This weekend, a true Deep South bluesman will finger-pick his way to a Belper pub for a night of guitar magic.
Hailing from Statesboro, Georgia, USA — made famous by Blind Willie McTell, and where they know a thing or two about blues players — Brooks Williams has been regularly voted as one of the world’s top 100 acoustic guitarists and most in-the-know would place him pretty high up in that select group.
In addition to his blues roots, Brooks seamlessly blends folk and jazz influences into a style of playing which has been described as the aural equivalent of drinking whisky from a honey jar: sweet and intoxicating but with a genuine bite.
Now resident in Cambridge UK, Brooks still tours endlessly on both sides of the pond while finding time for a series of collaborative projects, most notably the State of the Union recordings and tours with songwriter Boo Hewardine.
No mean songwriter himself, Brooks’ solo outings always feature original numbers, drawing plaudits from those in the business who recognise real quality.
Having played his way around the same New York circuit which produced Bonnie Raitt, over the years Brooks has performed alongside Taj Mahal, John Hammond, Paul Jones, Chris Smither, Little Feat, Shawn Colvin and Leo Kottke, to name but a few.
English folk maestro Martin Simpson says: “I’ve known Brooks for many years. He’s a lovely player, a lovely singer, and a great writer. The real thing.”
Having just recorded what many regard as his best album yet, with My Turn Now, it really is Brooks’ turn to bask in the limelight.
On this occasion he will be supported by Belper’s own guitar wizard, Tony Stark.
The show is on Saturday, April 16 at 8pm and tickets are £8, available on the door or via firstname.lastname@example.org