My Turn Now
Red Guitar/Blue Music
The Sound of Warm Southern Nights and Days.
Brooks Williams is one of those names that I’ve been aware of for years, but our paths have never crossed until now; and the wait has been well worth it.
Williams opens the album with the toe-tapping Crazy Dance ; featuring the first of his trademark easy going Resonator guitar and a voice that simply oozes out of the speakers, not unlike JJ Cale or his namesake Don Williams.
The title track My Turn Now soon follows and is a much more Bluesy affair about a motorcycle racer who keeps losing but keeps getting back in the saddle, because sooner or later it will be “my turn now.”
Not long afterwards we get another ‘motorcycle’ themed song; Year Began, a much more introspective song about Evil Knievel’s fateful jump at Caesar’s Palace on New Years Eve 1967 told from the rider’s perspective.
Already I could hear why my friends are so passionate about his earlier work; as Williams is not only an excellent story teller he’s not afraid of using a melody; which is becoming a bit of a rarity these days.
In another lifetime this album would be filed under Easy Listening; which it is even with the inclusion of the inclusion of the jaunty yet slightly cynical Nine Days Wonder; which again conjures up memories of JJ Cale and the early Ry Cooder albums.
Not only a really canny songwriter, Brooks also shows great taste with the couple of cover versions he includes; Mose Alison’s your Mind is On Vacation and Kristofferson’s sad and beautiful Nobody Wins; with both being completely different but suits his voice and delivery just perfectly.
My Turn Now is another long playing disc that isn’t intended to be cherry picked for radio play (how many are these days?) so it’s difficult to pick an actual stand-out track; but one that keeps bringing a smile to my face is the clever Jokers Wild, with it’s slightly ‘oriental’ guitar breaks and clever lyrics.
It was a close run thing with William’s interpretation of Sitting on Top of the World, which closes the disc. Obviously a staple of many repertoires over the years; but somehow William’s lazy Southern delivery and delightful slide guitar make it a very memorable version indeed.
Trying to conjure up a ‘killer’ final paragraph hasn’t been easy as the word ‘pleasurable’ kept coming to mind; and in fairness that’s exactly what My Turn Now is….a very pleasurable way to pass an hour or two; and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, is there?
Released UK May 2016