Reverend K.M. Williams
When I Rise (Dialtone)
Reviewed by Jay Trachtenberg, Fri., Dec. 24, 2010
Reverend K.M. WilliamsWhen I Rise (Dialtone)
Gospel and the blues have long had a contextually fractious but musically compatible relationship. That truism is personified by the Rev. Kelvin Mark Williams, whose message rises up from the pulpit of his Dallas/Fort Worth Holiness Church ministry yet comes delivered in the raw, primal, intense blues historically found in the Mississippi Delta and rural Texas. Playing a homemade single-string cigar-box guitar, often with a slide, he channels the musical spirit and styles of John Lee Hooker, Elmore James, Bo Diddley, and Texan Lightnin' Hopkins. When I Rise is a low-down blues album and a damn good one at that. The fact that most of the songs, including "The Lord Will Work It Out Somehow," "Something Took Control of Me," and the riveting title track, reflect the raucous sounds associated with a Saturday-night juke joint all but belie sentiments associated with a solemn Sunday morning. Kudos to Eddie Stout of Austin's Dialtone Records, a man who knows the real deal when he hears it.