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Lefty Williams Band


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Lefty Williams Band - Snake Oil - 2008 - Second Heaven

Relix Magazine October 2007 Issue Big Plans Review “Jason ‘Lefty’ Williams sounds like he could be the next link in the chain of legendary Georgia guitarists after Duane Allman and Robert Cray” - Simeon Cohen Jambase.com Big Plans CD Review March 27, 2007

A good soul/Southern rock/R&B album from the Atlanta–based Lefty Williams Band. Lefty also plays some serious rock ‘n’ roll chops. There is not really much in the way of guitar histrionics, but Lefty, himself has said "I’ve never really been one for flashy stuff. I don’t know why. I know all these other guitar players who’ll flip the guitar behind their head, do this, do that. I can do all that stuff — I can play with my teeth, or my tongue. But I kind of feel like it’s somebody else’s shtick and I don’t want to do it.” No notes wasted here, but just like artists like Aynsley Lister or Robert Cray, Lefty and the band get their message across regardless. Lefty has said that “A lot of the newer stuff I’ve been writing is trending more in the direction of harder–edged Southern rock, like Gov’t Mule–type stuff. It’s Led Zeppelin–type material. I kind of straddle the fence. Half the stuff I write is funky–sounding, and half is more harder–rock sounding. “I’ve always said that I’m musically schizophrenic; I can’t stick to one thing for too terribly long.” John Keane, (Producer of R.E.M., Widespread Panic), and the producer of "Snake Oil" stated that "Lefty's sound is a compelling combination of honest, heartfelt lyrics and masterful rhythm and blues muscle". The great Tinsley Ellis complimented Left Williams by saying that “I was knocked out by Lefty the first time I heard his music on MySpace. I just knew that I had to seek him out and hear more of his stuff. He is a veritable triple threat on certainly guitar but also as a soulful vocalist and clever songwriter. The fact that he is out there winning over fans one at a time with his nonstop touring schedule is definitely something that I can relate to. I was thrilled when he asked me to guest on his new album.” Buy Lefty Williams "Big Plans" album, and promote this talented artist and his band

TRACKS

1. thank you 4:34
2. what i believe 4:12
3. on the prowl 5:15
4. frightened 4:10
5. so ill stand 4:18
6. in the valley 6:55
7. all your way 5:19
8. hey mama 4:15
9. salt stained moment 3:05
10. snake oil 4:56
11. why dont you call 3:42
12. you had to be right 6:18
13. a little bit of faith 6:41

All songs composed by Jason C. Williams

MUSICIANS

Lefty Williams - Guitar, Vocals
Tinsley Ellis - Guitar on "Hey Mama"
Ray Dombrowski - Bass
Todd Smallie (Derek Trucks Band) - Bass on “Why Didn’t You Call” & "On The Prowl"
Jimmy Landry - Keyboards
Steve Saunders - Drums

ABOUT LEFTY WILLIAMS

If you hear Jason Williams before you see him, you will conclude pretty quickly that he's an excellent and soulful guitar player. And when you see him, you will understand why he's called "Lefty." Williams was born without the lower part of his right arm; he essentially picks and strums the guitar with a holster he invented strapped to his elbow. "If the music is no good on its own, if it's all about the arm, then there's no point in it for me," says Williams in a call from his home in Norcross, Ga. There's no doubt that the music is good on its own. He'd win praise from guitar hounds regardless of how many hands he had. He says it's a regular occurrence that he'll be in a club during a break or after a gig and someone will talk to him about how much they liked the guitar player in the band. When he tells them, "Yeah, that's me," they don't believe it. Williams says he has been playing guitar for much longer than he can remember. "My parents have pictures of me really, really, really little with a little guitar," he says. "One of my earliest memories is my dad teaching me to play 'The Wind Cries Mary' and 'Hey Joe.'" That memory comes from when Williams was 4 or 5 years old. He says his parents never treated him any differently than if he'd had two normal arms. "My mom's favorite saying was, 'You can do whatever you want to do.'" In fact, Williams' greatest challenge sometimes is to limit himself. After learning Hendrix songs as a small child ("Obviously, I couldn't do all the Hendrix solos," he says), he discovered Metallica, Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. He honed his chops learning the guitar for the Metallica albums "Ride the Lightning" and "Master of Puppets" and joined a metal band. "I went through a phase where I really enjoyed the loud stuff," he says. When the grunge movement arrived and his band wanted to move in that direction, Williams was unenthusiastic. "I stopped soloing and focused on songwriting," he says. That focus remains to this day. Williams' solos are short and economical, and he focuses on original songs. Williams attended the Atlanta Institute of Music, where he began playing jazz. "It was just like somebody handed me the keys to the kingdom," he says. "I found out there's no such thing as a wrong note!" He also fell in love with the blues and reggae. He says his interest in so many genres was a handicap in shows and in his early albums. He credits his wife, who is also a musician, with encouraging him to focus more on Southern rock and blues. That, he says, has helped him find his audience. Since Williams has been featured in Guitar Player magazine and on news programs, children with similar conditions to Williams have been writing him. He is currently teaching a girl in Atlanta and a boy in Florida how to play the guitar. He says the boy had gotten very discouraged, but after he visited with Williams he realized his limitations weren't AS great as he'd thought. Williams himself has learned how to play bass, drums and violin, and a little piano and organ. If he needs to invent a holster to help him hold a drumstick or a bow, he does it. His next goal is to learn to play the banjo. "There is nothing I can't do," says Williams. "I just have to figure out a different way to do it." By Wayne Bledsoe & © Wayne Bledsoe Posted November 28, 2008 at midnight. © 2008, Knoxville News Sentinel Co. http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2008/nov/28/lefty-finds-a-right-way-no-matter-what/?partner=RSS

BIO

Lefty Williams. "Not just a great one-armed guitar player, a great guitar player". A skilled guitarist with over two decades of experience, Lefty Williams holds songcraft and musicianship at a premium. By emphasizing each equally on his ironically titled sophomore album Snake Oil, he engages and enlightens the listener. In turn, we fall for Williams’ powerful guitar licks and candid songs, often long before the origin of his nickname—he was born without a right hand—is clear. And by then, it’s just another dimension to his talent. “I definitely don’t wanna shy away from my arm,” says the Atlanta born-and-bred songwriter/musician, who’s been playing guitar since age 4. He started out strumming with the end of his “nubb,” and fashioned his first prosthetic pick at 6. “I was just using the skin on my arm—the same way a fingerstyle player would use his thumb. Then I wanted to play faster.” On his grandfather’s hunch, Lefty approached his prosthetician who devised a sock-like leather wrap. “It didn’t work at all,” he laughs, saying he finally “tore apart my prosthetic arm,” using the strap and part of the harness to fashion something that worked. Henceforth a self-taught musician, Lefty refined his skills by listening. “After my dad taught me basic chords, he showed me how to figure it out on my own. I remember we were listening to the guitar solo part of ‘Stairway to Heaven’ and my dad pointing out all the guitar parts that were going on in the background and saying, ‘That’s the kinda stuff you gotta listen for. If you can figure all those out and how to play ‘em at the same time, you can make it sound like the record.’” Soon Lefty was transcribing songs by Steppenwolf, Led Zeppelin and Yes before moving on to more difficult material. By 11, he was playing in bands. “Death metal!” he laughs. While playing upright bass in the school orchestra he learned how to read music, and in 1998 he made his way to the Atlanta Institute of Music to hone his guitar skills. There he found that his condition put him on equal—if not higher—footing than his peers and instructors at the Atlanta Institute of Music, who envied his “perfect” picking technique. “A lot of guitar players change between moving their wrists and their elbow and their fingers,” he says. “Mine never really changes.” After graduating with honors, Lefty was offered a teaching position at AIM. During that time, he gravitated from metal to grunge bands learning valuable lessons from each. “I can shred if I want to,” he says, “but I get really bored with that. The one thing I took from grunge music was not soloing, just taking your time and making your songs as good as you can possibly make them.” This knowledge served him well as he grew into the bluesy, jazzy style he plays today, which nods to Jimi Hendrix, Albert King, Aquarium Rescue Unit, Miles Davis, Stevie Ray Vaughn and early Led Zeppelin—all artists that understand the importance of a great song. Lefty also heeded their performances, and worked to construct a combustible live show with the Lefty Williams Band, which quickly became a big draw at local and regional clubs like Smith’s Olde Bar (Atlanta), Murphy’s (Boone, North Carolina) and The Dunedin Brewery (Dunedin, Florida). The LWB has also opened for the likes of Gov’t Mule, Tim Reynolds, Little Feat, Jimbo Mathus, Col. Bruce and the Quark Alliance and the Chris Duarte Group. In 2006, Lefty recorded his debut album, Big Plans, produced by John Keane (REM, Widespread Panic). It brought a dynamic range of music to the table, from high energy like “Shine Begins to Fade” to soulful tracks like “Sunny,” in which Lefty's innate sense of groove and melody, coupled with an expressive, visceral guitar sound, coalesce. Big Plans received raves from Relix, Hittin’ the Note, and Jambase.com, and Williams toured for 18 months behind it, all the while writing like a fiend. By the end of 2007, he got the itch to return to the studio. Once again teaming with Keane, who says "Lefty's sound is a compelling combination of honest, heartfelt lyrics and masterful rhythm and blues muscle," Lefty reaches deep into personal experience on Snake Oil. “There’s a lot more honesty in these songs,” Lefty says. The dirty, groovin’ title track refers to two-faced industry types, specifically “a guy who promised me the world and then kinda hosed me.” His divorce fuels the funky “Thank You,” where he acknowledges the silver lining, and thanks his ex for kicking him out. “We’re both better off now.” And the sweet, tender “A Little Bit of Faith” (featured on the Relix CD sampler for June 2008) is written for “my current wife. It’s just a promise to her that I’m not gonna goof around on her.” Musically, Lefty soars on Snake Oil, ratcheting up the earthy yet sophisticated sound of Big Plans. He achieves a coolly smoldering burn—merging King’s world with Davis’s—with “On the Prowl;” suffers through his slide guitar on the gospel-tinged “In the Valley;” channels playful lust on the jumpin’ “Hey Mama;” and creates a taut, stinging three-minute guitar feast with “Salt Stained Moment.” The LWB’s taut grooves are augmented by two guests: Todd Smallie (The Derek Trucks Band) plays bass on “Why Didn’t You Call,” and “On the Prowl” and “Hey Mama” feature blues luminary and fellow Atlanta resident Tinsley Ellis. Says Ellis, “I was knocked out by Lefty the first time I heard his music on MySpace. I just knew that I had to seek him out and hear more of his stuff. He is a veritable triple threat on certainly guitar but also as a soulful vocalist and clever songwriter. The fact that he is out there winning over fans one at a time with his nonstop touring schedule is definitely something that I can relate to. I was thrilled when he asked me to guest on his new album.” Having already given many of the songs on Snake Oil a live test drive, Lefty looks forward to presenting them fully realized on another lengthy tour in 2008. Mostly, though, he’s chomping at the bit to play live, electrifying audiences with his musical virtuosity and heartworn songs. “Let’s just make some cool music,” he says. “That’s all I’ve ever really cared about.” [Management: :Robert Fortin/Music Matters Entertainment, (706) 754-0067 rdf11572001@yahoo.com] [Publicity: Michelle Roche Media Relations. 706-353-3244 michelle@michelleroche.com] [Radio: Tammy Brackett/Moonstruck Productions. (804) 365-8222 tammy@moonstruckpromotions.com] www.lefty-music.com www.myspace.com/lefty_music © http://www.lefty-music.com/fr_bio.cfm

3 comments:

A.O.O.F.C said...

LINK

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Titovenaer said...

How's possible I also missed this
great guitar player?

Thanx to make me knowledge with him!

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,Titovenaer. Great artist. Some of the best musicians are never heard about. Tell your friends about this guy! Thanks!