Music > Hundred Year Shadow (1999)


"Brooks Williams new CD Hundred Year Shadow is one of the best yet from this appealing and creative singer-songwriter and guitarist, who has been recording since 1986. A combination of first-rate original material, strong both musically and lyrically, as well as arrangements which are always interesting and give unexpected textures to many of the songs, combine to make for fine listening that reveals something new each time you hear it. Williams is in excellent form both vocally and on his guitars. The backing musicians are likewise very tasteful and contribute much to the recording."
- George Graham at WVIA (Read Full Review)

"Somehow Brooks Williams continues to make great music riding that line between tasteful and raunchy. Gritty blues songs with sweet edges - sweet folk with signs of hope. Any way you look at it, Brooks' newest self-produced CD (and his first on Signature Sounds) is a gem. A batch of wonderful songs of his own mixed with brilliant interpretations of songs by such greats as Buddy & Julie Miller, Ted Hawkins, and those boys from over the pond, Lennon & McCartney. With each album, Brooks Williams gets better and better. He creates just a little more of what defines him and outdoes himself each time."
- Matthew Smith, FolkWeb


TOP ALBUMS AND SONGS OF 1999. Compiled by Richard Gillmann from FOLKDJ-L radio playlists Based on 118511 airplays. 

14: "Hundred Year Shadow," Brooks Williams 
"Darker Kind Of Blue" 
"Mockingbird Hill" 
"My Love Will Follow You"

Track by Track Commentary:

The Songs 
1. Darker Kind of Blue 
A funky hip-hop beat played on a deep snare supports the moody jazz chords I'm playing on my acoustic in this song about a person who suffers from depression. Inspired by riffs I first heard played by Jean Luc Ponty and Al Di Meola. 

2. My Love Will Follow You 
From Buddy Miller's CD, Your Love And Other Lies. I heard it not as a country song but as a soul song so my arrangement is more Motown than Nashville. 

3. House of Truth 
My spiritual manifesto. About the difficulty of pursuing Truth and staying true to that pursuit. 

4. Mockingbird Hill 
Simple folk chords and melody in a song about going home for the first time in a long time and letting go of past disagreements and conflicts. 

5. All the Ways You Wander 
I learned this song in a little pub along the Southern Coast of Ireland. I always thought it should have Hawaiian chords. The ukelele I'm playing is one my grandfather brought back from the South Pacific after WWII. It's the same one I've played since I was five years old. 

6. Willie Mae Browne 
Written on electric guitar around a fairly basic blues progression, I extended the chords and melody once I took it to my acoustic. A narrative about truth and lies. In the end, who do you believe? 

7. Kar-Kar 
Kar-Kar is the nickname for Mali guitarist Boubacar Traore (it means one who wears a black shirt). I wrote this tribute in a style I jokingly refer to as Cape Horn Surf Music. 

8. Monkey 
In Hindu iconography a man's mind is shown as a monkey jumping from tree to tree, following whatever whim catches his attention. I wrote the melody around cowboy chords after listening to Johnny Cash's CD Unchained. 

9. The Good and the Bad 
One of my favorite Ted Hawkins songs with hard words about aging and loving someone who's not good to you or for you. 

10. Songs My Brother Taught Me 
An "I-was-going-for-Hawaiian-and-ended-up-with-Mexican" tune. A tribute to the long instrumental jam sessions I used to have with my oldest brother when he move back home after being in Hawaii for ten years. 

11. I Will 
One of my favorite Lennon-McCartney songs arranged with Hendrix chords.