Andre Williams – Broadsides and Attitude

Read our review of Andre Williams’ I Wanna Go Back To Detroit City

 

Andre Williams’ Fearsome New Album

I Wanna Go Back To Detroit City

At 79 years old, Andre Williams has been a singer, writer, producer, publicist and man-about-town for six decades.

Don’t just take my word for it.

The man himself sings about his life on his new album I Wanna Go Back To Detroit City.  In fact, his rant about not receiving his just industry recognition (‘Hall Of Fame’, featuring longtime collaborator Dennis Coffey of The Funk Brothers) is one of the most defiant and fearless songs I’ve heard for a while.  In posing reasons for this continual snub, he opines: “I must’ve run over The President’s dog!”  His final words of advice for those in positions of power are priceless, worth the cost of admission here alone.

He’s toured the world in snazzy suits and lived on the streets, asking for change.  For I Wanna Go Back To Detroit City, his fifth album for Bloodshot Records, he wanted to return to his adopted hometown.

In the 1950s, when Andre first arrived in Detroit from his Alabama birthplace, he made his mark – with his doo-wop group the 5 Dollars and through his on-again/off-again relationship with Motown Records where he produced Mary Wells and Stevie Wonder (to name just a couple).  He’s the author of songs for Ike & Tina Turner and Parliament, recorded garage rock and collaborated with The Sadies, Jon Langford, Two-Star Tabernacle (featuring Jack White) and Jon Spencer.

Upon his return to see his house in the old neighborhood, he found only a field with overgrown grass. He couldn’t imagine Detroit ending up like this so he went into the studio that day and recorded the wonderfully heavy funk and sturdy ‘Detroit (I’m So Glad I Stayed)’.  In the same manner, ‘Times is a growling and deep meditation on hard and past times.

“Mississippi Sue” (with Jim White of Dirty Three and Cat Power on drums) is a fascinating talking country blues song, with lyrics that few performers could get away with these days.  In responding to the question as to who is the woman he most loved, his response was the lady of the title: “She was the only woman to get the electric chair/ I really felt bad about that cuz I wasn’t there…”.  The excellent funk groove of the closing track ‘Morning After Blues’ is also compelling.  The entire collection is a growling delight.

Hats off to the core band on the album – guitarists Matthew Smith and Dan Kroha, David Shettler on drums and the late Steve King on bass.

If you like true grooving, attitude and funky swagger, I would highly recommend I Wanna Go Back To Detroit City. If you do listen to it, though – TURN IT UP.

 

 

via Bloodshot Records

 

 

Read our review of Andre Williams’ I Wanna Go Back To Detroit City

Read our review of Andre Williams’ I Wanna Go Back To Detroit City

 

 

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Author: Rob Dickens

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