Dynamic guitarist, Michael Williams, will join Jonny Lang for a May swing of dates from Cleveland, OH to Richmond, VA before ending at the Chesapeake Bay Blues Festival on May 20th, alongside Lang among others. MWB started the year off with a list of invites to perform at several of the most elite Blues Festivals this spring. The Michael Williams Band first appeared at the Clearwater Sea Blues Festival in Tampa, FL in February, sharing the stage with the legendary Buddy Guy before joining George Thorogood for a string of West Coast dates in March.
The critics are in agreement, the next great guitarist may just be Michael Williams. Blending a mastery of traditional blues, soulful songwriting, dynamic voice, blistering licks, and intense performance energy, Michael is bridging the fan-gap between the traditional blues lovers and his younger, rock ‘n roll-based audience. Drawing inspiration from his own bloodline of Blues musicians, including his father, Texas Blues legend Larry “Junior Medlow” Williams, Michael is quickly earning a name for himself among the musical elite.
2011 found Michael and the band mixing it up with a host of great artists. After joining musical legends, Buddy Guy, Jonny Lang, Eric Johnson and Robert Cray last summer, the Michael Williams Band was asked to return for Buddy’s fall U.S. Tour. Just prior to the November run, The Michael Williams Band once again joined Jonny Lang for a powerful 3-date California swing.
Regarding the first Lang/MWB show in Napa, online magazine Spinning Platters had this to say about the live show, "Williams sat center stage with his guitar on his lap, playing it lap steel style. I was already impressed, and when Jonny (Lang) said later in the evening, “Everybody’s gonna know about him… You can say you saw him first!” I found myself nodding in agreement.”
After performing at the Waterfront Blues Festival in Portland, OR last year, Kyle O’Brien – writer for The Oregonian said, “Those who were there, including mimosa-drinking revelers rising from the boats, anchored by the festival grounds, were treated to a caffeinated jolt awake by the Michael Williams Band, a rocking Seattle blues quartet rooted in the music of Jimi Hendrix”.
In New York this past November writer Kris DiLorenzo from Rock’s Back Pages called Williams “the real deal: raw rock power, great voice, powerful stage presence…anything you hear on the record is ten times wilder, heavier and more intense onstage.”
Currently, the band is celebrating the recent release of their new album, FIRE RED, produced by the multi Grammy-award winning producer and engineer, Eddie Kramer. Kramer, who is celebrating his 50th year anniversary in Rock’n’Roll is revered for his lifelong work with Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, KISS, The Rolling Stones, and Buddy Guy, as well as countless other Grammy-award winning blues and music legends in addition to being one of the founders of Electric Lady Studios in NY.
Performer Magazine said of the album, “You’re not just listening to a recording; you’re hearing a performance. Don’t miss out on this exceptional recording. Kick up the dust and enjoy raw boogie-rock - Texas style.”
Recording with Michael Williams on FIRE RED, as well as performing live on stage, is a powerful trio of accomplished musicians; Ryan Shea Smith on keyboard, Gerald “Tugboat” Turner II on bass, and Darin Watkins on drums. It is no coincidence that they’re all products of the Great Seattle Music Scene, which arguably could be one of the most influential cities for rock, jazz, R&B, and soul music, bringing us such talents as Jimi Hendrix, Quincy Jones and Kurt Cobain.
Michael Williams Band Current Itinerary (more dates TBA shortly):
Dates with Jonny Lang:
May 13 House of Blues Cleveland, OH
May 15 Handlebar Greenville, SC
May 16 Carolina Theater Durham, NC
May 18 Pullo Center York, PA
May 19 The National Richmond, VA
May 20 Chesapeake Bay Blues Festival Annapolis, MD
August 10 The Greek Theater Los Angeles, CA
(with Buddy Guy and Jonny Lang)