Jeanette Williams

Too Blue – 2003 (Bell Buckle)

Reviewed by George Hauenstein

CDs by Jeanette Williams

Though they fly below the radar of most bluegrass fans and programmers, the Jeanette Williams Band is definitely worth a listen. Formerly Jeanette Williams and Clearwater, this five piece group, fronted by singer/songwriter Williams and her guitarist/writer husband, Johnny, features banjo, mandolin and bass. Becky Buller adds her considerable fiddle talent to many of the songs.

JWB handles different kinds of material here, and they do them all well. Included is an ample offering of hard-driving, tunes, "What You Gonna Do," "Mountain Way of Life," both written by Johnny Williams as well as a pair of Lynn Morris tunes, "Don't Tell Me Stories" and "Love Grown Cold," some gospel numbers, "Stormy Waters and "The Blind Beggar" and a terrific clawhammer banjo instrumental, "Squirrel Tail." The most pleasing selections though, are the slower, heartfelt numbers like "Just One Year Ago," and "I Ought To Know You," about an aging parent suffering from Alzheimers.

Williams does most of the singing. She possesses a fine voice and can sing the fire out of a song or slow it down and effectively bring home a ballad.