Performer Davey Williams will put an eclectic combination of talents to use when he visits Chattanooga on Friday, July 25, for a show at the AVA Gallery.
“Time after time [Davey Williams’] solos on electric guitar are just unbelievable: absolutely inventive, absolutely off the wall, absolutely smart and wise, absolutely well put together.” — NPR’s “All Things Considered”
Sponsored by the Association of Visual Arts and the Shaking Ray Levi Society, the show will feature Williams performing on electric guitar and reading from his book “Solo Gig: Essential Curiosities in Musical Free Improvisation,” then performing in a trio set with bassist Evan Lipson and percussionist Bob Stagner.
IF YOU GO
■ What: Performances and book reading by Davey Williams.
■ When: 7:30-10 p.m. Friday, July 25.
■ Where: AVA Gallery, 30 Frazier Ave.
■ Admission: $8 ages 25 and younger, $10 others.
■ Phone: 423-265-4282.
■ Website: www.avarts.org
Considered one of the “three founding fathers of American free improvisational guitar” (along with Henry Kaiser and Eugene Chadbourne), Williams is often credited as the only musician to ever successfully bridge the gap between the disparate worlds of Robert Johnson and Sun Ra.
As a 19-year-old protégé of the late Delta and Chicago blues master Johnny Shines (a protégé of Robert Johnson and Howlin’ Wolf), Williams mastered the slide-steel stylings of his teacher and expounded on the form by taking the blues in daring new directions. Dubbing his style “convulsive blues,” the Alabama native has set himself apart with a unique deployment of old-school form and new-school technique.
Williams was a key member of the Raudelunas art collective, a co-founder of independent record label Trans Museq and an architect of the unholy sound of Alabama’s Rev. Fred Lane. Along with his longtime musical partner/foil LaDonna Smith, he has played on stages around the globe and collaborated with the likes of John Zorn, Ikue Mori, Andrea Centazzo, Tom Cora, Jim Staley, Gustavo Matamoros, Roger Turner, Anne LeBaron, the Shaking Ray Levis, Col. Bruce Hampton, Oteil Burbridge, Gunter Christmann and Mark Kramer.
As a member of the trailblazing avant-jazz/funk band Curlew, he was one of the most respected players on New York City’s downtown music scene in the late ’80s and early ’90s. He added what has been called “insanely inventive guitar lines” to the band’s body of work.