Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Williams Brothers - Harmony Hotel

The Williams Brothers - Harmony Hotel
The twin nephews of crooner Andy Williams, Andrew and David Williams born in 1960 released a few albums throughout the early 70s as they tried to appeal to teen audiences. In the early 80’s they began backing up artists such as Brian Setzer and Joe Ely and even played in T-Bone Burnett's band during a European tour. In 1987 simply as The Williams Brothers they released "Two Stories" followed by "The Williams Brothers" in 1991, which enjoyed moderate success. But in 1993 they released their true gem "Harmony Hotel", which consolidated the duo as a mature, strong, original, contemporary folk-rock act with a sound of their own. This album grows on you listen after listen with its close harmonies and its sweet but tough sound enhanced by a great compositions, hearty lyrics, a beautiful recording and most appropriate instrumentation and production. Simplicity is portrayed as an achievement in virtuosity. Musicians: Andrew and David Williams on vocals and guitars, Denny Fongheiser on drums, Scott Babcock on percussion, Kenny Edwards on bass, Marvin Etzioni on guitars and mandolin, Greg Leisz on pedal and lap steel guitars, Phil Parlapiano on mandolin, accordion, euphonium and harmonium, Paul Buckmaster as string arranger and conductor, Jon Clarke on oboe, Laura Griffin on harp, Trey Henry on bass, Lili Haydn, Jacqueline Brand, Katia Popov and Sayuri Kawada on violins, Martin Tillman on cello and cello arrangements and Dan Neufeld on viola.

Track Listing:
1. Friction (sampled above)
2. Don't Look Now
3. Man of the House
4. Silver
5. Harmony Hotel
6. Where Would I Be
7. Love Is the Language
8. Broken Things
9. Long Ago Last Night
10. Wonderful Blues


  1. I can't agree more on Harmony Hotel. The lead song, Friction, is a masterpiece of emotional angst over a relationship mismatch, alternately tugging at the heart and tearing it apart. Simply beautiful.

  2. Do you know if David and Andy have had any recent recordings? I had a serendipitous encounter with them at Club Passim in 1992, after the passing of my dear friend Joe. I am unable to find anything on line?