A chance meeting a few years ago while on tour in The Netherlands led to the guitar-fiddle collaboration of Brooks Williams and Aaron Catlow. When touring plans were temporarily scuppered the two accepted an offer to create a ‘soundtrack’ devoted to films of the mighty barn owl. The result is Ghost Owl, ten tracks of fiddle and guitar written for, and inspired by, the barn owl, which was shortlisted 2021’s Instrumental Album Of The Year by Fatea Awards.
While waiting for gigs to start up again, they continued to meet up to keep developing their repertoire. Fortunately, where they got together for these sessions was Saltwell Studio in Cambridge. Even more fortunately someone pressed record… The result is Ready For The Times, a collection of songs that highlights the Williams-Catlow sound audiences are coming to know and love. Americana, Old Time and British folk, in all its Trans-Atlantic glory, meets Euro-jazz. Recorded live-in-the-studio with no overdubs, they swing on the 1920s classic ‘If You Want The Rainbow’. Tug the heart-strings with their 6/8 reading of Cheryl Wheeler’s ‘Summer Fly’. Shake the rafters with Williams’ bluegrass-sounding ‘Love Too Soon’. Dive deep into the Piedmont blues with Pink Anderson’s ‘CC&O’.
Cambridge UK-based, Georgia US-born, Brooks Williams is known for both solos shows and collaborations (Boo Hewerdine, Rab Noakes and Sloan Wainwright, among others). He is named one of WUMB-FM Boston’s “Top 100 All-Time Artists” and is listed in the Top 100 Acoustic Guitarists. Fatea refers to him as “one of those select few ‘how on earth does he do it?!’ artists.”
Aaron Catlow is a master violinist and half of the Bristol-based duo Hawes And Catlow, with guitarist-singer Kit Hawes. He is also the fiddler in UK festival favourite Sheelanagig. Catlow’s other credits including playing with Grammy Award-nominated Yola, Mad Dog Mcrea and Afro Celt Sound System.
Artists’ website: www.brookswilliams.com
‘Church Street Blues’ – virtually live: