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EP Review: Brooks Williams - Live Blues EP (Red Guitar Blue Music)
Live EP from Statesboro-born blues singer/guitarist Brooks Williams, recorded at the Crawley Blues Festival in 2010. The six songs here range from a pretty faithful interpretation of Statesboro Blues, written by fellow Georgia bluesman, albeit from an entirely different generation, Blind Willie McTell, Piedmont blueman Blind Boy Fuller's Weepin' Willow Blues and Mississippi John Hurt's Louis Collins, to a couple of Williams originals, Frank Deandry and Walk You Off My Mind, both featured on Williams' most recent album BABY-O.
Now relocated to Cambridge, Brooks has been playing extensively in the UK this year, bringing his own distinctive take on the blues to a variety of audiences up and down the country. It's not the type of blues that appeals only to blues aficionados, bluesheads and the downright depressed, not at all; there's a more universal appeal to Williams's songs, which have an uplifting feel to them, Frank Delandry for instance.
Armed with his faithful National Estralita and Collings OM, Williams plays with an informed assurance, taking command of both instruments, especially on his instrumental version of Amazing Grace, which is played with an uncharacteristic sneer. Credit also to Simon Scardanelli, who has managed to capture Brooks Williams' vibrant live sound.