Jamie Williams Sits Back Sharing His Beautiful Dreams

Jamie Williams Sits Back Sharing His Beautiful Dreams

Jamie Williams Sits Back Sharing His Beautiful Dreams

 

The album Beautiful Dreams and the second acoustic solo album from Jamie Williams, normally part of his big band sound of Jamie Williams and The Roots Collective. Songwriting flows from Jamie’s pen and as he says; “performing and writing are my way of taming my demons and are as natural as life itself to me” The album is fourteen mellow tracks out of Essex via Nashville more country than British Folk. The album has a flow the tempo nudges up and down with the addition of Paul Hollingsworth on trumpet adding an extra dimension on many of the tracks.  As you listen to the album you are soothed into a Williams zone gentle and never shocking. The beat stays true and for me, fewer tracks with more tonal shape and variance would have turned the image of a Beautiful Dream into a reality.  Sometimes you need a bolt of lightning and a clash of thunder to give the dreams shape and a sense of reality especially on tracks like In My Times of Darkness that are looking at the darker side of life.

Opening with Spare A Thought it is asking us to think of others and introduces us to Jamie’s distinctive vocals with the trumpet piercing through adding a rawness as the theme of love of humanity is explored with the feeling of disempowerment across Britain today. A political anthem with no real anger or passion that matches the lyrics in the melody.  Love of his wife is celebrated with Love of My Life; exploring love is the essence of the album and the romance continues with the release date of 14th February.

The title track is with a guitar that stings and Naomi Poole weaving her cello as the words are at times more spoken than sung a poem of a Beautiful Dream as the lyrics are intoned matching the chords of the weeping cello.

Pulling back into the English Countryside with Bitter Is My Beer, a melancholy song definitely warm British beer not fizzy light American beer from a bottle. This is beer that you cradle as you hold your emotions in and feel a deep sadness. The album has a vulnerability summed up with Box Marked Fragile this is music that drifts and turns dipping into emotions but never resolving your angst that is left to mournful trumpet and cello strings that shiver with tears.  Jamie uses the solo album to explore a variety of styles, snatches of mariachi style trumpet and echoes of blues on Whispering Blues with its percussive backdrop.

Jamie Williams’ solo album, Beautiful Dreams floats away off a soggy cloud. The musicianship is good, but for me something is missing an injection of purpose and a shaping of a sound that is acoustic Jamie. As the last notes of We Are One, the resounding memory is for the atmospheric trumpet the words have got lost in the mix. Acoustic album works if the lyrics empower, entreat and connect and in this dream land they didn’t for me.

Jamie Williams – Beautiful Dreams 

SIXpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

 

Track Listing

  1. Spare A Thought
  2. Love Of My Love
  3. Lovely In Libson
  4. Beautiful Dream
  5. Mama
  6. Twinkle In Your Eye
  7. Bitter Is My Beer
  8. Remember
  9. Box Marked Fragile
  10. Trying To Get In Touch With Me
  11. Whispering Blues
  12. In My Times Of Darkness
  13. You Still Looked So Good To Me
  14. We Are One

The Roots Collective Live and Kickin’ Up a Storm

The Roots Collective Live and Kickin’ Up a Storm

The Roots Collective Live and Kickin’ Up a Storm

Jamie Williams and The Roots Collective delivers a distinctive, raw edgy roots sound from deepest Essex. The latest album is Live and Kickin at The Brasenose Arms. The show was the set at Cropredy Fringe Festival jam-packed with the energy of performing live and enjoying every second on the stage. The music is rooted in musical culture of blues, folk and Americana and has a stomping driving rhythm and beats that defy you to sit a listen without your foot tapping and a smile on your face. Opening with Jamie saying its boogie time leading into the opening harp phrasing from Nick Garner, before the dual vocals from Lizzie B and Jamie the harmonizing is infectious and no way is the music a Bad Looser. The feel good factor of the music flows and the guitar has a western country twang that pings off the lyrics with the rhythm section of Kevin Warner on Bass and drummer Spencer Blackledge. Adding to Jamie’s guitar is David Milligan ensuring a full sound that blends and contrasts as the beat demands throughout this feel-good album. The boogie woogie of Come Home will ensure the dancers will be on their feet in a flash as the harp fills in with a lead break lets Rock ‘n Roll with the Collective. The tracks are all instantly recognizable as Jamie Williams and The Roots Collective with the mix of thumping beats, swirling harp and Jamie’s and Lizzie’s vocals. This is the hallmark of the music I Can’t Deny with deep country guitar and a dancing vibe just keeps the live sound flowing. The bass opening of Mean Old World gives the track a darker more sombre side then the guitar adds some brighter shades Jamie’s voice is low and serious in a track that shows the slower darker side of the collective. This leads seamlessly into the glorious harp guitar opening of Native American with a real Western swing. The album has the ebb and flow of a show as textures and tones change, the style, approach and professionalism is a constant they have a distinctive sound that connects them to each other and to the audience. Reaching For The Stars textural full of the weft and warp of roots music that is contemporary with interesting use of echoes and distortions. Closing with Voodoo Man styles have been explored and we are back to a foot-stomping, energetic flow of music that leaves you smiling tapping and dancing check them out they have attitude and style.

The fourteen tracks on the album are all original and written by Jamie Williams, this Americana style music is about fun, sung in good humour and has a freshness and jolt of living that makes you think of summertime. Keep delivering music like this and you will be live and kicking out the collective sound for a long time to come.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD SEVEN pawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listings

  1. Bad Loser
  2. Come Home
  3. Dug Deep, Found Steel
  4. I Can’t Deny
  5. Lifeline
  6. Mean Old World
  7. Native American
  8. Natural Born Woman
  9. Peas In A Pod
  10. Reaching For The Stars
  11. Stone Drunk
  12. Summertime in Georgia
  13. Voodoo Man

CD Review – “Don’t Cry” by Jamie Williams and the Roots Collective

jamie williams

From the moment I first listened to “Don’t Cry” from Jamie Williams and The Roots Collective, I knew I was going to have a good time listening to the album, this was not going to be a challenging. The music is definitely based on the blues with a cocktail blend of acoustic, rootsy styles, a twist of folk, a little bit of country and a great deal of Jamie’s passion and energy lending together a complete sound that works so well on this live album. Recording the album live gives this an authentic feel and the rough edges that would have been smoothed in the studio would have been lost – a real detriment to the sound that Jamie has achieved whilst having a great time playing the music he and his band obviously love, and this really shines through on the track by Hank Williams Jr, ‘Blues Man’. The stand-out track for me on this album is ‘Jewel In The Crown‘; with a Dylanesque sound and style that harks back to the style of the 1970’s as folk went electric, yet at the same time he has kept an intimate feel and tips its hat to acoustic playing creating a great sound. This is an unpretentious album that is enjoyable and refreshing in its production and approach to delivering a great live sound. None of the tracks would probably appear on your selection for Desert Island Discs, but whenever one appears on a random selection you will smile, tap you foot, relax and enjoy 3 minutes of blues, country music that brings a smile to your heart.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD a doodle rating of
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Available on iTunes & Amazon