Meg Williams
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Meg Williams

Rochester, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2012

Rochester, New York, United States
Established on Jan, 2012
Solo Alternative Jazz

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Mar
31
Meg Williams @ Bobby's Idle Hour Tavern

Nashville, Tennessee, United States

Nashville, Tennessee, United States

Mar
30
Meg Williams @ Commodore Grille-Holiday Inn Nashville Vanderbilt

Nashville, Tennessee, United States

Nashville, Tennessee, United States

Feb
26
Meg Williams @ Wegmans

Geneseo, New York, United States

Geneseo, New York, United States

Music

Press


"Meg Williams Band"

Meg Williams is soft-spoken and sweet, perhaps even a bit shy. The Rochester-based singer/songwriter/guitarist laughs nervously when discussing her music — a bluesy jam with a casual twist of funk and soul — and her group, The Meg Williams Band. It's all captured on the band's excellent debut, "Troubles To The Wind." But the bashfulness is beguiling and perhaps a tad misleading, especially when she picks up her guitar, plugs in, and peels out. Beneath this sweet exterior lurks a rock 'n' roller. It was one guitar solo that lit the torch and sent the young lady down the road to six-string bliss.

"I guess what got me into electric guitar and sent me on the electric path was listening to David Gilmore's solo on Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb," the now 22-year-old Williams says. "It was like, 'I wanna play that.'"

It started of simple, really. When William was in her early teens, she picked up where her mother left off.

"My mom bought an acoustic guitar to learn how to play but she never did, so I picked up on that and knew right away; this is what I wanted to play."

When her first band, DMF (Dub My Fish), a quasi-reggae funk band ended, she banged around like a pinball doing solo acoustic gigs and lighting up open mic stages around Rochester for a spell, before putting together The Meg Williams Band. Everyone in the band — Sara Rogers on Trumpet; Jake Wark, saxophone; Adrien D' Angelo, bass; Matt Bevan-Perkins, drums; D'Jean Vasciannie, drums; and guest utility man Mike Brown, lap steel, mandolin, and tenor banjo — brings their own heat, but it's clear: this is Williams' show.

"I pretty much write everything on my own," she says. "Then show it to the band and we work on it together."

But she'll be the first to tell you; it ain't always an easy ride.

"Sometimes some of the things in my head don't work out as great as I hoped," Williams says with a laugh. "But then they [the band] come up with some things I never would have thought about and we work it out."

This working-it-out, work ethic has paid off with the band's debut eclectic, yet cohesive CD, "Troubles To The Wind." It's an easy going jam for the most part, but what grabs you is the soul burning and bristling just underneath. Soul that may not be apparent right away. Soul disguised in its own simplicity.

The opening track "Give Me None" is an easy-going romp with horns that urge "get down" while Williams' guitar gently weeps. You can hear the sun setting in "I Wanna Be With You." "Breakdown" let's the band get a little boisterous and stretch its funk legs, while "Lighthouse Lullaby" — featuring William a la carte on acoustic guitar — is beautiful and warm like a lullaby should be. Mike Brown's aerodynamic lap steel gives flight to the cut "Life Can Be So Complicated."

While Williams is off for the summer from her studies in Music Therapy at Nazareth, she and the band plan on tightening up and gearing up for a busy summer, hitting local and regional stages hard. The demand for the band is clearly on the rise despite its abbreviated time on earth. Its joy is infectious, undeniable, and admirable.

"They're some of my best friends," Williams says of her band. "So it's fun getting everybody together. I like where it's heading. We all work really well together." - Frank de Blase - CITY Newspaper


"Meg Williams - EP Release"

Meg Williams is a local Rochester singer-songwriter-guitarist who is releasing her newest EP, “For Now”, with her band, Meg Williams Band, in a show this Sunday (Oct. 11th 2015) at the Lovin’ Cup. Hailing originally from Hornell, NY, and is finishing her Bachelor of Music at Nazareth, took what is an ironically atypical path for the modern singer-song-writer guitarist.

Williams, 23, actually began taking formal guitar lessons in 6th grade.

“I’ve been playing guitar for thirteen-plus years,” Williams explains. “It’s a funny story. In 5th or 6th grade, my mom got a guitar, and I was like ‘I want to learn that!’ I feel bad that she never learned, but I did!”

She took lessons with Ken Marracek, at first, and continued formal lessons all throughout high school and college. Tearing through as music as she could, she discovered she had a taste for blues, rock, and jazz, and continued delving into those genres. But her singing and songwriting came later.

“I still consider myself a (primarily) guitarist,” Williams said.

That probably has something to do with the fact that she only began singing publically a couple years ago. She has sung since late in high school, saying, “in my junior or senior year of high school I started singing a bit.”

In addition to the blooming of her vocal talent, late in high school she began songwriting. Through her playing and listening, she began writing songs about her own life. She then shared these songs with her classmates, and received good feedback and “discovered [that I am] enjoying songwriting.” She saw it as a personal outlet and a way to express herself. At the beginning, she had so many ideas, short, small, musical, and lyrical that filled notebooks, scraps of paper, and Word documents. Williams says her singer-songwriting idols include Bonnie Raitt, Susan Tedeschi, Norah Jones, and the John Mayer Trio.

Despite her singer-songwriter prowess and influence, Williams says that she still thinks of the great blues guitarists and blues rock bands as her playing influence, specifically mentioning the late BB King and Pink Floyd. This influence strongly affected the eclectic sounds of her first album, “Troubles to the Wind”, released in May of 2014.

Like all the greats, Williams had a quick answer for what axes she plays.

“I play a Gibson Les Paul double cut away for my electric, and a Breedlove acoustic-electric.” Williams plays out in both acoustic and heavier settings, but cultivates a different sound for each.

“I suppose ‘earthy’ would be good a word to describe my acoustic sound,” Williams said. Elements of folk, jazz, and jazz pop permeate her acoustic sets, which she usually performs with her boyfriend and local first-call bassist, Eastman Danny Ziemann on upright. However, the sound of her full band, a five-piece group, is more of a “soulful rock,” and saying on her website that the band is “funk-rock at its core.”

The group consists of Williams and her friends. Ziemann is on electric bass, Matt Bevan-Perkins on drums, Sara Rogers on trumpet, and Wills McKenna on tenor sax… At least on the album.

“Wills is in Chicago and Matt is in Nashville,” Williams said. “I wanted to make sure we recorded the album and preserve that sound before they left. Rochester is a great city for music, and thankfully there a lot of people we call to fill in when the band plays.” Main recording for the album took place this past May.

Williams is also fresh off an appearance on 98.9’s Sunday Night Shakedown to promote the EP.

“It was so much fun,” Williams said. “Woody & Frank are great; [they’re ] so funny. Danny joined me on bass – we played a song live titled ‘Caught Up’ from the new EP.”

Williams is excited for the release concert, saying “it’s gonna be fun.” The show is at the Lovin’ Cup, Sunday October 11th, from 6pm-9pm. The lineup is Jon Lewis Band at 6pm, Meg Williams Band at 7pm, and Mighty High and Dry at 8pm.

The EP will be available physically at the concert and after, and digitally on iTunes, and Amazon. - Dan Gross


"For Now by Meg Williams Band"

In Meg Williams Band’s first release, For Now, Meg Williams, the self-labeled singer-songwriter-guitarist, melds her blues, rock, and jazz background with a pop/ funk/ R&B sound.

Meg Williams Band, on the recording anyway, consists of Williams and vocals on guitar, Danny Ziemann on bass, Matt Bevan-Perkins on drums, Sara Rogers on trumpet and vocals, and Wills McKenna on tenor sax. During the concert, since McKenna and Bevan-Perkins have moved to Nashville and Chicago respectively, Rogers was the lone horn, and Matt Ramerman, the man who recorded, mixed, and mastered the EP, played drums.

At the concert, MWB played all the songs from the five-track EP, as well as three others, some from her previous albums, and a cover of Bonnie Raitt’s “Love Me Like A Man.” Throughout the whole concert, the audience got the full picture of Meg Williams; a singer-songwriter who considers herself primarily a guitarist, who draws from the blues and rock to craft her music. Her vocal style in the concert was reminiscent of a funky Norah Jones, whom Williams says is a primary influence.

The EP sounds as Williams describes her band… “Funk rock” at its core. Sounds of pop and blues also permeate the album.

The title track, “For Now,” opens the EP, and sets the tone for the whole album. The horns begin with a catchy riff, moving into a pop sound vocal intro. Thematically, the lyrics, melody, and instrumentation creates the sound of personal independence. Immediately the listener is struck by the unusual and intriguing juxtaposition of Williams’ low and dark vocal timbre compared her lyrics of moving forward and positivity.

The next two songs, “Caught Up,” and “Where I Stand,” continue the lyrical trend of moving forward, change in mindset, and positivity.

“Caught Up” begins with a guitar intro by Williams, combining some bluesier voicings with funk settings and rhythms. The lyrics explore moving on in life with a positive mindset in context of a bad day. Moreover, “Caught Up” is unique, as Williams explores the malady of modern life; young people constantly swamped in bad news and negativity. In her own voice, she described this condition as the “blues,” perfectly combining her blues background and modern outlook. The horns also had a great part, combining for an interpretation of the melody before exchanging short solos, and moving into a unison riff.

“Where I Stand” continues Williams examination of moving on in life with a positivity, but approaches it in a different way. It almost sings like a pep talk; the narrator of the song discuss her self-confidence in the midst of remaking herself. It is complemented by the change in style as Rogers joins the fold as a vocalist. Williams and Rogers combine for unison, harmonized, and call-and-response vocal lines. When the two begin singing different lyrics a the end, the two represent the former life of the narrator, and the bolstered narrator moving forward.

The second to last tune, “Can’t Let It Go,” truly explores Williams’ blues background. The song opens with a great drum open from Bevan-Perkins, with Ziemann joining in. It serves as a moment to celebrate the great work between the two on the EP. The song explores the difficulty in a relationship between the feelings the couple have for one another and their disparate goals. The audience gets a treat as Williams returns to her roots, and shreds on a blues solo. The piece makes a cool transition with the horns from a gritty rock/ blues/ funk sound to the pop and R&B sound from earlier in the album. It ends with a blast with overlaid harmonized vocals from Williams and Rogers to create a full choral sound.

To end the EP, Williams encapsulates the theme of the moving forward and reinvention by adding a bonus track, “Troubles to the Wind,” the title track from her first album released in May 2014. The original track is a blues and earthier sound, and the new recording is in the style of MWB.

Williams and her band perfectly display her lyrical themes throughout the concert, providing a modern take on life with a sound that blends rock, blues, funk, and R&B.



EP is available in physical copies, iTunes, CDBaby, and Amazon. - Dan Gross, Music Journalist


Discography

Troubles to the Wind (2014)  - album
-Give Me None
-With Time 
-I Wanna Be With You
-Breakdown 
-Troubles to the Wind 
-I'm Still Standing Here 
-Lighthouse Lullaby 
-Life Can Be So Complicated 
-When the Rain Falls Down 
-Broken Chains 
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Summer Evenings (2014) - single
-Summer Evenings
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For Now (2015) - Meg Williams Band EP - released October 11, 2015
-For Now
-Caught Up
-Where I Stand
-Can't Let it Go
-Troubles to the Wind (bonus track)

Photos

Bio

Meg Williams is a guitarist/singer-songwriter based out of Rochester, NY.

Meg plays frequently around Rochester, solo acoustic, duo with bassist, Danny Ziemann, and with her full band, Meg Williams Band (MWB). Meg has been busy performing all around the Greater Rochester area in popular venues such as Lovin' Cup and Sticky Lips BBQ Juke Joint, and festivals, including the Park Ave Festival, Fairport Canal Days, and main stage at the Rochester Fringe Festival. In addition to playing with the full band, Meg has been featured at many singer-songwriter showcases, as both a performer and a judge. She was also recently a guest on the "Sunday Night Shakedown" on 98.9 "The Buzz."

Meg's debut, full length album, "Troubles to the Wind," was released in May 2014. It can be found on iTunes, Amazon, CDbaby, Google Play, Spotify, (among other places), record stores Record Archive and Lakeshore Records, and can be requested on 98.9 “The Buzz.” Meg Williams Band released their EP on October 11th, titled "For Now."

Band Members