It takes a certain personality to be a singer-songwriter. Usually they wear their emotions on their sleeves, pour those emotions out in songs and have a tougher time with life than the average person. The Grassroots Concert series usually books this type of performer, and it often results in heartfelt shows.
Judging by his latest CD, "The Time I Spend with You," Brooks Williams' Friday concert will be a departure for Grassroots. A soft blues rocker, this Georgia native doesn't sound beaten by life. Even when he sings "The time I spend with you is over much too soon," he sounds OK with the concept.
If his music is any indication, Williams is smooth and confident, the type of person who doesn't get riled up. He only hits the roadhouse once on these 13 songs, and that's on the "hidden track," as if he's saying "This isn't really me."
Georgia blues musician Brooks Williams will perform a Grassroots Concert on Friday in Nisswa.
Grassroots patrons might be surprised to hear this type of music, but I think they'll be won over by the deliberate guitar work and relaxing vocals.
Williams' soft voice is tailor-made for the tension-draining, pseudo-sad ballad "You Don't Know Me" - "I never learned the art of making love/Though my heart aches for you/I'm afraid I let my chance go by/Though you might love me too."
If you spin
Artist: Brooks Williams.
Album: "The Time I Spend with You."
Genre: Soft blues.
Label: Red Guitar Blue Music.
Highs: Williams' guitar work and vocals will drain the tension from your body.
Lows: If you're looking for a roadhouse stomp, only the hidden track obliges.
Many of the songs are about a girl, including the one who got away on the title track, the one who's "Everywhere" and the one named "Martha" who's "delightful."
He also shows his love for blues. On "Lightning," Williams sings "I'm goin' back to Texas to sit at the feet of Lightning," and you'll want to ask if he has room for one more on his journey to see a statue of another bluesman. He even makes repetitive riffs palatable on "Statesboro Blues" and "How Long."
When Williams' voice takes a song off, it's not missed much. He lets his guitar do the talking on the instrumentals "Johnny's Farewell" (which throws in a dash of accordion), "Beaumont Rag" and "Vagabond Blues."
The liner notes serve up information on what type of guitar he used on each song, and how it was tuned. Modern blues is all about the way the performer handles the ax, and Williams handles it well.
Brooks Williams will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Nisswa Community Center. Admission is $10-$15.
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JOHN HANSEN, entertainment editor, may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5863.
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