Blues Bytes


January 2008

an associate

Order this CD today

Sharrie Williams
I'm Here To Stay

Sharrie Williams

Sharrie Williams is a relatively young singer/songwriter who is known as the princess of rockin’ gospel blues. If you are wondering what rockin’ gospel blues is, just listen to the title track of I’m Here To Stay (Electro-Fi). You’ll hear the call and response of the blues, the exuberance of gospel, and the wild abandon of rock ‘n’ roll.

Williams was born January 3, 1965 and was raised by a family of gospel singers and blues lovers at the Daniels Heights Projects in Saginaw, Michigan. She is very popular in Europe, and up until now has not had a release on a North American label.

The leading track, "Fire," is a smokin’ song that rocks. Williams proudly preaches, “I have fire in my veins and I’m ready to rock and roll”. In her case, the fire comes from the Holy Spirit. The song is loaded with energy and plenty of wah wah guitar; however, the Southern soul sounding keyboards don’t quite fit. Hefty blues guitar appears on "Jealousy" which warns of the harm and evil that that emotion will do. "Seeking" is a tender pop ballad which reveals Williams’ vulnerable side. The song also demonstrates that her usual throaty belly roar can transition to a gentle and calming croon.

"Seeking" and "Gotta Go Thru Hell" are autobiographical. They depict Williams surviving real battles such as losing loved ones and being betrayed by so-called friends. Things aren’t all bleak though. Throughout, Williams’ cheery disposition comes across. "Will You Still Love Me" – a sweet ditty – is about Agape love, which grows stronger as it matures. The kick and energy of the opening cut resumes on "I’m A Real Woman," which is a highlight of the disc.

By playing many styles of music on this all-original 15 track disc, Williams is hard to categorize. Many wouldn’t consider this a blues record. Naturally, a woman’s point of view comes across in the lyrics. Though they are more memorable than the melodies, both are refreshing to hear. The Wiseguys – Williams’ four-piece band – seem toned-down when compared to the stomping energy they exuberate during Williams’ rockin’ tent revival live show.

I’m Here To Stay isn’t just the name of the CD; it’s a woman’s story of a tough, rough, gritty life and the determination to survive and thrive.

--- Tim Holek

Sharrie Williams’ follow up to “Hard Drivin’ Woman,” her excellent 2004 set on Crosscut, is even more impressive. I’m Here To Stay, just out of Electro-Fi, is the work of a mature vocalist.

She has something of a gospel edge, but comes out of the chute rockin’ on “Fire,” the first of the 15 tunes here credited to Williams with and without band members. Here she warns that she’s got “fire in my veins and I’m ready to rock and roll.” Similar in attack to Shemekia Copeland, she obviously listened to Koko Taylor a bit coming up, as well.

This is not to infer that Williams is not her own woman. She’s all of that. This is a rousing and exciting collection of music from a first-rate stop-you-in-your-tracks singer. The gospel-fueled title cut is exciting, but no more than the gentle Etta-James-ish “Gotta Go Through Hell” or the funky “I’m So Blue.”

Everything about this album is exciting. One of the top 10 CDs of the year.

--- Mark E. Gallo


[Pick Hit][What's New][Surprise][Flashback][Feedback][Back Issues][Home Page]


The Blues Bytes URL... 
Revised: December 31, 2007 - Version 1.00
All contents Copyright © 2008, Blue Night Productions. All rights reserved.