GUITAR virtuoso Dean Williams brought his 30-plus years experience along with his bachelor of fine arts and master of fine arts to the Kaiso Blues Cafe Stage last Sunday as he appeared live with his quartet.
He called the concert a Celebration of Life (his life), but asked his audience to celebrate with him as “it is good to be alive in TT at this moment.”
The Dean Williams quartet featured Williams on guitar, David Richards on drums, musical director Andre Jack on bass and Charles Ryan on keyboards.
Before he started playing Williams thanked the management of Kaiso Blues Cafe for the venue for live music.
Referring to the country’s crime problems, Williams begged the audience to keep coming out and occupy the space and “Don’t let a few people keep us locked up in our homes.”
The composer/producer started with the mellow and musical Kari written by American guitarist Earl Klugh and played with Bob James. He then moved into one of his own compositions, Island Breeze, before he introduced his first guest, Dominic Thompson, an understudy of the late great Robert Munro.
Together the duo played The Beatles’ While my Guitar Gently Weeps to a solid round of applause.
Williams then took his audience down memory lane with classics like Sleep Walk and Green Onions.
After playing several lines of the next song Williams toyed with his audience, asking if anybody could give him the name.
No one came up with the answer, but during the performance of Old Town Road by Lil Nas X, several members of the audience were singing.
Williams and his musicians showed their dexterity in their choice of songs and arrangements, each doing a solo in almost every song.
Stevie Wonder’s Isn’t She Lovely and End of the Road by Boys II Men were the next songs on the playbill, after which he introduced his second guest, Mya Scott.
Scott performed the soulful You Gotta Loose to Win by Fantasia and had the entire audience singing the chorus with her.
When she was finished there was a thunderous round of applause.
None in the audience objected to the musicians taking a break at this point.
Then the third guest, pannist Natasha Joseph, came on stage to do What a Day with the quartet. She too received a very lusty round of applause.
Williams continued with two more of his original songs, A Woman Sweetness and Piece of Your Love, before he changed the mood of the evening with his fourth guest.
He and Krisson Joseph treated the audience to some old-time calypso by Sparrow.
With guitar in hand Joseph sang and played a medley which included Jean and Dinah, The Lizard, Benwood Dick, Mr Walker, Melda, Drunk and Disorderly and Jane. Everyone in Kaiso Blues Cafe sang along.
Williams brought the house back to order with two more of his compositions, Tanzania and Super Speed before he introduced his final guest, singer Kay Alleyne, who went straight into A Change is Gonna Come and rocked the house with her powerful voice.
It was obvious that one was not enough, so Alleyne and Williams went into Chaka Khan’s Ain’t Nobody, sending the audience into a frenzy. They did not know if they should sing or applaud. That electrifying performance brought the show to an end, but the audience kept asking for one more.
Williams obliged when he brought back Joseph on her double seconds and together they played Savannah Grass, in a fantastic arrangement which had members of the audience walking out of Kaiso Blues singing.