The authentic bluesman or rhythm and blues artist is always a sought-after figure, especially now the Grim Reaper has nicked so many of them, so fans of the real deal will be delighted at this release from Andre Williams.
Born in Alabama in 1936, Williams wrote r’n’b hits in the 1950s (including Stevie Wonder’s first single). Alcohol, drugs and poverty followed, until Williams managed to revive himself and his career at the end of the last century.
Always preferring to ruminate and rumble rather than sing, Williams makes idiosyncratic, engaging talking blues with visceral wit and the experience of decades. Now he returns with this, his 16th solo album and his second backed by the excellent country blues band The Sadies, who provide sympathetically perfect backing in a variety of styles.
With Williams talking gravelly about the evils of Mississippi (Mississippi and Joliet), the joys of love (I’ll Do Most Anything For You) and women leaving (Me And My Dog), it’s an RL Burnside-styled delight – true gravel travelling on a gravel road.