Henry Lee Williams

b. May 21th, 1938 in Lexington (Mississippi)

d. November 25th, 2011 in Chicago (Illinois)

I'VE GOT SO MUCH TO GIVE

?

1961 - 1997

CHICAGO BLUES AND DEEP SOUL LEGEND

Famous Groove

1962 - 1987

Né dans le Delta du Mississippi, il s'installe à Detroit en 1954 puis à Chicago deux ans plus tard. Lee chante aux côtés de Magic Sam, Little Milton, Earl Hooker ou de son cousin "Little" Smokey Smothers. Il enregistre ses premiers titres pour Foxy (le très blues "I'm trying") mais surtout chez Federal sous la supervision du producteur Sonny Thompson avec les excellents "I'm tore up", "Don't misuse your love" (deux titres avec la guitare de Bobby King), "You're welcome to the club", "When you move you lose". Puis, il passe chez Palos ("The millionaire" produit par Mel Brown), Gamma ("Tighten up your game" en duo avec Joshie Amstead), Dynamite ("Impeach me baby", un duo avec sa soeur Arlene Brown), PM sous la supervision de "Little" Mack Simmons, Jewel, Shama sous la supervision de Syl Johnson avec "I like your style", un de ses titres emblématiques. Au début des années 80, il crée son propre label Tchula et enregistre une poignée de titres sympathiques comme "You got to try me", "Times are tough". Au creux de la vague, Lee édite une cassette pour 4Way dans laquelle il propose une nouvelle version de "I like your style" mais aussi "Make me holler". Une première oeuvre conséquente entre Blues et Soul Sudiste éditée par deux fois sur des labels confidentiels (Famous Groove est un label français) qui mériterait d'être redécouverte et mieux distribuée aujourd'hui (notamment les périodes Foxy-Federal-Palos).

Born in the Mississippi Delta, he moved to Detroit in 1954 and then to Chicago two years later. Lee sings alongside Magic Sam, Little Milton, Earl Hooker or his cousin "Little" Smokey Smothers. He recorded his first titles for Foxy (the very blues "I'm trying") but especially at Federal under the supervision of producer Sonny Thompson with the excellent "I'm tore up", "Don't misuse your love" (two tracks with Bobby King's guitar), "You're welcome to the club", "When you move you lose". Then, he went to Palos ("The millionaire" produced by Mel Brown), Gamma ("Tighten up your game" in duet with Joshie Amstead), Dynamite ("Impeach me baby", a duet with his sister Arlene Brown), PM under the supervision of "Little" Mack Simmons, Jewel, Shama under the supervision of Syl Johnson with "I like your style", one of his emblematic titles. In the early 80's, he created his own label Tchula and recorded a handful of nice titles such as "You got to try me", "Times are tough". At the bottom of the wave, Lee issues a cassette for 4Way in which he offers a new version of "I like your style" but also "Make me holler". A substantial first work between Blues and Southern Soul issued by two times on confidential labels (Famous Groove is a french label) which deserves to be rediscovered and better distributed today (notably Foxy-Federal-Palos periods).

COUNTRY DISCO

Roots

1977 ?

Avec son improbable pochette de couverture, cet album fut enregistré pour le label Roots (appartenant à TK dirigé par Henry Stone) sous la supervision du producteur Gene Barge. Lee "Shot" Williams chante sur un mix de Soul et de Country plutôt original mais pas totalement convaincant. Un programme inégal duquel on peut ressortir la chanson-titre "Country disco", "You can't hurry love", "The love you saved", "Me and my woman" et une reprise de "We're gonna make it".

With its improbable sleeve cover art, this album was recorded for the Roots label (belonging to TK directed by Henry Stone) under the supervision of producer Gene Barge. Lee "Shot" Williams sings on a mix of Soul and Country rather original but not totally convincing. An uneven program from which we can highlight the title track "Country disco", "You can't hurry love", "The love you saved", "Me and my woman" and a cover of "We're gonna make it".

SHOT OF RHYTHM AND BLUES

Soul Trax

1992

BOSSMAN

Black Magic

1993

Dans cet excellent disque de son cousin "Little" Smokey Smothers produit par Dick Shurman, Lee chante sur 4 très bons morceaux : "This town's too small", "Hello baby", "Don't misuse my love", "43rd Street blues". Cette participation attira à nouveau l'attention sur lui et permit de relancer efficacement sa carrière.

In this excellent album by his cousin "Little" Smokey Smothers, produced by Dick Shurman, Lee sings on 4 very good tracks : "This town's too small", "Hello baby", "Don't misuse my love", "43rd Street blues". This participation again drew attention to him and made it possible to effectively relaunch his career.

COLD SHOT SINGS BIG TIME BLUES

Black Magic

December 1994

Suite au succès de "Bossman" de son cousin "Little" Smokey Smothers auquel il participe, le label Black Magic lui propose, peu après, d'enregistrer un nouvel album avec la production experte de Dick Shurman. Lee se montre toujours un superbe chanteur. Ici, il est, de plus, superbement accompagné par la pair de guitaristes "Little" Smokey Smothers et James Wheeler et la section rythmique Johnny B. Gayden et Ray "Killer" Allison. Il y a de nombreux sommets dans ce remarquable album comme "If it wasn't for bad luck", "Love is a cold shot", "I feel an urge coming on", "Who is he what is he to you", "I'm tore up". Le disque connaitra un bon succès et permettra à Lee de partir en tournée en Europe.

Following the success of "Bossman" by his cousin "Little" Smokey Smothers in which he participated, the Black Magic label offered him, shortly after, to record a new album with the expert production of Dick Shurman. Lee is still a superb singer. Here, he is, moreover, superbly accompanied by the pair of guitarists "Little" Smokey Smothers and James Wheeler and the rhythm section Johnny B. Gayden and Ray "Killer" Allison. There are many peaks in this remarkable album like "If it wasn't for bad luck", "Love is a cold shot", "I feel an urge coming on", "Who is he what is he to you", "I'm tore up". The album will have a good success and will allow Lee to go on tour in Europe.

HOT SHOT

Ecko

1996

Repéré par John Ward, le patron d'Ecko, un label spécialisé dans la Soul Sudiste, Lee "Shot" Williams démarre une prolifique seconde carrière. Malgré des arrangement synthétiques lourds et envahissants, le programme reste assez plaisant et mérite l'écoute : "Make me holler", "Somebody took my girl and gone", Boogie down on the weekend", une nouvelle version de "I like your style".

Spotted by John Ward, the boss of Ecko, a label specializing in Southern Soul, Lee "Shot" Williams began a prolific second career. Despite heavy and intrusive synthetic arrangements, the program remains quite pleasant and deserves listening : "Make me holler", "Somebody took my girl and gone", Boogie down on the weekend", a new version of "I like your style".

SHE MADE A FREAK OUT OF ME

Ecko

2000

SOMEBODY'S AFTER MY FREAK

Ecko

2001

BEFORE THE HONEYMOON

Hot Spot

2002

LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL

Wilson

2002

GET DOWN TONIGHT

Ecko

2003

NIBBLE MAN

Ecko

2004

STARTS WITH A P

Ecko

2006

MEAT MAN

Ecko

2006

THE FIRST RULE OF CHEATING

CDS

2007

Après une décennie passée chez Ecko, Lee "Shot" Williams pose ses valises chez CDS, un label californien. Il est toujours un bon chanteur de Soul Sudiste mais des arrangements trop synthétiques et des boites à rythmes gâchent un peu le plaisir. Quelques titres honorables : "It don't take all night", "I hurt myself", "The first rule of cheating".

After a decade spent at Ecko, Lee "Shot" Williams is packing his bags at CDS, a californian label. He is still a good Southern Soul singer but too synthetic arrangements and drum machines spoil pleasure a bit. Some honorable titles : "It don't take all night", "I hurt myself", "The first rule of cheating".

SHOT FROM THE SOUL

CDS

2008

Second album pour CDS sous la houlette des producteurs Charlie Wilson (son ami) et Floyd Hamberlin Jr. Un programme inégal avec de bons moments comme "Country woman", "It's friday", "Sexy november", "Shaking your tree", "Catch you in the truth".

Second album for CDS under the leadership of producers Charlie Wilson (his friend) and Floyd Hamberlin Jr. An uneven program with good moments like "Country woman", "It's friday", "Sexy november", "Shaking your tree", "Catch you in the truth".

I'M THE MAN FOR THE JOB

CDS

2010

Troisième et dernier album pour le label californien CDS de Lee "Shot" Williams. Comme d'habitude, une track-list de Soul Sudiste plutôt sympathique même si elle est n'est pas spécialement originale. On peut retenir néanmoins la chanson titre "I'm the man for the job", une nouvelle version de "You're welcome to the club", "You can't hide from the blues", "Got a good woman".

Third and last album for the californian label CDS of Lee "Shot" Williams. As usual, a rather nice Southern Soul track-list even if it's not particularly original. We can nevertheless point out the title song "I'm the man for the job", a new version of "You're welcome to the club", "You can't hide from the blues", "Got a good woman".