ANDRE WILLIAMS & THE SADIES team up for NXNE on June 15, midnight, at the Horseshoe. See listing. Rating: NNNN Andre Williams is a pivotal figure in R&B, garage, punk and sleaze rock, but between co-writing songs for Stevie Wonder, charting on Billboard and inspiring a generation of rockers from Jack White to the Dirtbombs, he also spent time mired in drugs and crime.
R&B/blues musician Andre Williams (born in 1936) has definitely been around. He’s worked with Berry Gordy and (Little) Stevie Wonder, for instance. But he’s also been through hard times—violent altercations, jail terms, drug addictions—a reservoir of living which he draws on in his latest effort, Night & Day. He’s teamed up once again with the psychedelic-country outfit the Sadies to deliver a collection of gritty, unapologetic songs of conflict and perseverance.
Toronto alt-country garage rockers the Sadies began sessions for Night & Day with legendary punk-blues wildman Andre Williams in 2008. At that time, Williams was in his seventies and dealing with a plethora of legal troubles as well as pretty heavy substance abuse issues. Eventually the sessions were put on hold while he worked through his legal problems and cleaned up.
Searching for wholesome, PC approved, feel good music to make your Sunday morning more relaxing? Better look elsewhere ‘cause the 70 year old Williams gruffly talking trash through these Sadies and Jon Spencer backed country, hillbilly, blues rock and psychedelic garage tracks won’t sit well with your easy listening brunch plans. However, if your Saturday night party is getting a little stale, this’ll heat things up. The lascivious Williams uses his weathered baritone to recite stories that seem at least partially ad-libbed, predominately about being black, old, poor — sometimes horny — in America.
Things weren't going well for Andre Williams back in 2008. After decades mired in substance abuse and repeated incarceration, the then-70-year-old R&B legend was close to rock bottom. None were feeling his pain more than the Sadies, who had helped bring Williams back into the public eye via their 1999 collaboration, Red Dirt. In the four years since Night and Day was recorded, Williams has, to a large extent, straightened himself out enough to enjoy his golden years.