Throughout the past year I've had the opportunity to review many great female blues artist. Each of them very talented in their own way. However, Dawn O' Keefe Williams has that special something in her smooth style, mourning notes, prolific lyrics, as well as her sultry, sophisticated voice, which sets her apart from others. It's a uniqueness that's very difficult to explain, and was intensely felt when I listened to her CD from beginning to end. Immediately, when I began to indulge my ears, her voice sounded decadent, powerful, as well as comforting, and I felt the same sensation I get when a piece of rich
chocolate slowly melts on my tongue. As I reveled in her compelling melodies, which are mixed with blues, R&B, soul and pop, I could sense her late husband, guitar veteran Emery Williams Jr. (Slick Willy Crazy/also recorded with: Johnny Nash, Ray Charles, Motown's producer, Eddie Singleton) muse her ballads, note by sweet note.
Since a very young age, music has flowed in Dawn O' Keefe Williams' blood. She began singing as well as bopping her head to the radio as a child. And as she seasoned in age, she sang in high school choirs as well as rock bands. However, she didn't pursue her musical career right away after graduation. During the 1980's she moved to Des Plaines,
Illinois, to raise a family, for putting food on the table took priority over her music. Although, I believe that she wasn't really taking a break from her music, she was just walking her road of blues in order to project her future songs with intense emotions, as well as have the honest ability to belt them out like an experienced blues woman.
Dawn O' Keefe Williams performed with a variety of bands until one night she met Emery Williams Jr. (Who recorded with Johnny Nash on the song, "I Can See Clearly Now.") Soon the two merged their musical talent, and Emery took Dawn deeper into the Chicago blues scene. Suddenly Dawn's dreams were manifesting while she vocalized her heart and soul as a member of the Slick Willy Band. In 1995 Dawn and Emery Williams Jr.
married. However, their love affair sadly ended when Emery surrendered his fight to cancer in 1996. And throughout this CD, which she has dedicated to her late husband, you can hear as well as feel Dawn's grief, which I feel, has empowered of all of her compositions. Sometimes one's heartache becomes the fuel to create something
beautiful, deep, and immortal, such as this CD.
I don't know what song I enjoyed most. I can honestly say I was thrilled with each one. In track number one, "Working Woman Blues," Dawn's raw emotions sear though any woman who's walked in familiar shoes. This Blues Diva zaps you with her electric attitude in "Don't Come Home" (Her answer to Bill Bailey). Her wanton voice wraps around your soul, strikes you with her strength and unveils her vulnerability in "It's A Sin." You'll taste the salt from her tears in, "I Can't Get Over Loving You." You'll hear another great, Chicago Blues Diva, Vanessa Davis join Williams in the profound track, "Daily Love." Kevin Bibbs sings a duet with Dawn in song number six, "Lately." And you'll burn
with passion in, "Stone Cold Fool," which the late, great Emery Williams Jr. inflames this song even more with his luscious guitar licks and hot vocals, and Dawn O' Keefe Williams has also won a Billboard certificate of achievement for.
If you love to listen to a true blues woman's soul, Dawn O' Keefe Williams CD, is one to indulge in. You can purchase her CD at: http://www.chitownmusic.com/dokwilliams/
This review is copyright © 2001 by Mia Jennings, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved. Copy, duplication or download prohibited without written permission. For permission to use this review please send an E-mail to Ray Stiles.
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