We are blessed in this blues world of ours with a plethora of female talent both past… Etta James, Rosie Mae Moore, Louise Johnson, Bessie Smith, Sister Terrel and present…Joanne Shaw Taylor, Ana Popvic, Erja Lyytinen, Chantel McGregor, Samantha Fish etc. etc. Now there is a (relatively) new lady on the block…Meg Williams hails from New York State but has recently decamped to Nashville. She has one album (2014s Troubles to the Wind) and an EP to her name and has a new EP out at the moment called Maybe Someday. She is, on the evidence of her website, a vivacious and amazingly happy individual; there isn’t a single photograph where she isn’t smiling or laughing, and this inevitably carries over to her music and her band.
A regular on the live circuit in the US, her music is a mix of blues, rock and soul, with a dash of funk thrown in, despite the Nashville link: although there is no longer the Nashville equals country exclusivity there used to be; many fine blues and rock albums are being written and recorded there. The White Stripes, Bon Jovi and Deep Purple are a few examples of the now diverse range of music that comes from ‘Music City’. She wrote all six songs here and uses her alto voice to great effect across all of them…her range is slightly limited, but the compositions use this as a strength.
Opener, Not My Problem, is a funky blues with a soulful vocal over a neat guitar that sounds a bit like Stevie Salas on his Colorcode album. No real solo this time, but the last 60 seconds to the fade has a great bass and drum section. True blues in the vein of someone like Magic Sam is on display on the blues shuffle, Bad Lovin’ and a short but lovely laid-back solo materialises to stop it sounding a bit 60s pop, which the vocal seems to emulate. Dan Wecht is featured on slide for the swampy rock sound of Little Bit Of The Devil, backed by Meg on guitar and a great sounding bass line. The slide solo is a highlight, but then so is the backing across the whole track. Maybe Someday opens with slide and has a gospel-ish feel to the execution, courtesy of the backing ‘choir’. A thoughtful slide solo combined with what sounds like detuning purposely via the machine head is hugely entertaining, albeit very short. The penultimate track, You Let Me Down, has a rockier outlook with a hint of Meg’s East Coast roots showing through. It has a depth that shows what this lady could be capable of in the future as this is a really strong song as it rocks away and has a brilliant solo too. Final track, I Feel A Heartache Coming has a good riff base, but the whole is what I believe is called ‘power-pop’ these days. Pleasant enough, especially as the guitar solo prevents it from becoming too pop.
This EP supplies an entertaining half-dozen tracks with You Let Me Down standing out head and shoulders above the rest. If Meg were to go down this route for the next release, I will be first in the queue to give it a hearing. The other tracks are good, don’t get me wrong, but they do not have the immediacy, and don’t lodge themselves in the mind ear like that one does. So, this is well worth listening to and I’m convinced is a great sign of things to come from the talented Meg.
SEVENdoodle paws out of TEN …
- Not My Problem
- Bad Lovin’
- Little Bit Of The Devil
- Maybe Someday
- You Let Me Down
- I Feel A Heartache Coming
Meg Williams: guitar, vocals
Dan Wecht: guitar, slide guitar
Kyle Law: drums
Gregory Garner: bass
Sara Rogers, Sam Gonzales, Chase Walker, Wilson Harwood, Skylar Gregg: backing vocals