Pick of the Week: Andre Williams

Excerpt From:
The Boston Phoenix
Volume XXX / No. 40
October 5-11, 2001

8 Days a Week
Pick Of The Week
Andre Williams

Friday:  The supremely multi-talented Andre Williams remains, at 65, one of the great R&B hustlers of all time.  He’s best known in rock and roll for his inimitably raunchy talking-blues records from the ‘50s (“Bacon Fat,” “Jail Bait”), and as the author of some 250 songs, including “Shake a Tail Feather” for the Five D-Tones; but he’s equally  well regarded in crate-digging hip-hop circles for his greasy instrumental funk sides of the late ‘60s.  He was also a producer for Motown, Chess, and innumerable other indies, as well as an A&R man, arranger, producer, and road manager for the likes of Ike & Tina Turner.  And after kicking a bad drug problem, he’s returned in the ‘90s to make a comeback: a country album, two celebrity-studded punk discs, and a couple of solid R&B discs for the oldies market.  His latest, Bait & Switch (Norton), finds him dueting with Ronnie Spector (on Ike & Tina’s “It’s Gonna Work Out Fine”) and Rudy Ray Moore (“I Ain’t Guilty”).  Even after all that, Williams has never performed in Boston, but he’ll do so Friday  night at Johnny D’s, 17 Holland Street in Davis Square, on the eve of yet another recording date, this one in Boston with producer Tom Hambridge.