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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Showing posts with label Andre Williams. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Andre Williams. Show all posts

Thursday, November 1, 2012


Andre Williams (born Zephire Andre Williams on November 1, 1936) is an American R&B and punk blues musician who started his career in the 1950s at Fortune Records in Detroit. Born in Bessemer, Alabama, United States, Williams lived in a housing project with his mother until she died when he was six years of age. A sly and smart young boy, his "aunties" raised him until he was around 16. He then set out on his own and moved to Detroit, Michigan. There, he became friends with Jack and Devora Brown, owners of Fortune Records which was located at the back of a barber shop. Williams would become labels mates with fellow Fortune Records stars Nolan Strong and Nathaniel Mayer. He then became lead singer for The 5 Dollars in 1955, which already had a contract with Fortune Records. Though most of the songs were billed as 'Andre Williams and the Don Juans' (on Epic in 1956 billed as 'Andre Mr Rhythm Williams and his New Group'), "Bacon Fat" and "Jail Bait" were solo efforts. "Bacon Fat" hit #9 on the Billboard R&B Charts in 1957. "Bacon Fat" (written by Williams) was such a success that Fortune Records sold the song to Epic Records, a much larger distributor (released as Epic 5-9196 "Bacon Fat/Just because of a Kiss"). Since "Bacon Fat" and "Jail Bait" were such successes, Williams figured that "talking instead of singing" was a better idea for him, for he did not have as good a voice as some other singers from the 1950s. In 1960 Fortune released a complete LP, of all of his singles with the Don Juans, which was titled Jail Bait (rereleased in 1986). This was just the start of Williams' nationwide fame. In 1960 he appeared on Motown's Miracle Record label releasing "Rosa Lee". In the early 1960s, Williams co-wrote Stevie Wonder's first song, "Thank You for Loving Me." Williams' "Shake a Tail Feather" was also a hit in 1963 for the Five Du-Tones and then for Ike & Tina Turner. Alvin Cash & the Crawlers also made a hit out of the Williams song "Twine Time". As well as making these hits, Williams also supervised the making of two or more albums by The Contours. Additionally, in the '60s, Williams was the manager and roadie for soul singer Edwin Starr. In 1966 Williams released two records on the Avin Record Label, then two records were released on Detroit's Wingate label: "Loose Juice" and "Do it". Then on the Ric-Tic label in 1967 he released "You Got It and I Want It". In 1968, Williams was signed to Chess Records on Checker, Chicago's major blues label. He was back... wearing velvet lavender suits and playing "bucket-of-blood" styled joints. Chess released many hits for Williams — "Humpin' Bumpin' and Thumpin'" and "Cadillac Jack" in particular. Then, he began to work with many unknown black labels and release songs like "Sweet Little Pussy Cat" and "Rib Tips, Pts. 1 & 2." In 1968, Williams collaborated with the Natural Bridge Bunch to release "Pig Snoots," a novelty song about a man named Ricky who would "come all way cross town to get me some snoots". In the 1970s, Williams wrote some songs for Parliament (band) and Funkadelic, two popular funk groups. (Comedian Redd Foxx then dubbed Andre Williams his most famous nickname, Mr. Rhythm). Once again, Williams began to produce cuts for Ike Turner. Throughout the 1980s, Andre Williams was in poverty because of his drug addictions. He lived in Chicago, Illinois; at one point, he was homeless and begging for money on a Chicago bridge. In 1996, Andre Williams released Mr. Rhythm, which featured new renditions of his old tunes from the "Jail Bait" era. Some included "The Greasy Chicken," "Mean Jean," and "Pass the Biscuits Please." It was a definite comeback for Williams, but most of the crowd had already forgotten about him, and wanted newer-styled music. He changed his style with 1998's Silky. Considered the "world's sleaziest album ever", Silky revolutionized the punky style, dubbed sleaze rock. Mark Deming speaks about Silky: It's "noise-spattered, stripped-down, roots-punk assault, and the results are flat-out nuts." Though sleaze rockers idolized Williams, most critics preferred his original style. In 1999, he began his relationship with Bloodshot Records by recording a country album with The Sadies, entitled Red Dirt. In 2000, Andre Williams released The Black Godfather. The noisy, electric, fuzzy sound was back, with two songs backed by The Dirtbombs. By this time, Andre was already back on stage, performing at the "bucket-of-blood" clubs again. 'The Black Godfather' became his new nickname, along with the outdated 'Mr. Rhythm'. In 2001 he discussed his recent conversion to Judaism and circumcision. In 2002–2003 he toured with the Dutch sleaze rock band Green Hornet. A return to soul-style music came with Aphrodisiac in 2006. "The result is a more laid-back and funky groove that's soulful but potent at the same time, fusing '70s blaxploitation sounds, Jimmy Smith-style jazz figures, and Booker T.-influenced R&B workouts into one solid package" is the way Mark Deming described the album. Williams still plays shows in the USA, and toured Europe in 2001 (with Dutch band Green Hornet as backing band), 2005 and 2006 (with the Marshall Brothers). From August to November 2006, he had a short European tour, ending in Switzerland. Then in early 2008 a European tour with The Flash Express. In 2007, Andre finished recording his latest album with the New Orleans based band, Morning 40 Federation. The album, titled Can You Deal With It, was released by Bloodshot Records in 2008 and is credited to Andre Williams & the New Orleans Hellhounds (the pseudonymous Morning 40 Federation). In 2010 Williams contributed a cover version of "The Way You Dog Me Around" for the compilation LP Daddy Rockin Strong: A Tribute to Nolan Strong & The Diablos. The album is a tribute to the late Nolan Strong, a Fortune Records sensation during the 1950s and early 1960s. Williams has also been known to go by the alias "Rudibaker" or "Rutabaga", with which he puts on a different personality and speaks in a gravely voice. The 2007 documentary "Agile Mobile Hostile: A Year with Andre Williams" tells of Williams' early career at Fortune Records, his hard life on the streets of Chicago in the 1980s, drug and alcohol abuse, his return to the stage and recording studio in 1995, and his current life and musical career - and the struggles that come with it. If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Andre Williams new album 'Life' out today

LIFE out today on CD Digipack, Vinyl & Download

Andre Williams’ new album, Life is absolutely stunning. – Brett Calwood / Detroit Metro Times
Life is packed with funky, old school blues. – Mary Leary / MOKB
Life is a triumph from start to finish, and one of the year’s best records. – The Record Changer
If Williams is sounding a little more grounded than he did on Silky or The Black Godfather, he’s still a tough, funky, jive talker who can draw some potent, guitar-based funk from the band of Detroit indie stalwarts who back him up. Matthew Smith produced Life, co-wrote most of the songs with Williams, and anchors the backing band (along with Jim Diamond on bass and David Shettler on drums), and the results are lean, greasy, early-’70s-style tunes with a subtle but potent psychedelic undercurrent, and they give Williams an effective backdrop as he declaims on his troubles with women, cash, and animal-haters, as well as singing the praises of high heels. – Mark Deming / All Music Guide

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Andre Williams new album and video

ANDRE WILLIAMS new album 'Life' out October 2nd
on CD Digipak, Vinyl & Download

Single "Blame It On Obama" available now for download
"A tongue-in-cheek commentary on the tendency of voters (particularly those of a right-wing persuasion) to blame pretty much anything and everything on the president. It’s really rather great." – Flavorwire

"The legendary Andre Williams has put out a video for the song 'Blame it on Obama', which apparently caused a heap of controversy due to people getting all het up before actually
listening to the song, which happens to be pro the President. It’s a slinky little number too. Williams’ tongue is firmly in his cheek when he blames his wife’s aging appearance on Obama.
His wit is still as sharp as ever." – Detroit Metro Times

"A fascinating new Andre Williams tune. It's called 'Blame It on Obama,' and it's a peach.
A rotten, sticky peach, perhaps—but peachy nonetheless." – Portland Mercury

If you like what I’m doing, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! - ”LIKE”

Friday, September 7, 2012



[feel free to grab the embed code and post]

Sep. 08 Dust-Up Festival / Big Star - Chicago
Sep. 22 Pop Montreal Festival - Montreal
Nov. 30 Warsaw - NYC
Dec. 29 Hideout - Chicago
[more dates to be announced soon]

Andre Williams began a very prolific and creative phase of his life when he finally got off booze and drugs. His intake of various substances was excessive, unrelenting, and dated back to at least the 1960s, when he was working extensively with Ike Turner. Reflecting on his very first drug-and-alcohol-free studio session in 2009, Andre says, “It was traumatic. It was like someone shot me out in space and I woke up on Pluto!”

Andre Williams’ new album Life was recorded this past winter in Detroit, the city where his musical career first began in the 1950s. Andre’s new songs are his latest experiments and explorations outside of the garage-soul bag that he’s often associated with. Produced by Matthew Smith, the album’s sonic palette recalls the work of Norman Whitfield’s Motown productions, '70s Rolling Stones, Can, Bill Withers, Serge Gainsbourg, as well as Andre’s own doo-wop and funk history.

Life finds Andre in a pretty upbeat mood, whether he’s singing about people being rude and impatient (“But’n”), or laying down a political commentary (“Blame it on Obama”), reciting a children’s bedtime story (“Ty the Fly”), singing a simple love song (“Stuck in the Middle”, “It’s Only You That I Love”), or conjuring a nocturnal fetish-s*x-groove (“Heels”).

The album also includes his own definitive rocking version of the standard he wrote and produced for the Five Du-Tones in 1963, “Shake a Tail Feather." It’s a reminder that Andre Williams is one of the original guys who invented rock n’ roll.

Andre Williams' "Blame It On Obama" single will be released digitally on Sep. 11th and his new studio album Life will be released October 2nd through Alive Naturalsound Records in the following formats: CD, Digital and Black Vinyl, as well as Purple Vinyl (limited to 100) exclusive to mailorders.
1. Stuck In The Middle
2. But'n
3. Don't Kick My Dog
4. Blame It On Obama
5. Heels
6. Beep Beep Beep
7. It's Only You That I Love
8. Money Ain't Got No Loyalty
9. Shake A Tail Feather
10. Ty The Fly

[photo credit: Robert Matheu /]

Monday, February 6, 2012

Bloodshot Records Release: Andre Williams - Hoods and Shades - Review - Release Date: Feb 28 2012

I have just received and had the opportunity to review a new release by Andre Williams called Hoods and Shades. The release consists of 9 tracks teaming up with Matt Smith and with Dennis Coffey on guitar. Andre ventures into a folk/rock/psychedelic/ R&B zone. Other guests include Jim White (Dirty Three, Cat Power), Greasy Carlisi (Robert Gordon, Chris Spedding), Jim Diamond (Dirtbombs) and Don Was. The first song, Dirt, is a straight forward uptempo blues track. It is followed up by A Good Day To Feel Bad, which is a rhythm track with spoken word and tasty guitar riffs played behind. I've Got Money On My Mind is an interpretation on Snoop with a little James Brown and jazz flavor. Hoods and Shades (the title track) again more of spoken word over a rhythmic background is interesting and has cool guitar soloing throughout. Jawdropper is back to a basic boogie. Andre uses his singing style but really is again more of a talking voice. It is a nice contrast to what I am accustomed to. Again a cool guitar riff. Hu-Matic Man, a more swampy blues tune, has nice guitar riffs and moves along at a shuffle beat. Mojo Hannah is a real swampy song almost like a Dr John Voodoo song from Lousiana. Swamp Dog's Hot Spot is a pretty cool story song again with a mystic kind of aura again with some laid back undertones. The last track, Gimme, is a bit more uptempo but again consistent with the balance of the recording. Overall I think the cd is very interesting. If you want to check out something different, this may be it!

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Although this track is not from the cd it gives you a rough idea what to expect.