REVIEW OF ‘TWANGS FOR THE MELODY’
Lone Rider Records CD LRR TWANG 001
By Trevor Simpson, Author and Reviewer.
What a great title that is for this first class CD in tribute to the classic instrumental greats from those Fab Fifties and Swinging Sixties. This has to be the nearest that you can get to taking that illusive time machine back to the days of electric guitar heaven, when Fender, Gibson and Gretsch were the top names in guitar production. What is amazing to me is that many of the tracks on this CD are played on those very instruments that abounded from every top group of the period, but the picking seems to be better. How can you beat an original version I hear you ask? Well, the bottom line is that, as the man with the wooden leg said “It’s a matter of opinion”. Get it? Well please yourself!!
Before the advent of the standard format of drums, rhythm, base and lead guitars often providing the backing for a sexy singer, the charts contained the odd instrumentals that caught the imagination of the public. Eddie Calvert’s golden trumpet, Winifred Atwell’s tinkling piano and not forgetting ‘M People’ (Mantovani and Mrs Mills!) all became favourites and sold 78’s by the bucket full. On the teen scene after Rock Around The Clock and Elvis; born out of the Skiffle group explosion came the dynamite of the beat instrumental which blasted onto the turntables of the Dansette across the length and breadth of the country. The good Lord Rockingham paved the way in November 1958 when Hoots Mon topped the charts but it was the summer of 1960 when Apache by the Shadows hit the top that the flood gates opened and the tidal wave of true beat instrumentals washed us all away.
The great thing about this CD is that all these great tunes are contained in the 33 tracks (over 78 minutes) on this one album. Re-live the hits in tribute to the Shadows with Apache, The Savage, Atlantis, Dance On and the timeless Wonderful Land alongside their seldom heard Mustang, Midnight, Shindig, and Geronimo and there’s even a great instrumental of Summer Holiday to have Cliff and the Shadows fans drooling. It is right that any album of twang should contain all these definitive tunes and I’ll defy you not to do the ‘walk’ (don’t run) as you listen! The grandfather of the British guitar, dear old Bert Weedon is represented with the opening track Bert’s Boogie, alongside the BBC TV Show Juke Box Jury theme Hit & Miss, and Trambone written by America’s premier guitar favourite Chet Atkins. The Ventures Perfidia and The Surfaris Wipe Out, rub shoulders with the little known British written instrumentals, The Mexican, Husky Team and Jaywalker. The latter being a Peter Jay/Joe Meek composition. The genius of Joe Meek is in evidence with Telstar, Lone Rider, Husky Team and the other Meek related George Bellamy composition Ridin’ The Wind played on the CD by The Tornados. The twang travels too and fro across the Atlantic with the speed of that communication satellite and this fast moving album becomes a transport of delight in tribute to the top toe tapping tunes of all time.
In addition to the top drawer playing and production of the Tornados, the album features virtuoso picking by the critically acclaimed Peter Williams alongside the playing of stars from the Pipeline Conventions, The Secrets and The Flames. Making their CD debut are top Joe Meek tribute band, The Triumphs. Instrumentally I was blown away by The Flames when I saw them perform live with the evergreen John Leyton on a show to promote my books Small Town Saturday Night (Volume 1 & 2). Their undoubted talent as witnessed on their live show is brought to quality hi-fi life in this studio recorded compilation as they trade impressive licks in excellent sound quality.
Each of the artists contributes and is in contrast to the others as the album flies though all that was good about the great instrumentals from the golden days. Lone Rider Records should be congratulated on, not only a crystal clear sound and for keeping the music of this wonderful period alive, but also on the production of the 16 page booklet that accompanies the CD. The sleeve notes of Rob Bradford together with the story behind each tune and the chart history are supplemented by a full colour double page spread of the original sheet music, EP’s and singles which all give added value to a top class production. Thanks guys for the memories and the melodies. “Hit or Miss” said David Jacobs on Juke Box Jury in the sixties – This is definitely a hit, so miss it at your peril!
Contact Trevor Simpson or order his books from www.smalltownsaturdaynight.co.uk
LONE RIDER – GREAT TV & MOVIE WESTERN THEMES
"PETER WILLIAMS HAS DONE A GREAT JOB OF KEEPING THE GREAT TV AND MOVIE THEMES ALIVE AND WELL FOR THE WORLD TO ENJOY!
I'M PROUD TO BE A PART OF IT AND I KNOW RICHARD BOONE WOULD HAVE BEEN VERY PLEASED."
JOHNNY WESTERN....."HAVE GUN-WILL TRAVEL" THE BALLAD OF PALADIN.
CLINT WALKER – Cheyenne
The ‘Cheyenne’ theme tune is beautifully done, and we really have enjoyed listening to it, and it is crystal clear. Thank you again. You certainly have a talent, there is a unique elegance to your music and it is very pleasant to listen to. We wish you luck in your endeavours.
DON COLLIER – The High Chaparral
Don Collier on the High Chaparral cut said, "It was very good, I like it."
Frankie Laine said he would be honored for you to dedicate "Rawhide" & "Champion The Wonder Horse", to him in your album, "LONE RIDER". Good luck.
Mary-Jo Coombs, Assistant to Frankie Laine
TY HARDIN - Bronco
The arrangement of the BRONCO theme tune is really wonderful and we really enjoyed listening to it. Thank you so much.
Ty & Judy Hardin.
‘Johnny Remember Me’ – a tribute to JOHN LEYTON by Peter Williams
Review by Russell Newmark – THE BEAT MAGAZINE
Highly talented guitarist Peter Williams has created a tribute to the singer’s repertoire, with several of his best-loved songs rendered in richly instrumental fashion. Joe Meek himself might have smiled at hearing the motorbike sounds that introduce the opening track, ‘Lone Rider’, which leads the way to a succession of other pieces including the hits ‘Johnny Remember Me’, ‘Wild Wind’, and ‘Son This Is She’. In a nod to Leyton’s film career, the theme to ‘The Great Escape’ is also among the performances. The lasting impression is Shadows with Attitude. This collection – similarly made up of 14 tracks – evokes plenty of atmosphere and a whole variety of moods and tempos, with Williams adept at playing in a very imaginative style while keeping the integrity of the songs intact.
‘Johnny Remember Me’ CD – a guitar instrumental tribute to John Leyton by Peter Williams
Review by BRIAN ‘LICORICE’ LOCKING – member of THE SHADOWS
The start of this CD of Peter Williams with the sound of the motor bike revving up, sets the tone of this CD in tribute to JOHN LEYTON. The backings are very together and tight. And Peter’s playing maintains the simplicity and melodic lines. Very easy to follow – slow or fast. I also like the running order of the programme weaving through various tempos, moods and feelings, with a variety of tempos giving a nice yo yo effect. Up and down tempos. Surely JOHN LEYTON must be pleased with Peter’s rendering of his songs and much appreciated by him. I particularly like ‘Fabulous’ into ‘The Great Escape’. Great stuff. Yes Peter, your interpretation gets better with each CD. Well done Peter.
Brian ‘Licorice’ Locking – August 2006
Peter Williams (My voice is my guitar)
Johnny Remember Me - A tribute to John Leyton
By Dave Lodge
That Peter Williams is a fine exponent of the type of instrumental guitar playing first practiced to perfection by the great exponents of the art such as The Shadows, The Ventures and the unforgettable Bert Weedon cannot be disputed. Indeed it is Bert we have to thank for Peter’s initial interest in the guitar because like many more guitarists Peter learned to play due to Bert taking the time to pass on his talent by instruction.
The difference between many of the people that learned to play as the advert said, ‘In a Day’ is that Peter like all the greats in any walk of life is blessed with a rare gift for his chosen instrument. He also has the drive and will to take his playing beyond the limit and boundaries which ordinary players set themselves. So it is that we are treated to the wonderful sound of Peter’s guitar, which is gaining it’s own renown in his hands as ‘The Stallion’. Literally singing the hits of John Leyton. So clear is the sound that you can literally hear the words of the song in the echoes of the music.
It is impossible, particularly for those of us who ride motorbikes, not to feel the thrill and surge of excitement that comes as The “Lone Rider’s” motorcycle roars out of ‘The Stallion’s’ strings. “Wild Wind” follows on and here we get the feeling of a blustery winters day To the extent that you feel yourself pulling a metaphoric overcoat closer to your body Peter gives almost vocal like renditions of “There Must Be”, “Can’t You Hear The Beat Of A Broken Heart” and “You Took My Love For Granted”. His treatment of “Son This Is She”, a song that John Leyton knows is truly special to my wife Margaret and I is so full of emotion that I almost feel I am seventeen again standing on the doorstep seeing Margaret for the first time and falling in love again.
We move on and ‘The Stallion’ is running wild again With “Johnny Remember Me” Peter barely gets him back under control again for “Make Love To Me” and “I Don’t Care If The Sun Don’t Shine”. Then Peter is in full control of things with the hauntingly beautiful “Walk With Me My Angel”. We then get a great rendition of “Fabulous” requiring Peter to show another aspect of his skill. This variety continues through “The Great Escape” Into “Voodoo Woman” coming to a breathtaking conclusion with “It’s Goodbye Then”
This is a great CD and I am sure if Joe Meek were still alive he would be delighted to hear what Peter and his guitar have done with these songs. We look forward to hearing Peter for many years to come.
New CD Release; REVIEW by Graham Hunter
JOHNNY REMEMBER ME-A Guitar Instrumental Tribute To John Leyton
I find it hard not to like Peter Williams work. He plays the songs you way you’d want to sing them, not abusing them with tortured sounds and studio gimmicks, just clean guitar instrumental melodies.
Peter Williams has made more albums in the last two years than Robbie Williams will probably make the whole of his career. His earlier works have gained great respect from Elvis Presley and Billy Fury fans worldwide. The proof is on this release too, I think Peter’s best so far. Not only do you get good pop music here you also get very informative liner notes by Chris Eley (Sound Of Fury Fan Club) who always researches his projects well.
I’m sure John Leyton is proud of this CD (he graces the CD cover with Peter) as all the Leyton goodies are featured along with some rarer album tracks and B-sides, “You Took My Love For Granted”, “There Must Be” and “The Great Escape” (in all a 14 track CD) Peter has been able to capture some of the haunting ambience that Joe Meek produced on the originals with John Leyton back in the early sixties, the pure angst, solitude and mystery of lonely souls keeps driving along in “Lone Rider”, “Wild Wind” and “Johnny Remember Me”. I met songwriter Geoff Goddard twenty years ago and spent an afternoon with him in Basingstoke, he told me about his song writing, how he visualised the songs of loneliness and it’s darkened corridors, if he were here today I’m sure he’d love to hear this CD.
James F. Cullinan (Finbarr International) writes:
The thrilling sound of ’55 Norton Dominator opens this album, giving an immediate feeling of exhilaration which never lets up, even on slow numbers. It’s less of a ‘Tribute’ and more of a ‘Celebration’. Williams’ exuberant, generous personality is stamped all over it. Beginning with ‘Lone Rider’ you feel you’re on the motorcycle, hair streaming, spirit free: a feeling recaptured on the galloping ‘Johnny Remember Me’. ‘Wild Wind’ and ‘Son This Is She’ are so evocative; whilst ‘There Must Be’ has ‘Hit’ written all over it. PW shouldn’t merely be cherished by nostalgia buffs – he should be a major contemporary star!
‘Walk With Me My Angel’ is pure Williams through and through, and could have been written for him specially.
It’s issued on the classy Lone Rider label (Owned by Leyton, Williams and their manager Steve Etherington) – dig its Top Rank – inspired artwork. This inspired and imaginatively produced album brings early 60s ‘Brit – pop’ into the 21st century with a bang. Unreservedly recommended!
Johnny Remember Me - A Tribute to John Leyton is a cracking CD, Peter Williams is a cracking bloke and my air guitar skills have increased 100%.
Luke Ashmead - BBC Three Counties Radio
Especially For You (From The Vaults)
Review by Dave Lodge.
When my post arrived this morning I noted that it was the usual mixture of bills and junk mail. Then I noticed a white Jiffy Bag, having spoken to Peter recently. I had a sixth sense of the contents; I opened the package eagerly and on seeing the contents felt the thrill of anticipation I always feel when I see a Peter Williams CD. As I scanned the track list I was delighted to see they were all favorites just begging for the Peter Williams treatment.
I went straight to my CD player and switched it on, from the moment the music began playing my day was changed for the better. As I listened to so many great tunes I was transported back to 1960 and time spent in my room playing records on my Dansette record player, (?1.00 down and a shilling a week as I recall). The music played by Peter is nostalgic but also fresh and new and I listened to it over and over again just as I used to play my records repetitively causing good natured annoyance to my Mum and Dad who had to listen to my favorites constantly. They would not have been annoyed my playing Peter Williams.
Some of the tunes are from more recent times, for example Moonlight Shadow, dedicated to John Leyton’s manager Steve Etherington but all get that special treatment that makes the recording stand out. On the subject of songs and dedications I am flattered to be in the exalted company of talented and knowledgeable people as Del Richardson, James Cullinan, Tommy Bruce and Peter’s many friends and his sister Diana in having Lavender Blue jointly dedicated to me.
When you listen to Peter play you really can hear the words in the sound something I don’t believe any other instrumentalist is achieving. If I have a special favorite among all these favorites I think it has to be Peter’s interpretation of the Theme From The Boys, I can see Jess Conrad, Dudley Sutton and the others standing in the dock the musical image is so clear. But there is so much to enjoy Cryin’ In The Rain, When You Walk in the Room, Theme From Shane and the haunting Have You Ever Seen The Rain the list seems endless.
Peter says he calls his guitar The Stallion and gives the white Mexican Stratocaster much of the credit for his music. This may be true but remember a stallion can be a wild untamed thing of beauty. To achieve the control with out breaking it’s spirit that Peter has shows his musical talent is equivalent to that of a horse whisper. A question Peter has asked of me and others is how can he at the age of 59 succeed with his music. When you buy and listen to this or any of his CD’s you will be able to answer him as I do, quite simply his place in the music hall of fame is already established.
Brian ‘Licorice’ Locking May 2006
My personal opinion of this CD of Peter Williams, called ‘Especially For You – From The Vaults’ is that it is well organised and put together. Very melodic, and foot tapping comes easy. Peter’s playing is not rushed or frantic, or too much or too little. I like the programme of list of tunes, it has a nice up and down yo yo effect from one tune to another. I particularly like ‘Bad Moon Rising’ and the choice of ‘Crying In The Rain’, I wouldn’t mind recording on my harmonica. Well done Peter.
Especially For You CD - April 2006
It`s all happening for you. You`re well and truly in The Music Game. Well done! David Hamilton - Saga Radio
PETER WILLIAMS –FROM THE VAULTS – by Graham Hunter " The Beat"
Ace guitarist Peter Williams has a new CD out on May 1st, "From The Vaults", a selection of eighteen tracks he cut in his clear, crisp, precise playing manner with no rest for the strings that don his Fender guitar. His recent past glories include tribute CD’s to Elvis and Billy Fury, fans of both hold Williams in high esteem for his work and eagerly await the September issue of his tribute to John Leyton on Lone Rider Records, a label set up with Leyton himself and his manager. Indeed this CD appears on the new label too.
Peter dedicates tracks to numerous artists on this release, for example "WHEN WILL YOU SAY I LOVE YOU" dedicated to Billy Fury, "LAVENDER BLUE" to Tommy Bruce and his manager Dave Lodge "THEME FROM THE BOYS" for Dell Richardson of Radio Caroline a most avid supporter of ‘our kind of music’. The listener is also treated to the Searchers "WHEN YOU WALK IN THE ROOM", the Everly’s "CRYIN’ IN THE RAIN", the Gene Pitney penned "HELLO MARY LOU", Cliff’s "WHEN THE GIRL IN YOUR ARMS", in total 18 great tracks well worth every cent.
If you use the internet this can be purchased at www.peterandsonjawilliams.com
Or from John Leyton’s website www.johnleytonofficial.com or by post
5 Stone Hill, Two Mile Ash, Milton Keynes. MK8 8DH. (Price ?12 incl P&P UK)
Look out for the JOHN LEYTON Exclusive coming in THE BEAT soon!
THE OFFICAL ELVIS PRESLEY FAN CLUB MAGAZINE Dec / Jan 2006 issue. It features the Peter Williams interview with John Leyton on his time with Elvis.
To order your copy it's ?3.00 from EPFC, Box 4, Leicester LE1 3ZL. Make sure you clearly state the edition Dec/Jan 2006.
Also, anyone wishing to join The Official Elvis Presley Fan Club should write to Todd Slaughter at the same address.
Review of 'Billy Fury - Always Remembered Volume 2' from John Fisher (Musicman) - October 2005
I am very pleased you are happy with the review you have received from Dave Lodge & the very poorly Tommy Bruce I am pleased that your cd obviously cheered Tommy up.
As it has been said before your playing is excellent and I know Billy would have been pleased to hear the songs he had written or the songs he had recorded being played in such a beautiful style which is simplicity at it's best.
I also think the idea of recording on guitar the songs of such talented people like Billy Fury & John Leyton is a credit to you especially being British Stars who have had quite a few hit's in the past, I expect it will be Marty Wilde or Cliff next.
I think that all that like guitar music will put you up there with the best, you truly have your own style.
I wish you well
The Incomparable Peter Williams.
By Dave Lodge and Tommy Bruce - October 2005
When Peter asked Tommy and I if we would be kind enough to give our opinion of his guitar playing I thought wow! What an opportunity. Then I thought who do you think you are? What makes you think you have the ability to comment on this mans talent? What follows is a very humble attempt to describe the talents of a remarkable and gifted man.
Over the years Tommy Bruce has had the pleasure to appear with and be backed by some of the finest guitar players this country has ever produced. Players of the calibre of Big Jim Sullivan, Hank Marvin, Roger Mckue and Alan Lovell are just a few of the names he has been able to appreciate the talent of first hand. All except Hank, who he appeared on shows with, have actually played in bands for him. He knows a great talent when he hears one.
So when I took Peters CD to Tommy he was not prepared for as he put it ‘the pleasure it would bring him’. Tommy as many of you will know is far from well at this time and the joy he has derived from listening to Peter’s renditions of songs he remembers by his great friend Billy Fury has been immense. One of his comments was ‘I don’t believe it I can almost hear a haunting refrain of Billy’s voice’. Please tell Peter from me ‘he right up there with the very best of the best’.
When I first heard Peter play I was struck by the simplicity of the sound not that it was easy, just that he seemed to instinctively know less was more. Also, that every note is filled with emotion. I am not ashamed to say that I wept when listening to his poignant rendition of ‘In Thoughts of You’ for the first time. Peter has a rare gift; we are blessed that he chooses to share it with us
The word incomparable may seem to some one who has never heard Peter play to be excessive. All I ask is that you listen to his unique style of play and form your own opinion. What I do know is, you will not be disappointed.
Review of 'Billy Fury - Always Remembered Volume 2' from BillyFury.com - October 2005
"As we know from the first volume, Peter Williams is a guitar virtuoso whose style inevitably invites comparison with Hank Marvin. These fourteen tracks make superb easy listening. My advance copy soon became a favourite choice to accompany lazy evenings with a book, or a quiet meal. Peter's greatest talent lies in giving voice to the guitar, as he works at bringing the vocal line to life." billyfury.com
Review of 'Billy Fury - Always Remembered Volume 2' from Brian'Licorice' Locking.
"My immediate response was....your warm melodic sound. Lovely for the ear to listen to. I know a lot of work, thought, blood, sweat and tears have gone into your work on this CD. Some passages played were not easy to play, Peter, but you made them sound easy. You seemed to have learned the art of 'Not what you put in - but the art of what to leave out', which accounts for the simplicity of style and interpretation. I look forward to listening to your coming CD in tribute of John Leyton".
Brian 'Licorice' Locking - October 2005
Review of Peter Williams New CD 'Billy Fury - Always Remembered' by Brian 'Licorice' Locking
May I say right away that this new CD of Billy Fury songs is played beautifully by Peter Williams. He has captured the uncluttered, simple, effective, mood of the much loved artist Billy Fury. Because, I well remember playing on tour with Billy on a tour in Ireland with The Wildcats. We were with Billy, then Marty Wilde, then Billy again. He was such a nice quiet unassuming modest man. - But Boy - didn't he work hard in his performances. He put 500% into everything he sang. He was a delight to play for.
I also remember Hal Carter with fond memories when he became our driver in our almost clapped out Bedford Dormobile (Brown), we used to tour with all over the country. Great guy! He really looked after us.
So back to the CD of Peter Williams played with simplicity and depth. I think he has captured the very right mood and sentiment needed for such a loved man as Billy Fury. Look forward to the next one Peter.
Brian 'Licorice' Locking
I have known Peter Williams for many years. From the days when he was a very keen Guitar student practising and learning everything he possibly could about playing, arranging and choosing the best tunes and the best keys in which to play them. This is always necessary in order to bring out the Guitar's range of tones and colours, and the exciting sounds it can produce.
I am proud to say that he has become a fine teacher and a fine player. This Cd shows how brilliantly he now performs. He has travelled a long journey with great distinction, and like myself, he realises that no matter how well we play, we can always learn more and more about the Guitar, it's capabilities and it's music - for we can never stop learning and loving the guitar.
What a great idea of doing Elvis instrumentals. At this point of time I have never met you, only spoken to you over the phone. Thanks for sending me your previous CD, and now the latest CD 'Instrumentally Elvis'. I remember BRUCE WELCH saying to me..."Keep it simple". Listening to your CD you seemed to have done just that and developed the art of not what is put in a melody - but what to leave out. Nicely uncomplicated and no fiddley twiddley bits. No substitute for experience is there! Which is demonstrated in your playing on your CD. Great stuff! I look forward to seeing you in the near future, maybe do a gig sometime somewhere. Regards to you Peter and your family."
Brian ' Licorice' Locking.