LEIGH WILLIAMS

LEIGH WILLIAMS

BandRock

I’m really at a loss for words. Leigh Williams is a technically brilliant guitarist. His debut solo CD, Absolute Zero, is an instrumental tour de force. If you love fast and flashy guitar playing, then you’ll definitely love this album. By: David Hodge Guitar Noise

Biography

Like a tornado gathering momentum, dynamic guitarist LEIGH WILLIAMS touched down in America establishing himself as a premier instrumental rock guitarist. one by one WILLIAMS' gathered some of rock music's most dynamic musicians, VIRGIL DONATI drums (Steve Vai, Ring of Fire, Planet X). MIKE KENEALLY Keyboards ( Frank Zappa, Steve Vai, Beer for Dolphins). PHILLIP BYNOE Bass (Steve Vai, Ring of Fire ) And Grammy Award Winning Engineer / Producer NEIL CITRON ( Producer Of Clear Blue - featured on Leigh's debut album). Impressed with WILLIAMS' writing style, musical talent, quick wit and determination they joined together with WILLIAMS' to launch his debut solo album ABSOLUTE ZERO . At the age of fourteen, WILLIAMS' was so overpowered with inspiration after seeing an Iron Maiden concert. He went home, picked up a piece of wood and a few strings, made a guitar, then taught himself how to play. Recognizing his talent, determination and drive his parents placed a real guitar beneath the Christmas tree. In just a few short years, WILLIAMS was teaching guitar at a local music store in his native South Wales, UK, and began his formal training at the Musicians Academy of London . He joined the rock group Talen , and toured the UK promoting their newly released single. WILLIAMS' set almost impossible standards for himself, and was awarded with a scholarship from the Prince Charles Trust . With suitcase in tow, he left his home and landed in America. WILLIAMS' arrived in the US and continued his formal training at the world famous Musician's Institute / G.I.T. (Guitar Institute of Technology) in Los Angeles. WILLIAMS' world wind experience, inspiration and force can be heard on his new CD release Absolute Zero recorded at Steve Vai's Favored Nations Records recording studio, The Mothership.

Discography

Leigh Williams - Absolute Zero
By: David Hodge

There are, heaven knows, zillions of guitarists out in the world today. You’ve got to wonder about that sometimes, because that means that, in your lifetime you’ll never get to know, or even hear, all of them.

I bring this up as part of this review because, I’m really at a loss for words. Leigh Williams is a technically brilliant guitarist. His debut solo CD, Absolute Zero, is an instrumental tour de force. If you love fast and flashy guitar playing, then you’ll definitely love this album. Every track puts Williams’ playing front and center for your listening pleasure. You can’t help but sit spellbound during the first three songs (Calm Before the Storm, Clear Blue and FOG (Finger of God)) as he flies all over the fretboard.

The acoustic rhythm guitar work as well as astonishing keyboards courtesy of Mike Keneally (who’s played with Vai and Zappa, among others) in Bad Karma (part 3) actually outshine the obligatory electric guitar when it makes its appearance. And the album’s last song is such a powerfully moody piece it makes you want to hear it over and over again. More on that in a moment…

Williams’ back-up band is nothing less than stellar. This isn’t surprising since they’re all from Steve Vai’s band: Virgil Donati plays drums while Keneally handles the various keyboards and Phillip Bynoe lays down the wonderful bass parts.

Thematically, the CD is structured around a tornado strike and the music appropriately is alternately frantic and frenetic. Even the “balladish” numbers after the storm passes (New Horizons, Transitions) leave you trying to catch your breath. This album doesn’t let up for a moment until you reach the terrific Y.T.T (yesterday, today, tomorrow), the CD’s final song. Here Williams does a wonderful job of making you forget the entire CD that proceeded it. You get so caught up in his melodic phrasing and soulful playing that you can’t help but wonder why he left this piece for dead last. But you’re glad he did!

Leigh Williams is, as I said, an exceptionally talented guitarist. Hopefully he’ll put out a lot more albums! Absolute Zero certainly leaves you wanting more.