In The Northwest)

“A slice of Americana at its finest!” (fRoots)

“His slide guitar solo instrumental version of ‘Amazing Grace’ just about blew my mind, and it will yours once you have heard it. Wonderful stuff!” (Flying Shoes)

“How soulful a solo guitarist can be when he has talent, taste and astonishing technique.” (Blues Revue)

“Brooks Williams is able to take traditional material and put his own stamp on it without making it unrecognizable…we called him back for three encores. It was a superb performance!” (Blues In Britain)

“A consummate artist, Williams ranks among America's musical treasures.” (Dirty Linen)

“He possesses a melodic virtuosity on the guitar that runs like liquid from his fingers...” (The Irish News)

“Dazzling guitar work!” (Acoustic Guitar)

“Deft, tasteful guitar chops.” (Rolling Stone)

“A fret monster who has to be seen to be believed!” (San Antonio Light)

GUITAR WORKSHOPS
“There aren’t many people who can play guitar like Brooks Williams, and fewer still who can teach like he can.” (Acoustic)

Brooks Williams is a well-respected teacher whose guitar master classes are highly regarded. Recent workshops include Guitar Retreats in the UK, Creative Vacances in France, The Swannanoa Gathering in the USA, and the London Acoustic Guitar Show. Some of the workshops happen on the afternoon of a concert appearance at a festival or an arts centre. Others are day-, weekend-, or week-long, and feature lots of one-on-one time as well as ample group playing. Topics have included Americana guitar, blues guitar, slide guitar, and songwriting in the roots music tradition. His two guitar instructional DVDs on Woodhall Music, Blues For Beginners and Guitar Groove, are praised for their accessibility as well as his “easy and engaging presence on screen.”

In addition to these workshops and master classes, Williams is a visiting lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, where he works with aspiring musicians in the popular music programme. In 2012 Williams was awarded an Arts Award by the South Cambridgeshire District Council for his involvement in the Cambridge arts scene. In August 2010 Brooks travelled to East Africa with his resonator guitar to work with Primary School children in Tanzania.

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