Michael Williams

Late Night Walk

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East Coast guitarist Michael Williams' first solo effort, Late Night Walk, is an independent release that far outspins most major-label recordings. Williams wrote all ten tunes here; seven are instrumentals and three feature the vocals of Sugar Ray Norcia (who is in top form on all). Other top-notch guest artists include Ronnie Earl's former Broadcaster Bruce Katz on Hammond B-3 and piano and the unmistakable David "Fathead" Newman on tenor sax. Late Night Walk blends elements of blues and jazz and runs the gamut from slow and smoky to seriously swingin'. It kicks off with "Muck Rakin'," a catchy tune with a West Coast blues feel on which guitar and sax take the lead hand in hand (as they do on many of the songs here). Katz joins in on some of those lead licks, too, but only on perfectly selected little spurts that he has chosen carefully. Williams' first solo on the album starts out with a sassy, crackling bang. On "Let's Talk About It," we hear from Sugar Ray and a full horn section. Fans of Earl's Grateful Heart will love the slow title track and the carefree "Laughing Through the Tears."

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