Andre Williams

Red Beans and Biscuits

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Although Andre Williams is better known to contemporary audiences for his recent garage soul albums masterminded by Mick Collins (Dirtbombs, Gories, etc.), the R&B singer/songwriter/producer has been musically active since the early '50s. The 16-track compilation Red Beans and Biscuits gathers rare and unreleased recordings made between 1966 and 1970, a period in which Williams was both achieving success writing and producing hit records while also sinking into a debilitating heroin addiction. As a result, this collection is spotty, mixing lost gems like the sassy Carla Thomas-style soul of "Can You Deal with That?" and the smooth "If I Didn't Love You" with oddities including the horn-driven "Red Beans" (which features a bizarrely miked rhythm guitar sound that sounds like heavy machinery on the verge of a serious malfunction) and a selection of improvised instrumental studio jams that just sort of peter out after a few minutes. Red Beans and Biscuits is definitely for fans only, but the high points are well worth exploring.

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