This Thursday. . .

We’re going to get a visit from legendary Alabama guitarist Davey Williams

Among other things that made up his past, Williams was trained by legendary blues performer, Johnny Shines. After Dinah Washington, Shines is probably the most important musician from Tuscaloosa. . .

Williams largely left traditional blues behind and became more and more engaged with the Punk and improvisational music scene.

Needless to say, improvisational music leaves some folks cold [every music leaves somebody cold] and can take some set-up to make sense of . . . In general, we’re thinking about a music that is not attached to traditional form or structure. . . which is not to say lacking any structure at all. It just responds or moves from different prompts than usual.

Here’s a nice little essay by drummer Gerry Hemingway that might help you think about how this music works:

The Art of Listening

And here’s Davey in improvisational mode. . . followed by a poster for an event Thursday evening:


About jchall1960

I'm the instructor for FA 200, Introduction to the Arts at the University of Alabama
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16 Responses to This Thursday. . .

  1. I am so excited to listen to him in class on Thursday. It sounds very interesting!

  2. wnichols1993 says:

    I can not wait!!! –Walton Nichols

  3. fa200fall2011sec2karliboulware says:

    I am so excited to hear him! I love the guitar, it’s one of my favorite instruments.

  4. I loved hearing him play for us in class last week!! The sounds were so cool.

  5. mkrassick says:

    My favorite part was when he played the guitar with the toothbrush! So creative!

  6. wnichols1993 says:

    He was so interesting and really funny!! He was such a talented musician and he can definitely play guitar!!! He is so creative!!

  7. This performance was interesting to me. I thought it was so funny how nervous he was but he and the saxophonist were very talented and I enjoyed the toothbrush. =]

  8. I know this post is a little late, but better late than never I suppose! I had to say I wasn’t hip to the idea of his playing at first, but after a little bit I warmed up to it. I correlated to my love of techno, trance, and dubstep, which anyone will tell you is definitely a required taste. I had hoped to see more of a recurring theme throughout his improvisation like a refrain or melody, but I guess that is what improv is all about, starting from scratch and seeing where it takes you instead of going back to what you already know is good. I wish we could have had more musical experiences like this one in class, but I guess if we heard from him any more, the music might lose its appeal.

  9. elgernert says:

    I really enjoyed his performance in class. i thought it was very neat and a cool experience. i also thought he was very taleneted. one thing i thought was cool was when he played his guitar with a toothbrush! i had never seen anyone do that before! i would love to see him play again sometime.

  10. Needless to say, this was the most interesting class I had yet to experience. Although I don’t see myself going to one of his concerts, I thought he was extremely talented! The toothbrush was awesome!!

  11. mbrandjes says:

    I will honestly say that I was impressed by his work. I wasn’t too keen on the idea of his type of guitar playing, I like songs that I can sing and tap my toes along to. But when he came to class and played for us I was amazed. I mean at one point, he was using a toothbrush to play the guitar. And he also had a wisk and other common household items that he could’ve used to play his guitar with as well. It was extremely unconventional and I loved it! Next time he plays in Tuscaloosa, I will go to his show and gladly listen! I loved his performance and the sound of it.

  12. cgadrian says:

    I am really fascinated with the concept of improvisation in music – this is such a strange idea, because we are usually taught that there is a certain was to play songs (which normally includes a sheet of music and practice). This was a really interesting performance, and I definitely recommend that they come back to play for upcoming classes if possible.

  13. I absolutely enjoyed seeing him play real music with his guitar! I myself enjoy going to music festivals and my favorite thing to so ever is listen to music and see it being played! I would definitely love to see him play again! They should come and play again in your future classes

  14. nroberts25 says:

    I really enjoyed getting to see him play in our class. It was a very entertaining class and I thought it was really cool that instead of going to see an art event or music festival, it got to come to us. He was very talented, and the most interesting and unique part of all of it was when he played his guitar with a toothbrush. I can’t say I have seen that before so that was a new experience for me, he is extremely creative. I definitely recommend him to come back to future fine arts classes and play for more students.

  15. kaylaann393 says:

    I think this was probably my favorite class of the semester because you could tell that he really expressed himself through his music. When he was just speaking and trying to make conversation with us he got so uncomfortable, but as soon as someone brought up his music or he started playing, he lit up! He made me really wish I was that musically talented.

  16. bwrhinehart says:

    Me being a guitar player myself, I have to say that I was impressed. I have no idea how he learned to play that style. It didn’t seem to be in any particular key for a set amount of time. He conversed with an instrument that guitarists generally don’t play along with, and acted as though it was the most natural event in the world. Great class!!!

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