A History of Mississippi and Georgia Blues

A History of Mississippi and Georgia Blues 5MBS review Michael Prescott


Another Cal Williams look at the blues, his very personal approach brings the blues alive.

This performance of 2 sets went in reverse, Georgia blues opened with an impassioned speech espousing William’s love of the blues, although the jab at jazz is old and a bit overblown. Supported by Kory Horwood on double-bass and vocals and Mary Trees on percussion, vocals and guitar, the trio evoke the spirit and power of the blues. Whilst it is not expected (or desired) to be a complete recreation of the original versions, Williams tends at times to play too much thus dimming the light on the songs themselves, with too much emphasis on solos.

That aside his passion is unmissable and this carries over to the music with salutes including Sonny Terry and Brownie McGee, Kokomo Arnold and Ma Rainey, featuring an excellent vocal from Mary Trees.

The second half was dedicated to Mississippi Blues, opening with the iconic “Statesboro Blues” from Blind Willie McTell. Tributes followed to blues greats including Charlie Patton, J B Lenoir and Son House, interspersed with informative patter from Williams not only relating to the music and its background, but also the guitars, a vital part of most blues performances.

There is no doubting William’s commitment, knowledge and skill in bringing the blues to life. The gathered lapped up everything on offer. Thoroughly enjoyable.

Michael Prescott

27 February

The Wheatsheaf Hotel Tin Shed

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