Songwriter Mentor Williams, composer of Dobie Gray’s 1973 hit, “Drift Away,” died Wednesday (Nov. 16), according to the Taos (New Mexico) News. The location and cause of death were not reported, although he was a longtime resident of the Taos area. Nor was his age confirmable at press time.
Williams also co-wrote such country hits as Alabama’s “When We Make Love” (1984), Eddy Raven’s “She’s Gonna Win Your Heart” (1984) and Randy Travis and George Jones’ “A Few Ole Country Boys” (1990).
Narvel Felts had a Top 10 country hit with “Drift Away” in 1973. The song was later covered by Waylon Jennings, Rod Stewart, Ray Charles, Roy Orbison and Michael Bolton, among others. Uncle Kracker enlisted Gray to join him on a remake of the song which peaked at No. 9 on Billboard’s all-genres Hot 100 chart in 2003 and topped the trade publication’s adult contemporary chart.
Williams is the brother of singer, songwriter and actor Paul Williams, who now serves as president and board chairman of ASCAP, the performance rights society. Mentor Williams had a romantic relationship with country singer Lynn Anderson from the 1980s until her death in 2015.
Editor’s Note: Cashbox Canada had the pleasure of meeting Mentor Williams brother, singer/songwriter Paul Williams many times at Canadian Music Week. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to Paul Williams and his family on his loss.
Heading west as the temp drops and the wind kicks up. Good thing next stop is Revival and the incendiary funk styling of KC Roberts & The Live Revolution. The recipe they cook from involves classic Stax funk, D.C. late Eighties acid funk and the hard-as-diamond power funk of Living Colour. An irresistible floor-filler of a mashup when delivered by the Parkdale octet and abetted by the urgent, testifyin' vocals of K C. The set leaned into recent album From The North and its crowd pleasing faves including "Diamond On The Dancefloor", "Soulwalk" "Find You Again" and "Tribe Beneath The Storm," as the folks on the floor didn't so much dance as pulsate like a massive, single-minded sweaty life form.
For the diehards, they hauled out back catalogue bullets "Drift Away," "Money Ways," "Between The Cracks," "Fire Burning" and the fans were literally throwing themselves into it as the band blazed on, three piece brass section to the fore and the backline of bassist Matt Fullbrook and drummer Chino de Villa keeping the beat strong. The gig was promoted as the last one for the band in 2016 but if you're into it, wouldn't be a bad idea to keep an ear open over the holiday season.
Leaving the Revival and checking out the lineup for the second show, it must be said that the funk sure brings out the diversity. One nation under a groove indeed.
From Southern Cal to middle Tennessee, Maddie Logan has made the pilgrimage that so many have made before her. The young singer/ songwriter realized that her love of country music and desire to be an active part of that scene could only be achieved by moving to the heart of the industry; Nashville, Tennessee. But she was still so young to make that move on her own. Enter a dedicated mom and dad who saw her potential and acted on it.
“I started singing probably at the age of 4 or 5 years old and writing my own little songs. My mom says while other little kids made drawings and paintings, I would come a sing them a song I made up,” Maddie said from her home just outside of Nashville.
When she was 13 years old the family decided to make the move to Nashville to help Maddie realize her dream.” My parents are so supportive of me and my career and their belief in me is huge part of what makes me determined to make this happen.
Her influences include Dolly Parton” a remarkable woman aswell as a great singer and songwriter and smart business woman” and her all time favorite Brad Paisley. I love Brad Paisley. I love the songs he writes, intelligent country and his stage presence. If I had to pick a dream act to open for it would be Brad Paisley.” And her dream duet partner ? “Brad Paisley.”
Canadian Kaia Kater comes to the table with a sophomore release featuring fifteen tracks that showcase her own writing skills firmly at the fore with a couple of traditional interloping arrangements to complete the full package.
Her old-style, Appalachan frailing banjo-work is centre-stage for the most part coupled with her fine, soulful yet under-stated vocal delivery.
This is an album that is bound to appeal to lovers of traditional acoustic music with a Piedmont edge and background setting. In truth it’s hard to ignore the quality, maturity and confidence Kater brings to this second-time project outing just as it’s also near-impossible to avoid warm comparisons with the initial work of Rhiannan Giddens and the Carolina Chocolate Drops.
While Giddens’ career trajectory, like her Chocolate Drop partner Dom Flemings, is clearly on a high, Kater has yet to truly register in the popular, acoustic trad consciousness. However, on the basis of this excellent offering, this is a state of affairs that’s surely bound to change pretty quickly. Kater is surely a star waiting in the wings. Overall, Nine Pin is a true delight well worth cocking an ear towards. A wonderful and original lady and delightful music discovery, for sure.
This week, it's a righteously mixed bag. First off, the re-release of Ween's seminal release, GodWeenSatan, and its genesis, as remembered by Dean Ween (Mickey Melchiondo).
“They say you only get one chance to make your first record and that's very true. The thing with Ween though, we had already been together for a while by the time our debut album, GodWeenSatan, was initially released, and had amassed a TON of tunes. I hadn't thought of GWS as a new album, but more of a "greatest hits" of our first six years together.”
"GWS was re-released by Restless Records on September 11, 2001 - a day that lives in infamy. We had planned a show at our local bar, John and Peter's in New Hope, PA, on September 14 to celebrate the reissue. If you are old enough to remember 9/11, you remember the feeling of dread and that things would never be the same, ever. We didn't know whether to cancel the gig or not, but ultimately decided that we shouldn't let the tragedy affect our plans.”