"Over the course of 20 years, 14 albums, and thousands of concerts, the self-described troubadour has been presenting his emotionally austere songs in courageously intimate solo settings. His latest offering, GUITAR PLAYER (Solid Air Records), is his first completely instrumental solo-guitar record, and it demonstrates stylistically rich , harmonically sophisticated, and breathtakingly beautiful fingerstyle artistry."
- Vincent DeMasi, Guitar Player magazine
"Long-time fans of Brooks Williams have all known of his guitar chops as he weaves his memorable melodies over solid playing. Like David Wilcox, Williams is a great storyteller who adds depth and power to his tunes by layering intricate guitar lines all through his work. Now, he's treated us all to a solo acoustic guitar recording, "Guitar Player." It showcases why his music is remembered for more than just a catchy phrase. Williams lays down some grooves on the opening "Bakerloo" and "Working Dog," showing off some good thunbpicking a la Merle Travis and Chet Atkins. He chooses to flatpick several songs, like the bouncy "Happy Chappy," and he shows that whether it's fingers or pick, Williams can find a melody. While giving us the J.S. Bach standard "Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring," Williams gives it his own flavor, letting it roll more with an alternating baseline and strummed sections countering He adds three nice nylon string pieces - "Jaguar" slinks along in Latin rhythm, "Triangular Situations," which is a great waltz, and a version of "In Christ There is No East or West" which channels early Leo Kottke, but sounding a bit more classical. My favorite piece is "All That is Gold," which seems to find that bittersweet melody line over some dark chords voicings. To close out the CD, Williams again adds his own spice to the traditional "I Bid You Goodnight" with a funky turn of varied tempos. In all, it's a great guitar CD, full of memorable melodies which have been Williams' hallmark. I hope he'll do this solo guitar thing again sometime!"
- Kirk Albrecht, minor 7th
"There are capable guitarists in a given style. Then there are players that can adapt to various styles. But there are precious few that are highly capable guitarists who can comfortably and believably span multiple genres.
Brooks Williams is one of these. Effortlessly wandering through country style, ragtime, classical and Spanish influenced pieces Williams' original compositions are bright, instantly likeable and display a proficiency of playing all too rare today. Listen closely, and there you'll find traces of skiffle and flamenco too. A particular highlight of the album is Williams' arrangement of Bach's 'Jesu, Joy Of Man's Desiring' - in 6/8 time no less!
Guitar Player gives abundant evidence of a skilled craftsman at work, both in terms of a composer and as a player; in fact he was recently understandably hailed as one of "America's musical treasures". If either beautiful soundscapes or flawless fingerpicking/chordal melodies are your bag, add Guitar Player to your CD collection now.
- Steve Harley, Acoustic Magazine U.K