Sharrie Williams at the 2011 King Biscuit Blues Festival in Helena, Arkansas
Del Grace at Sacred Steel Summit at 2011 Folk Alliance in Memphis, TN
Heavenly Sight: A Vision Out of Blindness
Sharrie Williams kicks off this week’s program with an amazing, soulful set from the King Biscuit Fest in Helena, Arkansas. Then we head back to Memphis to hear the very last of our series of sets from the 2011 Sacred Steel Summit.
We continue our guest series, Heavenly Sight: A Vision Out of Blindness.
Sharrie has a powerful voice, with a range that can reach and rattle the castle tower one minute, while soothing the soul of a crying child the next, she possess an unaffected nature, which gives her grace and a sensibility that pays homage to the great female artist of rock and blues without ever being imitative, in short, Sharrie Williams is the real deal, a true original. She brings you in, by singing her insides out, hearing her is a pure delight, but seeing her perform will make you a believer. Williams has a warm and radiant stage presence, that takes hold of you and capture your imagination and captivate your senses, the sound of her voice is compelling, it promises redemption. Sharrie’s unique style of Rockin Gospel Blues is surrounded by strong and powerful arrangements that cuts right into your soul. Her smoky, sexy and imitable style always leaves her audience calling for one more song. Sharrie emerges with grace as a humble and rock solid professional, a talented songstress that stands on her own.
Raised in the projects but deeply rooted in gospel , Sharrie began singing at the age of twelve with the Greater Williams Temple C.O.G.I.C church choir, recording and touring, under the direction of Hubert J. Williams, she performed with Dr. Mattie Moss Clark, Shirley Caesar, The Winans, and James Cleveland. As a young artist, Dr. Marian McKinnie challenged Sharrie with extensive vocal training in jazz, gospel, concert music and drama, she was able to combine her singing with acting. Touring with Snap productions in a hit play, I Need A Man.
Sharrie sings the blues because she lived the blues, mental, physical and drug abuse, poverty stricken, most would say what’s the use. Homeless, battered, and even beat death, as a Motherless child, the blues is what Sharrie knows best. By Gods grace she made it out alive and on the rise. Tina Turner, Etta James, KoKo Taylor and Billie Holiday help form her unique style, she has a talented, energetic band in tow, The Wiseguys, they hit you hard and they won’t let you go!
Williams has given great and unforgettable performances in blues festivals, clubs, cathedrals such as Buddy Guys Legends, Kingston Mines, Terra Blues, Biscuit & Blues, Poconos Blues Festival, North Atlantic Blues Festival, Mount Tramblant Blues Festival, North Sea Jazz Festival, Utrecht, Peer and many other festivals in the USA as well as Europe. Over her years Sharrie has had the opportunity to collaborate with national recording artists such as Dizzy Gillespie, Buddy Guy, Larry Garner, KoKo Taylor, Holmes Brothers Bobby Blue Bland, Joanna Conner, Delbert McClinton, Jonny Taylor, Ruth Brown, Ike Turner, Charlie Musselwhite, Taj Mahal, Honeyboy Edward’s, Solomon Burke, Lucky Peterson, Robert Randolph, Ruthie Foster, Robin Rogers, Deitra Farr Shemika Copland, Betty Lavette, and Jeniva Magness.
Crosscute Records of Germany released two of Sharrie’s very first international CD’s in 2004 Hard Drivin’ Woman, 2007Live at Bay Carr Blues Festival in France, as well as a Live DVD. Sharrie’s talent and passion for her music has placed her in great demands in Europe as well as America. Touring Germany, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Holland, Sweden, Luxembourg, Africa, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Turkey, Russia, Dubai United Emirates, Canada and still counting.
America now knows what Europe has embraced for the last decade. In January of 2007, Michael Cloeren, Founder of Pocono’s Blues Festival, introduced Sharrie Williams to Andrew Galloway, President & Founder of Canadian based Blues label Electro-Fi Records. In that same year, Electrofi Records signed and released Sharrie’s very first North American CD, I’m Here To Stay, produced by Michael Cloeren. November 2012, Electrofi records released Sharrie’s new CD entitled, Out Of The Dark. Andrew Galloway, reports Sharrie Williams is extremely talented and at the forefront of a new generation of Women Blues Artists.
Chevrolet featured her as, artist of the month in Jet, Ebony, Black Enterprise, Essence and Emerge with an open face spread, famous photo by Grammy award winning photographer, Tom Bert. She has been featured in Big City Blues and Living Blues, Blues Revue. Sharrie has been on the front cover of British Blues and French magazine Blues Feeling. Sharrie has been featured in several European magazines, such as, Juke Blues, Soul Bag, Block, IL Blues, German Blues News, Rollin & Tumballin. MS. Williams has appeared on major European telavision, Sharrie was nominated in 2009 & 2012 Soul Blues Artist of the year, she was also nominated in 2008 as Traditional Blues Artist of the year, she is aalso 2012 recipient of L’Academie du Jazz Album of the year held in Paris France. Ms. Williams emerges with a fresh sting, a queen bee, that humbles herself in the spotlight shadows as the Princess of The Rockin Gospel Blues.
Copyright ©Sharrie Williams 2002-2010 All right reserved.
Just when the music industry thought all forms of Christian Roots Music had been identified, then emerges the sacred sounds of the African American Steel Guitar Tradition known today as “Sacred Steel”.
Many known African American music traditions have been embraced and woven into the fabric of American society. However, have you ever wondered how many unknown music traditions are yet hidden within the African American culture? Music that has never been exposed to the mainstream music industry? Well, let me introduce you to at least one, the “African American Steel Guitar Tradition of The Church of the Living God”.
This Pentecostal Holiness church was founded by Mother Mary Lewis Tate in 1903. The steel guitar music legacy has been a well guarded tradition by early church leaders who feared the music would be exploited by outside influences.
As a result, this tradition has eluded observation by the mainstream music industry for over sixty years. The church has developed and enjoyed this unique musical art form for many years within the church walls. The time has come to share this hidden treasure with the entire world. Please take time to learn of our wonderful history and meet the many pioneers that have helped pave the way.