Willie J Laws Band
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Willie J Laws Band


Band Blues Singer/Songwriter


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The best kept secret in music


Night Lights Now
What's happening in the San Antonio music scene? How about a little beyond San Antonio? It's all here (and more) in Jim Beal's Night Lights Now blog.

October 28, 2006
Isaac Hayes Concert Notes
Far too many, if not most, headlining bands hide out somewhere, in the tour bus, in the green room, somewhere, anywhere, and actively ignore opening bands.

Friday night at Sunset Station, shortly after guitarist/vocalist Willie Jaye Laws and his band, Spot Barnett (tenor sax), Manny Chapa (bass) and Carlton King (drums) launched into their set opening for Isaac Hayes, several members of the Hayes band left their pre-show hangout to listen.

"That's Texas blues," Hayes band guitarist Charlie "Skip" Pitts was overheard to say. "That guy's a (expletive, but said with admiration).

Later, when he saw me taking notes, Pitts asked, "Who is that? Does he have a hit record? If he doesn't, he deserves one. That guy can sing, and he can play the hell out of that guitar."

Now Pitts is no slouch himself. He's been with Hayes for 35 years and also has worked with Gene Chandler, Rufus Thomas, The Isley Brothers and the Reverend Al Green. When Skip Pitts says you're a (expletive), you're a (expletive).

And he's absolutely right about Willie Jaye. Jaye's new CD, "Running Out of Lies," has just been released on the King William label. It should open ears — and doors.

There were only 427 people in the audience for Isaac Hayes. Yes, another good show was woefully under attended. - Mysa.com

The 600-seat House of Blues restaurant brings to its customers an unparalleled dining experience for breakfast, lunch and dinner, featuring an array of delta-inspired cuisine. The hours of operation are Sunday through Thursday, 8:00 am–12:00 midnight and Friday and Saturday 8:00 am–1:00 am.

The House of Blues restaurant and bar offers Southern cuisine in a juke-joint atmosphere.

I had the pleasure of feasting on Creole Chicken Jambalaya in the Voodoo Courtyard while listening to Willie Jaye play the blues. The Voodoo Courtyard seats 100 for dinner and accommodates 300 for reception with free live blues from Willie Jaye every Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
- just say go, llc.

by Kathleen Hudson
Executive Director, Texas Heritage Music Foundation
Texas music is a fabric woven with many textured
threads. Texas music is a carnival of diverse
experiences. Texas music is microcosm of a world
where diversity creates beauty. You can listen to
Willie Jaye play guitar leads in a standard blues song
then watch him join Los Texmaniacs, adding that
blues lead to the Tex/Mex Max Baca and David Farias create.
Willie Jaye opened for B.B King at Sunset Station in
San Antonio. He rocked the crowd and no one was
disappointed. He put together a band that contained
some of the best horn players in San Antonio along with two women singing backup. A huge
sound driven by blues. - Kathleen Hudson

Willie Jaye & Band

April 10, 1998 & October 15, 1999 - "Zur Alten Schmiede", Kamp-Lintfort/Germany

Willie Jaye (voc, g) - Bernd Pett (b) - Markus Winkmann (dr)

Willie Jaye - The Texas Hurricane

That's what they call them. Willie is a yet young but experienced guitarist in the best tradition of great blues guitarists from the Lone Star state. He lived until the end of last year in New Orleans and played the Jazz & Heritage Fest. Today he is a resident of Las Vegas. On his last - his 5th european tour in 3 years - he played at the 'Alte Schmiede' in Kamp-Lintfort. Last year he made an impressive appearance at the club and we decided to see him again. The venue - a place for bikers and workers - was the perfect place for his guitar dominated blues. He is sure a man of the guitar but his singing is exciting, too. Coming with only bass and drums by his side he has no problem to entertain just with his playing and singing for almost 3 hours. His playing is obviously influenced (and you can hear that) from people like Freddy King, Albert Collins and some Stevie Ray Vaughan (if this is not a derivated style). Jaye knows how to bend the strings of his Fender Stratocaster and can really play fast and rocking. But his main approach is trueley blues - just the way Freddy King did it.
Take a look at his set list (as complete as I know it) that night.
My favorite songs were 'Don't be afraid of the dark' because of his ability to sing so sweet and 'Sugar Sweet' and '...' for knowing what records Willie listens to. His own songs fit perfectly in the wide range of covers.
At the end of his gig he got in my eyes too far in the bluesrock and Hendrix direction. But that caused some really frenetic response from the audience. One word about his backing. With Bernd Pett (bass) and Markus Winkmann (drums) of the 'Downhome Blues Band' from Duesseldorf/Germany he is surrounded by two well experienced and supportive musicians who know how to give Jaye a tight groove.
During the break between his set I got the chance to talk to Willie Jaye and he signed some photos of him I shot last year. He liked them and I promised to send him some copies. I further gave him my adress www.joes-corner.de and he got me his e-mail. As he sold some Cds I bought his latest release ‚Before The Storm' which is a live recording (partly from the 'House Of Blues' in New Orleans) made in 1997. It's a good one and features some songs he did at the 'Schmiede'.

- Down Home blues

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House of Blues, Jim Belushi and the Sacred Hearts Band get ready to rock Nellis Air Force Base
Las Vegas, NV — April 19, 2000 House of Blues is getting ready to rock the runways at the Nellis Air Show 2000 taking place at Nellis Air Force Base on May 6 from 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. As the entertainment sponsor of the air show, House of Blues will be bringing added excitement and entertainment to Nellis' outstanding event. Featured performers to appear on the House of Blues stage include Jim Belushi & The Sacred Hearts Band, Willie Jaye, Steel Wheels, The Coates Twins, Youth Ambassadors, Loveshack and The Max.

The House of Blues production crew will be setting up a state of the art stage fully equipped with a top of the line sound system provided by Enterprise Live. House of Blues will also be on hand selling unique merchandise from their Company Store. Guests will be able to purchase t-shirts, hats, CD's and an array of exciting House of Blues logo items.

Over 250,000 visitors from all over the world are expected to attend the Nellis 2000 Air Show. Air show enthusiasts will be able to see the celebrated Thunderbirds - the USAF Aerial Demonstration Team, the A-10 demonstration team, the Army Golden Knights, as well as other military and civilian aerial demonstration acts. The Air Demonstration Teams will amaze the crowds as the pilots showcase their skills and their aircraft's masterful abilities.

As the aerial demonstration teams perform high above, the House of Blues will entertain guests down below with talented musicians from Las Vegas and around the country. Don't miss this spectacular event on Saturday, May 6th.

- House of Blues

atest news
For Immediate Release
January 26, 2006

Schreiner University Presents Texas Music Coffeehouse Series Feb. 1

by Amy Armstrong, Assistant Director of University Relations

The Schreiner University-sponsored African-American Gala 2006, to commemorate Black History Month, will kick-off next week with the Texas Music Coffeehouse Series, featuring the Willie Jaye Band and local entertainer Clifton Fifer. The Coffeehouse concert will be from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 1, in the Floyd & Kathleen Cailloux Campus Activity Center Corner Pocket on the Schreiner campus. It is free and open to the public.

Dr. Kathleen Hudson, director of Texas Heritage Music Foundation and professor of English at Schreiner, said, “We are honored to showcase Willie Jaye and Clifton Fifer as the first event of the African-American Gala 2006.” The Willie Jaye Band recently opened for BB King in San Antonio and was the house band for House of Blues in Las Vegas. This is the first Coffeehouse performance for Fifer, a teacher for the past 28 years. “I love music. I feel it is universal and it unifies people like nothing else can,” said Fifer, who teaches Texas history at Hal Peterson Middle School. “I will sing some spirituals and read some cowboy and African-American inspired poetry,” he said. Fifer, who regularly participates in local theatre, is involved in several of the upcoming African-American Gala events. “I incorporate black history into my teaching everyday,” Fifer said. “It shouldn’t be talked about for just one month.” Fifer, who traces his family heritage back to the early Indians in Texas, often, portrays an early Texas character for his students in the classroom and at events throughout the Hill Country each year, including Schreiner’s annual Texas Living History Weekend.

The African-American Gala is a series of educational Black History Month events designed to raise awareness of and financial support for the Doyle Community Center, the Barnett Chapel Methodist Church and Mt. Olive Baptist Church youth ministry educational programs, during the month of February. There are a total of six events, all being coordinated by Many Hats, a local educational event planning organization. Black History Month will mark its 80th anniversary this year, the theme for which is “Celebrating Community: A Tribute to Black Fraternal, Social and Civic Institutions.” Originally established as Negro History Week in 1926 by African American author and scholar Dr. Carter G. Woodson, the event eventually evolved into establishing February as Black History Month in 1976.

For more information about Texas Music Coffeehouse Series contact Dr. Hudson at Schreiner University at (830) 792-7409 or via email at khudson@schreiner.edu. For more information about the African-American Gala 2006 contact Martha York, director of Schreiner University’s Center for Innovative Learning at 830-792-7352 or mlyork@schreiner.edu or Peg Hainey at 830-895-4932 or peg@ktc.com.

« 2006 NEWS INDEX - Schreiner U Press


The Texas Hurricane 1991
Before The Storm 1997
Regular Blues 2002
Texan Connection a compilation 2005
Running out of Lies 2006


Feeling a bit camera shy


Texas guitar slinger, songwriter, vocalist Willie J. Laws’ first performances were as a youngster on the front porch of his parent’s home in Taft, Texas, a rural farming community north of Corpus Christi. This Gulf Coast area is rich in a variety of musical traditions and Willie's music reflects this. Some of his greatest influences are his mentor Phillip Walker,Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, Albert Collins, The Three Kings: B.B., Freddie, and Albert, Etta James, Bobby Womack, Johnnie Taylor, OV Wright, ZZ Hill, ZZ Top, Mark Knopfler, Joe Tex, Clarence (Gatemouth) Brown, a host of friends in the business that continually inspire him. With the infusion of all of these diverse influences Willie has created his own sound, which will grab from the inside out. We would also mention that Willie J. Laws is related to the Famous Laws family Ronnie and Hubert as well as being a distant relative to the late Billy Preston.

Willie J. Laws (or Willie Jaye. to his friends and fans) has had the privilege to tour most parts of the world as an entertainer/artist. He has been an opening act for many Blues and some rock icons such as, BB King, Etta James, Albert King, Albert Collins, Buddy Guy, Robert Cray, Isaac Hayes, Warren Zevon, Lynard Skynard, Ted Nugent and a host of others.

Before returning home to Texas in 2003 The Willie J. Band was the house band at Blind Melon’s in Pacific Beach, California from 1990-1995. From 1995 through 1998 regular weekend performances at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville, Tipitina’s, House of Blues New Orleans and three appearences at The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Fest 1996,1998,1999 New Orleans, Louisiana helped Willie to gain a legion of fans the world over. Willie J. was also the house band at The House of Blues Las Vegas, Nevada from 1999-2002.

Willie has had 4 European tours in the last 4 years. Along with working on this album, he has performed throughott the country and has become a regular band at the newly opened House of Blues in Dallas.

Willie J. Laws' new cd “Running Out of Lies” is a combination of great talent, great music and unstoppable passion. This man is a truly gifted master of his craft.