Album Reviews

Tim Williams

So Low

Artist:     Tim Williams

Album:     So Low

Label:     LowdenProud Records Ltd

Release Date:     11/01/2015


Impeccably-picked and sung acoustic blues music rarely fails to stir the soul. Canadian expat Tim Williams takes it steps further on So Low, adding his own special touches. Cleverly, So Low denotes solo, and that’s what this album is all about. A man, his guitar, and his own means of letting go on some country blues. Before the first pluck of a note rings out, the CD cover impresses. It opens, feels, and even smells like an old LP. In it, Williams offers a quick study about the record, each song, and descriptions and drawings of the cool guitars used. You just want the darn thing to sound great. And it does, right away, with a toe-tappin’ cover of his friend Mose Allison’s “If You Live.” Great guitar is one thing, but the singer has to sing. Williams compliments his sweet string maneuvers and supple rhythms with a spry, pleasing voice. No wonder he grabbed first place in the solo category at the 2014 International Blues Challenge in Memphis. Although he’s been at it since his days captivating coffee house patrons in his native California in the mid-sixties, you’d never know it by the vitality on display. Williams’ own “More Pepper in Your Chili” showcases a man with a liking for the hot stuff, and a lighthearted but non-silly way of expressing that. His tribute to “Lightnin’” Hopkins resounds, literally. Fantastic rambles through Big Bill Broonzy’s “My Big Money” and Johnny Cash’s “Big River” show not only the breadth Williams’ influences, but also his serious handle of it all. But through and through, So Low is a blues album, sometimes so low, and always of the highest caliber.

-Tom Clarke

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