1. Birth of the True (3:23)
2. Forget About Him (4:50)
3. Singing in the Dark (3:55)
4. Half the Grace (4:34)
5. May You Never (3:44)
6. Yellow Hummingbird (2:40)
7. Unexpected Rose (3:42)
8. Great Big Sea (3:28)
9. Mother Earth (2:20)
10. She Loves Me (When I Try) (2:51)
"The music pours like honey on Brooks Williams' delicious new set, "Nectar" (Signature Sounds), blessed with his soulful singing, super guitar picking and a set of yummy numbers any singer/songwriter would kill to claim. Check out "Forget About Him", "Unexpected Rose" and "Mother Earth", though all are winners. A" -
-Philadelphia Daily News, 11 Feb 2003.
"Brooks Williams' formidable fretwork has become legendary among acoustic guitar aficionados. But on 'Nectar', the folk and blues artist has made a wise decision: He doesn't show off. Instead, he plays only what the songs require."
- The Tampa Tribune, 2003
"Brooks Williams follows the shimmering folk blues of 2001s Skiffle Bop with a richer-sounding, tightly constructed, often pop-inflected set that includes several intriguing covers. Williams kicks off with 80s Scottish popsters Aztec Cameras Birth Of The True. Later he reprises John Martyns classic May You Never, blues singer and pianist Memphis Slims Mother Earth, and Scottish folk artist Dougie Mac-Leans She Loves Me (When I Try). All are reinterpreted in Williams sensitive, thoughtful country-blues-folk style, which now also melds in pop and even jazz. Nectar evenly weighs Williams soulful singing against his tender but adept finger-style acoustic guitar work, with a full-band lineup that includes producer Phil Madeira on keyboards and guitar (plus some notably gorgeous, subtle lap steel tones on May You Never) and Sixpence None The Richers Chris Donohue on bass. Williams lays down some hazy, jazzy electric rhythm guitar licks as well. Deeply soulful and softy melodic rhythms lilt and roll, emanating equal parts glory and resignation. For all the hauteur endemic in Williams dusky sweet voice and accomplished musicianship, not to mention his altruistic songwriting, Nectar remains a simple, earthy testament to the everyday that doesn't blur reality. It seems that for Williams, existence, and how you treat it, is grand enough."
- No Depression
"Brooks Williams is a familiar face with a solid reputation in our region for his rootsy, virtuosic guitar style and his literate-bordering-on-mystical original songs. But the Pioneer Valley-based singer-songwriter just might blow his reputation as a sensitive singer-songwriter with his brand new CD, Nectar (Signature Sounds). And it’s about time he did.
Released earlier this week, Nectar is likely to introduce Williams to new and larger audiences, and deservedly so. By slightly tweaking the settings of his songs -- the album was recorded in Nashville -- and taking advantage of a wider musical palette that incorporates influences from soul, r&b and the Beatles – yet with no sacrifice to the purity or intimacy of Williams’s previous efforts -- Williams reveals himself to be the Pioneer Valley’s answer to Mark Knopfler.
Like the Dire Straits frontman, Williams – who celebrates the release of his new CD at the Iron Horse in Northampton tomorrow night -- is a cinematic songwriter who builds his unique brand of original folk out of a fusion of roots music – blues, country, Celtic – mixing it with Beatlesque melodies and rock ‘n’ roll rhythms. Producer Phil Madeira colors the tracks on Nectar with evocative keyboards, and a solid rhythm section keeps the tunes chugging along.
Backup vocalist Rollyn Zoubek plays Tammi Terrell to Williams’s Marvin Gaye on his soulful “Half the Grace” and a few other numbers, including a rousing version of Aztec Camera’s “Birth of the True.” But Williams’s voice and guitar are always front and center, the former sounding like a smooth cross between Jakob Dylan and Tom Petty, the latter getting workouts on John Martyn’s “May You Never” and Memphis Slim’s “Mother Earth.”"
- Seth Rogovoy, The Berkshire Eagle
"The music pours like honey on Brooks Williams' delicious new set Nectar (Signature Sounds), blessed with his soulful singing, super guitar picking and a set of yummy numbers any singer/songwriter would kill to claim."
- Knight Ridder Newspapers
"After 12 albums and 15 years as one of the folk circuits most popular headliners, Brooks Williams sounds like he's having more fun than ever. Always a superb guitarist, his new Signature Sounds CD "Nectar" (in stores Feb. 11) bubbles with sleek folk-pop hooks and gliding, elegant melodies. His lyrics are unafraid to look into life's dark corners, and find redemption in self-knowledge, community, and the joys of lasting love."
- Scott Alarik, The Boston Globe