The Milkmaid Blues Club Patron – Brookes Williams
We are particularly pleased that Brooks agreed to be our Blues Club Patron. A great friend to the Milkmaid over the years it was quite fitting we asked him! He is going to help bring American and Canadian Blues musicians to Bury St Edmunds!
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 acoustic music that draws heavily on both his blues and Americana roots. The resulting sound can be described as “Blues-icana,” that confluence of crossroads where American roots music comes together.
Keys And Chords describes Williams’ music as “A beautiful fusion of blues, old country and a touch Americana.” fRoots says Williams “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. Resonator slide and acoustic Piedmont picking lay down the groove while Williams’ laid-back low-country vocal floats over top.
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. From the very beginning and still to this day, audiences are often heard asking, how can one guitar and one voice sound like a full band?
In 2013 Williams was nominated best male vocalist by the UK’s 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 he’s 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 he’s picked alongside Taj Mahal, John Hammond, Paul Jones, Little Feat, Maria Muldaur, Shawn Colvin and Leo Kottke, to name but a few.
With twenty-two albums to his name, including Brooks’ Blues (2016), My Turn Now (2016) and Shreveport Sessions (2014), 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. 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. His 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.
Brooks Williams tours relentlessly in the US, UK & Europe. 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!