Jack Williams – The High Road Home
So several years ago I made one of my best purchases in the budget bin of my favorite used CD store, when I picked up Jack William’s album Across the Winterline. I had never heard of Jack before but I bought it and one listen and I was a fan and have been ever since! Jack is a great guitarist and songwriter. He’s one of those artist who create a great “sense of place” in their music and Jack’s music drips of his beloved south! From his website this quote echoes my sentiments about Jack’s music:
“…. his artistry… is nothing short of amazing. Dazzling picking, expressive voice, unique and interesting songs. He is a showman in the best sense of the word and just wowed our audience. I think they would have followed him anywhere.”
Rich Warren, WFMT “Midnight Special”, Chicago IL
A couple of months ago Jack released a new album The High Road Home and today I listened to it for the first time and like all of Jack’s albums it’s great! Summarized from Jack’s notes at his website: (read the full notes here)
‘The High Road Home’ is a collection of seven relatively new songs, seven older songs – recorded previously and unrecorded – and one song by his friend, Dayna Kurtz.
The older songs include four which were written during Jack’s rock band days and he was able to transition from a band setting to solo acoustic performance. The tracks include “Bad Feeling”, “When You’re Gone”, “Cave-Woman Betty” (formerly “As the Rain Begins to Fall”), and “Road Dog Blues #1. Hand Me Down”, was written for a play on homelessness and appears on an early album ‘Highway From Back Home’.
Of the newer songs, “Sailing Away” reflects the 2 years of trying to help his Dad and his wife through the ordeal of Alzheimer’s. “O Chain Lightnin’ – previously released as a single – is one of two songs, along with “Atlantis Goin’ Down”, which relate directly to the catastrophe of hurricane Katrina. Indirectly connected to this theme is a song written to celebrate what remains of the wilds of Florida: “Song of the ‘Glades”.(one of those songs that creates a great sense of place) “No Longer Headed Nowhere” was written in 1993 and is a song of forgiveness, self-discovery, and recovery. “Invocation”, written by Dayna Kurtz, wasn’t actually written for her mother, but is an invocation to her creative Muse – whom she feels she abandoned – to let her “come home” and try again.
“Pumphouse Blues”, “A Dangerous Thing”, and “While the Sun Goes Down” (one of my favorite tracks) are explorations of spontaneous and varied ideas encompassing love, life and religion. The title song, “The High Road Home”, was written about the music of Tom Paxton, whom Jack occasionally accompanies on guitar.
I know that this album like all of Jack’s albums will be on the iPOD for a long time and listened to regularly! So go NOW find any of Jack’s albums sit back, close your eyes and be ready to travel to the Jack’s beloved south!
Here’s a song that shows all of Jack’s talents!