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Jack Williams

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  • Born: United States
  • Years Active: 1990s, 2000s


Biography All Music Guide

All Music Guide:

Being able to draw on resources compiled over forty years of experience as a performing musician, it should come as no surprise that Jack Williams is one of the most talented and accomplished performers on the folk circuit today. What does come as something of a surprise is just how little recognition Williams gets for his mature blend of introspective genre-dyfing music. Tremendously gifted as a lyricist, guitarist, vocalist and arranger, Williams has played in a variety of settings and with an impressive cast of musicians, most notably Mickey Newbury and the late Harry Nilsson. Having performed in quite a few roles since 1959, from beatnik trumpeter and folk revivalist banjo/mandolin player to country-rock steel-guitar player and chamber music arranger, Williams is a fine enough guitarist to have found employment as guitarist for John Lee Hooker, Big Joe Turner, and Z.Z. Hill. It wasn't until relatively recently that Williams decided to re-emerge as a predominantly solo performer and receive considerable accolades for his appearances at folk festivals, though he still occasionally collaborates with other musicians. His smooth blend of blues, country, jazz and folk, as evidenced on his solo releases -- 1996's Dreams of the Song Dog ,1999's Across the Winterline and 2000's Eternity and Main -- are consistently engaging and clearly place his work among the upper echelon of the contemporary folk community. In August of 2002, Williams made his first performance at the Newport Folk Festival.