My Turn Now

Brooks Williams

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"Brooks Williams, an expatriate Yank living in the U.K. has built a career as a journeyman musician for the better part of the last couple of decades, releasing consistently exceptional albums that have garnered him a steadily growing following both here and abroad. It’s little wonder then that a title like My Turn Now sums things up succinctly. While it’s an adept mixture of compatible traditional folk styles, Williams’ penchant for the blues takes precedence here, showing up specifically in such songs as his original album opener “Crazy Dance” and covers of two well hewn standards, “Hesitation Blues” and “Sitting On Top Of The World.” Nevertheless, Williams adds his usual zest to the mix, whether its the sprightly title track, the ready rhythm of “Darkness” or the sprightly “Nine Days’ Wonder.” An excellent guitarist, He uses these songs to bring those skills to the fore, and the addition of resonator guitar on the majority of the tracks lends just the right amount of rustic ambiance, as befitting songs of such vintage distinction. If nothing else, My Turn Now supports the notion that for all the repute he’s earned as a songwriter, he’s also a master musician with a particular pedigree. My Turn Now is not only an assertive musical statement, but a vivid declaration of inherent passion and purpose besides."
- Lee Zimmerman, No Depression

"Brooks's latest can't-put-a-finger wrong collection really rocks, stirring up soulful Americana, full-on blues and tasty rootsy grooves, with muscular, brilliantly tight rhythm-section support, on seven compelling new originals and four impeccably chosen covers. Very likely Brooks' best batch yet. "
- fRoots

"Statesboro bluesman Brooks Williams' twenty-first solo album plays like a live show, as if Williams, drummer/producer Chris Pepper and bassists Richard Gates and A. Murray Khan have set up in a pre-electric Louisiana dancehall to offer hard-working people welcome weekend respite. His 2001 album was Skiffle-Bop, and skiffle's rudimentary approach, expertly played, seems to underpin this sublime, no-nonsense rhythmic roots offering."
- David Innes, R2

"Over his impressive 28-year career to date, there seems to be no branch of roots music (or musical roots for that matter) that Brooks Williams hasn't explored. We could easily be forgiven for losing count, but to my reckoning he's released fifteen albums, a DVD, two EPs, a duo collaborations with Jim Henry, and two albums and an EP with Boo Hewerdine under the name of State Of The Union; so unless I've missed anything, My Turn Now has to be his 16th album collection. 

It brings together virtually all of the various branches under one convenient roof;indeed, it's billed as an album of contrasts. It was recorded both in England (where he now lives) and his native America, in the company of a magnificently tight rhythm team comprising Richard Gates (electric bass) and Chris Pepper (drums), the latter also being responsible for the album's production. Brooks has also managed to rope in Sally Barker for some backing vocal assistance on three tracks, and Keith Warmington drops in for harmonica duty on a further three numbers. The title song, one of seven originals on the album, is not as you might expect autobiographical, but instead a portrait of a motorcycle racer fed up with losing, set to a high-octane slide-fuelled blues. 

Other triumphs include the wry, distinctly Ry-Cooder-inspired funk-boogie Nine Days' Wonder, the episode-in-the-life tale of Evel Knievel (Year Began) and the lazy swampy resignation of Joker's Wild; Darkness is a revisit of the pounding voodoo-gospel number from the first State Of The Union release, and Rosalyn chronicles a doomed romance. The disc's four covers include Kris Kristofferson's laconic reflection Nobody Wins (a gorgeous duet with Sally), a full-speed-ahead take on Mose Allison's Your Mind Is On Vacation, and, to finish the disc off, a fresh (and spikily heavy-duty) new arrangement of the blues staple Sitting On Top Of The World. 

Throughout, it goes without saying that Brooks' own instrumental contributions are first-rate, wholly idiomatic anddeterminedly laid-back virtuosic - he's a true master of everything guitar, from acoustic to slide to electric to resonator, nylon-string to arch-top to cigar-box! Yeah, My Turn Now has probably gotta be Brooks' finest, tastiest collection to date - but I'llstill be goin' back to the other 15 albums to remind myself of his consummate artistry."
- David Kidman, FATEA

"All the songs are strong, but stand out tracks for me were Nine Days’ Wonder, Darkness and Joker’s Wild. There really is much to admire and enjoy in this fine collection of timeless songs, and if you’re a fan of Americana, and like even a hint of the blues, this is an album you’ll savour and keep coming back to."
- Down at the Crossroads (Read Full Review)

"Not only a really canny songwriter, Brooks also shows great taste with the couple of cover versions he includes; Mose Alison’s your Mind is On Vacation and Kristofferson’s sad and beautiful Nobody Wins; with both being completely different but suits his voice and delivery just perfectly."
- Rocking Magpie

"The opener "Crazy Dance" and the infectiously positive title track kick proceedings off in fun fashion with Williams' tongue set firmly in his cheek whilst the likes of the sage "Nine Days Wonder" and a version of Mose Allison's "Your Mind Is On Vacation" suggest that he and his band were simply having a great time in the recording studio. More contemplative numbers such as "Rosalyn" and "Year Began" (an ode to daredevil Evel Knievel of all things) showcase Williams' talent as an innately thoughtful songwriter as well as his ability to occasionally move out of blues territory whilst covers of blues standards such as "Hesitation Blues" and "Sitting On Top Of The World" add the icing to the cake to make this another hugely enjoyable release from Mr Williams."
- Cross Rhythms

"Another album from Brooks Williams is always worth taking time with, and ‘My Turn Now’ ranks among the finest with more high-grade blues-drenched Americana that defines Williams’ music. Recorded in England and my turn now brooks williamsAmerica, ‘My Turn Now’ offers the eager listener 11 songs - originals, covers and traditionals, that throughout their tales of failure, doomed love, lost opportunity, regret and reality make their mark with equal power. Their expression ranges through reflective contemplation, acerbic observation and biting counsel all delivered in Williams’ classic laconic vocals. 

The overall impression ‘My Turn Now’ leaves behind is of a man sitting at the top of his game and having fun making music."
- FolkWords