Sunday Night with the Amazing Jack Williams

Live Music Fans,

We had a wonderful time last week with the talented Dan Sheridan and the No Mans Land Film Festival.  Dan played a fantastic show featuring my favorite songs and some entertaining stories about life in Aspen for a long time musician. For No Mans Land, We hosted several speaker workshops, a dinner and a cool DJ Dance Night for the 3rd year of this growing film festival.  Some amazing film makers and women climbers shared their experiences and thoughts on empowerment in a male dominated scene.  Just like the music scene in many ways.  Maybe we should host an all woman music week, right?  I had a great time and this old guy learned some new things.

This week, we are fortunate to host a truly talented guitarist and songwriter who has been making live music for nearly 60 years.  An impressive career for decades that he will share with us on this first visit.  A little bit like when we enjoyed Ramblin Jack Elliott.  Nothing like experience and talent in our little music room.  Check out the quotes about Jack from some serious major league players like Tom Paxton and others.  Should be a special show.  Check this national treasure out and take advantage of this rare visit.  Why not?


“The music of Jack Williams, rooted in his native South Carolina, was shaped by a 59-year career of playing folk, rock, jazz, R&B, classical and the popular music of the 30s, 40s and 50s. He is counted among the most dynamic performers on today’s “folk” circuit – “…one of the most enlightened and entertaining performers I’ve ever encountered”, said Dave Humphreys of Two-Way Street Coffeehouse in Downer’s Grove, IL. Jack is considered a “musician’s musician”, an uncommonly unique guitarist, a writer of vivid songs with a strong sense of place, and a storyteller in an old Southern tradition who further illustrates each tale with his guitar. Rich Warren of WFMT Chicago’s The Midnight Special said, “His artistry is nothing short of amazing”. Vic Heyman, in SING OUT!, wrote, “He is one of the strongest guitar players in contemporary folk.”

Avoiding the compromises of the commercial music industry, Jack prefers touring under the radar, playing concerts, large and small, week in and week out, from the sheer love of music and performing. Playing for more than 50 house concerts each year, Jack enjoys the intimacy of that venue most of all, with a more personal connection to his listeners. Jack is a sought-after artist on all contemporary acoustic music stages, from coffeehouses and festivals to music halls and city arts stages. From acclaimed appearances at the Newport, Boston, Philadelphia, Kerrville, New Bedford SummerFest Folk Festivals, his musicianship, songs, stories and commanding presence have established him as an uncommonly inspiring and influential performer.

Jack frequently shares his musical knowledge with others. In addition to leading numerous workshops as he tours the country, he has been on the staff of The Swannanoa Gathering in NC, Lamb’s Songwriter Retreat in MI, The Folk Project in NJ, WUMB’s Summer Acoustic Music Week in NH, and co-hosts a semi-annual Music Workshop Weekend near his home in the Ozarks.

Jack has eleven CDs of original music on the Wind River (Folk Era) label, the newest being “Far Away, Long Ago”, plus his DVD “High Cotton”, a video collection of on-stage performances. The CD, “Don’t Let Go”, is a collection of cover songs reflecting major influences on his musical development. Jack has produced all of his own recordings plus CDs by Mickey Newbury, Ronny Cox, Eric Schwartz, and others.

His songs have been recorded by artists ranging from Tom Jones and David Clayton-Thomas to Chuck Pyle, Cindy Mangsen, Ronny Cox and Lowen & Navarro. In addition to his solo career, as a guitarist he has accompanied such luminaries as Tom Paxton, Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul & Mary), Mickey Newbury and Harry Nilsson.”

“It’s been said already, but I’ll say it again: Jack Williams is a national treasure. When it comes to pulling the worlds of blues, country, rock and roll and jazz together on an acoustic guitar, I’ve never heard his equal.”Luke Torn, The Washington Post

“…. his artistry… is nothing short of amazing. Dazzling picking, expressive voice, unique and interesting songs. He is a showman in the best sense of the word and just wowed our audience. I think they would have followed him anywhere.”  Rich Warren, WFMT “Midnight Special”, Chicago IL

“…like a South Carolina version of an acoustic Bruce Springsteen with Jerry Garcia on acoustic lead guitar.”   Mike Agranoff – Folk Project and Minstrel Coffeehouse, Morristown NJ

“Jack Williams is one of the most eclectic singer songwriters going. You can hear both the white and black musical traditions in his writing. You can hear country, you can hear blues, you can hear jazz. He’s a poet who knows how to write simply. And he’s a remarkable, magical performer, with graceful good humor, and a hot guitar style.”  – Phil Shapiro, host, WVBR’s “Bound for Glory”

“…one of my all-time favorite pickers.”   – Tom Paxton

“Jack is the best guitar-player I’ve ever heard.”   –  Peter Yarrow  (of Peter, Paul & Mary)

“…Jack can wring notes from a fingerboard like common people wring water from a sponge, and while that is a feat in itself, that isn’t why I go see him… what gets me is the unique voice that spans the 20th century and the North American Continent in addition to multiple genres. His music has been slow cooked for 70 years and that richness is just not available in commercial music. You should see him when he comes to your town.”  – Michael Wehling, a fan

“…..fearless singer, inventive storyteller, forceful-yet-delicate guitarist, and near-legendary status as a modern-times troubadour…. precisely what kept him relevant to at least three generations of loyal fans.”  –  Keith Harrelson – Moonlight On the Mountain, Birmingham AL

“If there is anyone not familiar with Jack’s incredible songwriting and prodigious performance skills, my sympathies to you. A Jack Williams show is a slam-dunk win-win-win for all. One of the most enlightened and entertaining performers I’ve ever encountered. (and a nice guy, too!)    – Dave Humphreys, Two Way Street Coffee House, Downers Grove IL

…Perhaps even more exciting than seeing Bob Dylan, though, was the reaction that Jack Williams got. ..He practically blew the top off the tent! Man, oh man, can that guy play guitar! He completely overshadowed more well-known performers…They were wonderful, but Jack Williams was playing in an entirely different league. I was astounded by how good he is.”  – Mark Cashman, upon hearing Jack for the first time at the Newport Folk Festival.

“…an American Treasure”- Mickey Newbury

“…one of the strongest guitar players in contemporary folk.”- Sing Out!

Musically Yours,

Steve, Mary Margaret and Shannon