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A God-Fearing Boogie Man

Reverend K.M. Williams says the blues aren't the devil's music.

"Bo Diddley played a diddley bow and took his stage name from it. That's why he had that square guitar, he had it made to resemble the diddley bow."

Williams's clinging to the spirit and the sound of old-school rural blues is part of what makes him such a fascinating and unique musician in the blues milieu. Not only does he incorporate that instrument, which is essentially a rural one little known outside farms and plantations for many years, he is one of the few remaining legitimate links between the north Mississippi blues tradition and the rural Texas style of masters like Lightnin' Hopkins, Lead Belly and Mance Lipscomb.

Williams, who plays the Chicago Blues Festival this year, began making essentially homemade recordings in 2000, but moved to Eddie Stout's Dialtone label for his most recent release, 2010's When I Rise. It is a funky mix of powerful gospels like "My Lord Knows Just What to Do" and nasty country blues stompers like "Free to Roam" and "I'm a Boogie Man."

The Reverend is one of the last links between north Mississippi blues and the Texas style.
The Reverend is one of the last links between north Mississippi blues and the Texas style.

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Under The Volcano

2349 Bissonnet
Houston, TX 77005

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: Kirby-West U

Details

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Soul Food Cook-Off

The Martin Luther King Jr. Day Soul Food Cook-Off runs from 3 to 9 p.m. this Sunday, January 15, at Under the Volcano, 2349 Bissonnet, 713-526-5282. The Reverend K.M. Williams begins playing at 5 p.m.

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"My record sales have never been huge, not enough to make a living just doing music," says Williams, who is also a technician at AT&T. "But a friend brought Eddie Stout to see me at a little place in Dallas one night, and he immediately came up and said he wanted to record me, do a professional job. And being on a real, bona fide label has boosted my profile a bit.

"I had never played Houston until I got on Dialtone and Eddie put together a package at the Continental with me and Little Joe Washington."

Washington immediately impressed Williams.

"I'd heard about him, but seeing him do his thing was very special. He really is something completely unique. That little guy can play anything he wants to, any instrument, any style. That's something very rare."

Noting that Houston has always been a big blues town, Williams is grateful for the opportunity to play the Bayou City.

"There's so much history in Houston as far as this music goes," he says. "With my regular work and my church work, I don't have a lot of days I can travel very far to play, so to get this gig in Houston on Martin Luther King Day is a rare opportunity for me."

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5 comments
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Dazzie Duke
Dazzie Duke

The chief danger in life is sometimes we take to many precautions. So live a little. If you stand in one spot you will not go anywhere.

Guest
Guest

So, yer chasin' the devil's note while preachin the word...hmmm. A one trick pony?

Km Williams
Km Williams

Thank you for posting this article! I am honored and will see you on MLK Day! God Bless!

 
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