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Album Review

Brooks Williams is a man blessed with multiple talents: He's a songwriter, a singer, and a heck of a guitar player. In 2000 he released Little Lion, a nice collection of instrumental work, and the wonderfully titled Dead Sea Cafe, a collection of personal favorites. Now Skiffle-Bop finds him confidently singing and playing his way through 11 tunes. "Restless" begins as a slow spiritual, only to turn into a funky song of professed love. In an interesting twist, the need for meaning or purpose isn't centered on a higher being in "Restless," but on being with the person one should be with. "Mountain" invites one to experience real life by rolling up one's sleeves and becoming involved. Talking or thinking about life in the abstract, he suggests, is just another useless sermon. Williams' vocals are smooth and pleasant, and may remind one of David Wilcox or of Carly Simon's ex-husband (whom he's probably tired of being compared to). On the guitar front, there are several standouts. "Ring Bell" is a bluesy piece with a little Latin texture that features intriguing percussion (cow bells?) by Scott Kessel, while "Zoe" gathers its inspiration from Eastern Europe. "Liberation Waltz" and a short, untitled hidden track include — shocking though it may be — electric guitar. Luckily, though, the electric guitar has nylon strings and Williams' approach remains low-key. It might have been nice to have the printed lyrics to allow the listener to linger on the words, and the CD photo — two rather lifeless looking dogs — fails to inspire. But these are minor complaints. Skiffle-Bop has caught Williams in the act of doing what he does best: merging acoustic guitar wizardry with the singer/songwriter tradition. Guitar lovers and contemporary folkies will like this one. ~ Ronnie Lankford, Jr., Rovi


Born: November 10, 1958 in Statesboro, GA

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Folk-blues guitarist and singer Brooks Williams is as adept playing traditional blues as he is singing his own contemporary folk songs. His voice has been endlessly compared to James Taylor's and yet his unique renderings of self-penned and blues classics on guitar make him an original. Based in western Massachusetts for most of the 1990s, Williams was born in Statesboro, GA and lived in other small towns in Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi while growing up. In his youth, he heard a lot of gospel...
Full Bio
Skiffle-Bop, Brooks Williams
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