We are happy and proud to announce that the wonderful Sharrie Williams has received the 2012 L'Academie du Jazz - Award in Paris for her brand new album "Out of the Dark"! In addition, she's nominated for the Blues Music Awards (formerly known as W:C: Handy Awards) in two categories!
"Sharrie Williams performances at the 2003 Pocono Blues Festival was incredible. She was at the top of my highlight list for this 3 day-3 stage National Blues Festival. Sharrie and her solid band, The Wiseguy's, were so well received that most of the customers came back several hours later for her second standing room only set."
- Michael Cloeren. Director of Pocono Blues Festival (Pennsylvania, U.S.)
Mrs. Sharrie Williams Is the Voice! A galactic vocal force to be reckoned with, a ragging flame of fire that has been sprayed with gasoline, she has a message burning within her soul. Sharrie has a powerful voice, with a range that can reach and rattle the castle tower one minute, while soothing the soul of a crying child the next, she possess an unaffected nature, which gives her grace and a sensibility that pays homage to the great female artist of rock and blues without ever being imitative, in short, Sharrie Williams is the real deal, a true original. She brings you in, by singing her insides out, hearing her is a pure delight, but seeing her perform will make you a believer. Williams has a warm and radiant stage presence, that takes hold of you and capture your imagination and captivate your senses, the sound of her voice is compelling, it promises redemption. With every note She makes you cry, laugh and dance, she can even wake up the dead, I guess one would call her the voice of an emotional cocktail.
Raised in the projects but deeply rooted in gospel , Sharrie began singing at the age of twelve with the Greater Williams Temple church choir, recording and touring, under the direction of Hubert J. Williams, she performed with Dr. Mattie Moss Clark, Shirley Caesar, The Winans, and James Cleveland. Marion McKinnie challenged this young artist with extensive vocal training in jazz, gospel, concert music and drama, she was able to combined her singing with acting. Touring with Snap productions in a hit play, I Need A Man.
Sharrie sings the blues because she lived the blues, mental, physical and drug abuse, poverty stricken, most would say what?s the use. Homeless, battered, and even beat death, as a Motherless child, the blues is what Sharrie knows best. By Gods grace she made it out alive and on the rise. Tina Turner, Etta James, KoKo Taylor and Billie Holiday help form her unique style, she has an awesome energetic band in tow, The Wiseguys, they hit you hard and they won?t let you go!
Williams has given great and unforgettable performances in blues festivals, and clubs, such as Poconos Festival, Blues Bash of SC, Buddy Guys Legends, Utrecht, Peer and several festivals in Europe. She has appeared with Dizzy Gillespie, Buddy Guy, Larry McCray, KoKo Taylor, Bobby Blue Bland, Joanna Conner, Delbert McClinton, Debra Coleman, Shemika Copland, Charlie Musselwhite, Taj Mahal, Honeyboy Edward?s, Solomon Burke, and Lazy Lester.
Two CD?s released, Real Woman, and Live at Wiseguys. New CD pending with Crosscut Records soon to be released April 2004. Sharrie?s talent and passion for he music has placed her in great demands in America as well as Europe, touring Germany, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Holland, Sweden, Luxembourg, Africa, Spain, Portugal, Italy. Major publications in the US, Chevrolet featured her as artist of the month in Jet, Ebony, Black Enterprise, Essence and Emerge with an open face spread, famous photo by Grammy award winning photographer, Tom Bert, also advertisement in Big City Blues and Living Blues . European magazines, France magazine Blues Feeling featured Sharrie on the front cover Juke Blues, Soul Bag, Block, IL Blues, German Blues News, Rollin & Tumballin, major European television. Ms. Williams emerges with a fresh sting, a queen bee, that humbles herself in the spotlight shadows as the Princess of The Rockin Gospel Blues.
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This year's Riverside Festival was an outstanding success. Musically, the
highlights for me personally, as the programmer of the festival, were the
Keith Waithe and Abdelkader Saadoun collaboration, the outstanding Ska
Cubana with their awesome fusion of Cuban music with Jamaican ska and the
funky, gospel-tinged blues of Sharrie Williams & the Wise Guys.
Sharrie and her American band gave an emotionally charged, high energy set
of funky blues which got the ecstatic, packed audience dancing away from the
first number. Sharrie's personality shone through and with such a tight
band behind her, she had the audience eating out of her hand - no mean feat
for an artist unknown to the vast majority of those present. As they say -
'Class wins out'.
Sharrie put her full, emotional self into this performance, literally crying
with joy when she left the stage to rapturous applause. She is one blues
diva! Watch out for Sharrie Williams & the Wise Guys in forthcoming Blues
in the City seasons in 2006. She and her band are dynamite!
Paul Morgan - Riverside Festival, Nottingham.
Pool cues hung in midair as players stopped their games to check the onstage action at Buddy Guy's Legends.At the far side of the Chicago blues club, a surge of folks - some fans, some tourist, some simply curious about the sounds escaping each time the heavy glass doors swung open - found themselves packed like sardines in a standing room-only crowd.And in the middle of it all, sitting around a handful of tables, was a busload of Saginaw folks, including yours truly.Buddy Guy's served up more than ribs and spicy greens Set. 13, also on the night's menu was Sharrie Williams and her new band.OK, we know this woman is great. We know Matt Besey and James Owens are some of the best guitar players around, and that Sharrie and James have a chemistry that literally explodes when they share a stage.Keyboardist Mike Brush is the veteran of the bunch; even Buddy Guy's is old hat, a familiar haunt of his days with Larry McCray.As for bassist , Will Jackson, drummer Mark Bryant and backup singer Liz Everett, well, who can imagine what they experienced this night?But the beauty of the trip from where I sat was finding out Chicago's legendary Wabash Avenue felt the same way. The crowd screamed for "More! More! More!" So did the club securing Sharrie to a future date.Only Buddy Guy himself and B.B. King ever got this kind of response, the folks there told Sharrie it's a place where the walls hold memorabilia from greats like Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck and Koko Taylor.She should have felt on top of the world, but she didn't and that brought another realization, of what can happen when the stakes get high.
Sharrie called a few days after we got back, asking what I thought of her performance. That's not unusual; the guys from Verve Pipe did the same thing the other night, trying to pull reactions from me as I tried to draw out theirs. She wanted to know the particulars of the crowd - "When I'm up there, I focus on the music," she explained. "I'm not looking anywhere else."Except this night, she added she did watch the face of someone in her company who wasn't pleased with the night's performance.Completely ignorant of the power play taking place, I thought the bands casually elegant suit jackets were a classy accompaniment to Sharrie's firecracker red dress.Sharrie's self-penned "If I Could Fly Away" was a highlight of her set and when she announced, "I'm Sharrie Williams and these are the Wise Guys and we're here from Saginaw, Michigan," it sent a swell of pride through the 40 or so who made the trip down to cheer them on.It was contrary to everything the naysayers had ordered, but who is going to argue with success? Not Sharrie, for one!"I know we're going to succeed. We have faith, we have dreams and we have vision," she said.And after this trip, my vision is a little clearer, too.
From BUDDY GUY's "LEGEND" in CHICAGO by Sue White