Never heard of Jack Williams? Maybe so, but the list of people he has accompanied, written with and produced in almost 50 years in the business is a roster any musician would kill for: Tom Paxton, Peter Yarrow (Peter, Paul and Mary), Harry Nilsson, John Lee Hooker and Houston's own extraordinary songsmith Mickey Newbury. Before his passing in 2003, Newbury worked almost exclusively with Williams, who co-wrote most of Newbury's songs and produced his 1994 comeback album Nights When I Am Sane. That alone qualifies as a huge career, but Williams has many more facets to his craft, having played electric guitar in rock and blues bands; steel, mandolin and banjo in country groups; and even lute in chamber-music ensembles. For the past dozen years, Williams has gone it alone on the folk and house-concert circuit, where, along with names like Vance Gilbert and Ellis Paul, he belongs in the highest echelon of listening-room artists. Williams's music is as pristine as Rocky Mountain creek water, and his songs are the carefully crafted work of a master.
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