Robert Williams

singer | songwriter

Imagine you’re in a Berlin nightclub and a guy with a guitar and mischievous eyes roams in with a sheaf of songs. He’s from Oklahoma by way of the world and he’s got a restive energy that is somehow soothing, as if secrets whisper to him. It’s raining fury outside but the bar is warm and the stage is lit. He frees his guitar and brushes past. Someone asks:

“What are you gonna play?”

“Everything.”

Robert Williams’ music is the crossroads of grace and truth. He knows where the wild things are and where the quiet heart hides. A singer/songwriter since he was 19, Robert, whose influences include Woody Guthrie and Levon Helm, echoes with a wise man’s rhythms and a poet’s glee. Born in Oklahoma, where John Steinbeck immortalized the everyman’s battle against his fate, Robert is a wanderer, picking up songs along a road that stretches through the roadhouses of Kansas City and Austin to the tempting haunts of Berlin.

Since the 1970s, his style has been his own, a masterful blend of folk, blues, rock and a melodic twist of European cabaret. He played through the Cold War in West Berlin clubs such as ‘Go-In’ and ‘Folkpub.’ He became a mercurial spark in the scene, a voice in the mosaic of what once was and what was taking its place. Berlin popular music critic Peter Müller considers Robert and long-time collaborator Wayne Grajeda to be engrained in the city’s musical history, praising their musicianship, song writing and originality.

 

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GENUINE DISTILLED ROOTS MUSIC

Recordings

"Next to music, beer was best." - Carson McCullers
CDWalkingHome
WALKING HOME

Recorded and mixed at Mach Now Studios, Berlin, Germany.  Produced by Ramesh B. Weeratunga.

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CDStateSecrets
STATE SECRETS

Recorded and mixed at Wingding Studios, Nashville, TN.  Produced by George Marinelli, Jr.

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CDStayTrueStreet
STAYTRUE STREET

Recorded and mixed hat Fury Headphones West, Los Angeles, CA. Produced by Wayne Grajeda.

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Live from Jumbo’s Clown Room, a sailor with a Chinese tattoo, lonesome cowboys kiss Turks, ride a dog called Big Nurse, in Jumbo’s parallel universe

“His roots in Berlin (1969) go almost as deep as those in Oklahoma (his childhood), with direct artistic results: In Robert Williams’ songs, his powerful American blues/country/folk heritage is expertly fused with European delicacies. We would like to see artists from “God’s own country” do this more often.”

Folker Magazine

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“I can hear Tom Waits a little in the way Williams writes about colorful characters and cares about the melody. I can hear Lowell George a little the way he rings soulful notes out of his guitar, but mostly I just hear Robert Williams, who is not only a brilliant lyricist, but a fine guitarist writing songs that go far beyond the usual three chord fare. ”  For the Sake of the Song – KRXO Radio, Oklahoma City