I'm Here To Stay
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’
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.
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.
"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
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
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.
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.
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
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.