Andre Williams

Just how crazy is Andre Williams? The Houston Press asked someone who ought to know: Allen Hill, whose Allen Oldies Band will be backing up the notorious "Black Godfather" Friday in Austin and Saturday at the Continental Club here. "He's crazier than all the stories you hear, and the stories are pretty crazy," laughs Hill. Co-author of Ike & Tina Turner's classic "Shake a Tail Feather" — the song Ray Charles performs in his Blues Brothers cameo — Williams began his career in mid-'50s Detroit, writing songs like "Jail Bait" and "Bacon Fat" that harnessed the primal energy and blunt force of punk and funk two decades before those genres even came into being. Williams's biography reads like the pimp-fiction short stories he released in last year's Sweets, and his latest album finds him collaborating with Detroit Rock City players in the Dirtbombs, the Witches, Electric Six and Dennis Coffey, guitarist for Motown house band the Funk Brothers. Ranking Williams among other dynamic live performers of his day, Hill says, "He's definitely much more raw and much more rock than James Brown, but his presence and his delivery and his charisma is right up there."


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