“…Williams is a passionate and knowledgeable blues figure who deserves to be celebrated and cherished.” - Eric Thom, Penguin Eggs
CANADIAN BLUES AND ROOTS ARTIST TIM WILLIAMS
American born, long time Canadian blues and roots artist Tim Williams began his career in the coffee houses of Southern California as a teenager, coming to the notice of Epic Records for whom he recorded his first LP in 1968 (Blues Full Circle, featuring Pee Wee Crayton and George “Harmonica” Smith in the backing band, and produced by Chris Strachwitz). After two years of touring behind the disc and doing studio work Tim moved north to Canada, where he discovered both a lively folk music community and a flourishing studio scene. Doubling on dobro, banjo, mandolin, and harmonica he was soon a busy session musician with a full schedule of coffee house and college concert dates.
Having been inspired by the great country guitarists on shows like Town Hall Party (Merle Travis, Joe Maphis, and Larry Collins to name a few), the blues of Lightning Hopkins and T-Bone Walker, the Hawaiian music of folks like King Benny Navahi, and the Mexican music that was everywhere in Los Angeles at the time, Tim learned to slip easily from one style to another. Moving to Santa Barbara to put some distance between himself and the LA music scene, he gigged with country and folk musicians, mariachi ensembles and Hawaiian groups, thrown together for specific gigs…a roots music professional before the term was even coined.
Tim’s arrival in Vancouver in 1970 coincided with the passage of the Canadian Content regulations of the day, and recording studios were being built everywhere to satisfy the need. Also the coffee house scene in Gastown was in full flower, leading to plentiful work opportunities. Tim opened for folks like Taj Mahal, Albert Collins, Mose Allison, Lightning Hopking, and comic Steve Martin, gaining a steadily increasing following.
In 1974, after recording several country-folk singles for Vancouver labels, Tim left the city and the business for life as a horse wrangler and all-around ranch hand for several years, emerging long enough to record the LPs Writin’ This Song and It’s Enough To Be Remembered for the Dyna West label, and touring coast-to-coast in Canada.
His return to full-time performing began with his appearance at the 1988 Edmonton Folk Festival, where he wowed every audience he played to, won praise from folks like Jimmy Dale Gilmore, and was re-united with old pal Tom Russell. Since then it’s been a steady stream of tours, recordings, and interesting side projects. A producer/performer on four JUNO-nominated projects (Triple Threat, Little Miss Higgins, Ray Bonneville, and Williams, Wayne & Isaak) and perhaps forty others, plus over a dozen solo and side group cds, Tim remains an active session musician and occasional producer.