Friday, January 01, 2010

Robert Pete Williams grew up in rural Louisiana, in a family of sharecroppers. After learning to play the guitar on a self-created instrument, he took to music as a way of life. After killing a man during an altercation, he was sentenced to life in prison, only to be discovered by musicologist Henry Oster during his fieldwork. Much like Lead Belly, Williams was released upon appeal of the musicologist and eventually began a music career, that saw him traveling around the world to different blues revival events and recording many albums. Williams played a deep and intensley personal brand of the blues, accompanied by only his own acoustic guitar playing. He draws from the diverse experiences in his life, the ups and downs that found him as a man imprisoned for murder and a man revered for his musical skill. Many of his songs focus on the plight of a man on his own in an uncaring world. "May Rise Out of My Tomb" and "Lord, Help Poor Me" draw on religous imagry while "Sick and Lonesome" and "Your Troubles Gonna Be Like Mine" take a more secular bent. Williams had a unique style if playing and his songs are deeply affecting, his guitar playing is free and supports the songs in a unique way, and his voice is emotional and full of deep energy. Broken-Hearted Man -

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