Folk/Americana singer-songwriter Jack Williams has a new studio album coming out this year, but don’t let that stop you from checking out the double-CD live album he released late last fall. Bound For Glory–Live was recorded April 2009 at WVBR’s ‘Bound For Glory’ radio show from Ithaca NY, a venue and program Williams first appeared on a year earlier. That initial show earned him the listener’s award for “Best Of Bound For Glory” that year, and this documented encore performance is no less magical.
Williams resides in rural Arkansas but originally hails from the deep south, South Carolina to be exact. His songs frequently reflect those beginnings, from the ode to home cooking, “Mama Lou,” to his musical homage to another great folk singer from South Carolina, Josh White.
The songs here come from throughout Williams’ recorded career, but the real treat for those who have not seen him play live is the between-song stories and commentary that’s sometimes as entertaining as the songs themselves. The second disc is filled up with another favorite part of Williams’ concerts, the “That’s All” medley where he strings together dozens of familiar and not-so-familiar tunes in a dizzying sequence that lasts nearly thirty minutes. It’s here, as well as at several points in the original songs that make up the bulk of the main set, where one realizes that not only is Williams a great storyteller and a grizzled, gregarious singer, he has some serious chops on the acoustic guitar and can wring phrases, rhythms, and runs out of one that no other single player is capable of–there are times when one who doesn’t know better would assume that there were two acoustic guitarists playing on one song or another, but it’s all just Jack.
And that’s what the appeal of this crisply recorded and performed set of songs is–that it’s just Jack Williams, the way people on his itinerant path can hear him night, after night, after night.
Want to learn more, or hear some of Jack’s tunes?