Tracker Pixel for Entry

A true R&B ‘old schooler’

by Diane Miller | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Music | August 22nd, 2013

76-year-old Andre Williams to perform at The Aquarium

Andre Williams is sort of mysterious legend. The 76-year-old Chicago/Detroit R&B musician has written songs for Stevie Wonder, Ike Turner and even Parliament-Funkadelic. He’s even had a few mega-hits – “Bacon Fat” and “Jail Bait” – among the hip R&B crowd in the 50s.

More than 50 years down the road, he still continues to record, perform and write. And believe or not, music fans and critics everywhere almost unanimously rave about how great he still is – about how much swagger and tasteful character he possess. After all, he is “The Black Godfather.”

The High Plains Reader graciously interviewed with Williams over the phone to learn a bit more about him. He sure was jolly.

HPR: As a performer and songwriter who has lived through decades of great music, what, in your humble opinion, makes any piece of music great?

Andre Williams: It depends on two things. It depends on the rhythm, the rhythm of the body itself, and the story. If the story relates in someway to you … that’s how you know you got a great piece of material. If it doesn’t relate to you, then you have a good piece of pie dunk (laughs).

HPR: You have many wonderful, thoughtful, poignant and bold song titles. Do you come up with the song titles before you write the songs?

AW: Absolutely. I have to see something that relates to what the story would be about. And then I write around that.

HPR: “Blame it on Obama,” is that song meant to sort of target people who blame the president or the government for all their problems?

AW: That’s a good question. It’s not blaming either party … We are in a situation and we got to find somebody to blame it on, and the perfect person to blame it on would be Obama (laughs). You can’t blame it on your wife, you can’t blame it on you children, so you have to blame it on somebody. So the next person would be Obama. (laughs) Who’s ever in the office, you know, that’s the highest power.

HPR: Throughout all your years as musician, songwriter and performer, have you found there is a difference between what the crowd loves about your music and what you love about your music?

AW: I have to find out what’s going on in that area. Some of songs don’t fit in certain areas. Some song songs fit perfectly in certain areas. So I have to do a little research before I get there on what kind of material I would present at the particular time.

It’s not hard to please the Canadians … the Canadian people are a little more humble. You know, they’ll say, “well the band tried.” In America, they think, “Well whether they tried or not, it’s just no good” (laughs).

HPR: You recently did an album with the Canadian roots-rock group The Sadies? What inspired that matchup?

AW: I don’t know what put us together. It’s been an amazing experience, anytime I get a chance to play with those guys. They are like my little brothers. We have a very, very good relationship and a good concept of each other.

They’ve got such a variety of instruments that the American people don’t use. One of the brothers is using the fiddle, like a really country hillbilly fiddle, and the bass player plays upright. So their sound is different, their attitude is different. They have old instruments playing new songs.

HPR: How do you keep your mind so sharp at your age?

AW: I really don’t know. I amazed with myself everyday. I’m blessed with the people I’m surrounded with and the people that enjoy me. There’s just so many things that I enjoy.

IF YOU GO:

WHAT: Andre Williams

WHERE: The Aquarium, 226 Broadway

WHEN: Sat, Aug. 24, 9 p.m. doors, 9:30 show

HOW MUCH: $10, Orange Records & www.ticketweb.com

INFO: 21+

RECENTLY IN

Music

Recently in:

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Savanna’s Act passed unanimously in the U.S. Senate on Friday and will move to the U.S. House of Representatives.The bill, S. 1942, is named for Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind, a member of the Turtle Mountain Band…

Culture

Drink n’ Destroy

by Logan Macrae

Pixeled is every 1980’s nerd’s wet dream. This is the kind of place that you sat in your parent’s basement and dreamt about. Contemplating what college might look like, and through your braced teeth, you took a wheezy breath,…

Saturday, December 15th, 3-6pmJunkyard Brewing Company, 1416 1st Ave N, MoorheadCome bare the elements with us for a good cause. Bring your spare winter gear to be donated to Churches United for the Homeless. Coats, gloves, boots,…

by Josh Boscheejoshua.boschee@yahoo.comphoto courtesy of Mitch MarrEight words that perfectly describe the beautiful spirit of Kim Winnegge."I have given my whole life to words."Those of us who knew her remember these words as a…

Gadfly

Affluenza

by Ed Raymond

What happens if conspicuous consumption becomes global?The latest National Geographic has an editorial “The Global Peril of Inequality” by UCLA Professor Jared Diamond which the entire world should read. The author of many…

FARGO - A collection of memories from High Plains Reader's annual Cocktail Showdown. Participants were judged on creativity, flavor, and presentation; and this year we added a new category. Like years before, each establishment was…

by Ben Myhrebenmyhre35@gmail.comUs North Dakotans love our Knoephla soup. I am no exception. I have fond childhood memories of sitting in my grandmother’s kitchen making this dumpling soup. From then until today, my taste buds go…

Music

Snow and Flurry

by HPR Contributor

by Jacques Harvieux jacquesthejock@gmail.comMosh pit etiquette 101: The mosh pit is located front and center of the stage.Create a sizeable ring.When the music starts unleash mayhem. If you fall - get up immediately.If somebody…

“The Diary of a Teenage Girl” director Marielle Heller beautifully translates another personal autobiography to excellent results. “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” is based on the confessional 2008 memoir of literary forger Lee…

SEBEKA, Minnesota – Nearly a century ago the nation was racked by inclement weather, soaring unemployment, and despair following World War I and the lucrative Roaring 20s. The 1930s were an era of dust storms and lunch lines,…

by Ryan Jankeryan.janke78@gmail.comFargo-Moorhead Community Theatre presents “A Christmas Story: The Musical” which is underway at the Stage at Island Park and will run through December 22. It has been promoted as a show both…

Those who have been reading my articles for a while may remember when I interviewed Zachary Tooker about the Level Two Comedy Club at the Radisson in Fargo. While the club may have unfortunately closed, Tooker has not ceased…

by Gabrielle Herschgabbyhersch@gmail.comphotography by Logan MacraeEver wish you could go to your favorite brewery without leaving your house? Finally, you can (sort of). Kilstone Brewing is now doing limited can releases of some…

I’m a big man, I’m tall and powerful, but this also causes some issues in the body department. I suffer from acute scoliosis in my lower back, and pain radiates from this area on a daily basis. I have only ever had one massage…

by Devin Joubertdevinlillianjoubert@gmail.comIt’s that beautiful time of the year that’s filled with seasonal decorations, sparkly lights, warm family gatherings, and delicious feasts. I love everything about this time of the…

“(Søren) Kierkegaard…has opened our eyes to the shallowness of much of our pseudo-Christian life, and to the outright deception in politics which Christianity has been made to serve.” - William Hubben“The people starve…