There's a new blues band in town that's so good it should soon be challenging the Nighthawks and George Thorogood. Last night at d.c. space the Dale Williams Blues Band overcame the obstacles of poor equipment and tiny crowd to remind one of the Junior Wells-Buddy Guy Band one moment and the Jimi Hendrix Experience the next. Yet they always sounded fresh and original.
Before coming East to play jazz with Sun Ra, Williams learned his guitar in his native Chicago at Wells' blues jams. Last night Williams told stories about Chicago's West Side and played that town's classic blues with awesome authority. His fingers blurred across the strings, dropping triplets and old harmonies into the middle of riffs.
More impressively, Williams did the most convincing imitation of Hendrix since that legendary guitarist's death.
The other four musicians were almost as impressive. Phil Wiggins, a stalwart at the Childe Harold Tuesday blues jams, blew torrents of notes from his deep lungs through his harmonica. Daryl Davis, once a pianist for oldies shows, rattled boogie-woogie rolls out of all 88 keys.
The Dale Williams Blues Band is appearing every other Monday at d.c. space.