Lee Shot Williams

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Lee Shot Williams  

He was born Henry Lee Williams in Lexington, Mississippi on May 21, 1938.

Henry Lee Williams grew up in the country close to his cousin and fellow blues man, Little Smokey Smothers. He got the nickname "Shot" from his mother at a young age, owing to his fondness for wearing suits and dressing up as a "big shot."

"Shot" moved to Detroit in 1954 and to Chicago in 1958. He joined Smothers there and began singing with Smokey's band in 1960 and a few years later joined Magic Sam's band as a vocalist. In 1962, Williams recorded his first singles for Chicago's Foxy label, "Hello Baby" and "I'm Trying." He recorded a series of singles for other labels, including King/Federal, Palos, Gamma, Shama and Tchula. His 1964 recording "Welcome to the Club" was a hit in Chicago, so much so that it was later covered by guitarist/singer Little Milton for Checker Records in 1965. Another regional hit, "I Like Your Style," came out in 1969 and was later covered by Junior Parker. Several more singles followed including the very popular "Drop Your Laundry Baby".

His first album under his own name, "Country Disco", was released on the Roots label in 1977. In the 1980s, Williams released a slew of singles on labels like Tchula, 4-Way, True & Dis-Muke. He released an album on cassette with many of these cuts called "I Like Your Style". In 1994 the Japanese label Vivid Sound released an album called "A Shot of Rhythm and Blues" containing tracks Williams recorded in Memphis apparently for (but not released by) Quinton Claunch's SoulTrax imprint. The Black Magic label decided to give Lee a "Shot" behind his own band. The result, "Cold Shot" was released in 1995 and was voted the Best Blues Album of 1995 (New Recording - Soul / Blues) by the Living Blues readers' poll. His debut for the Memphis-based Ecko Records, "Hot Shot", brought Williams home to the "Southern Soul Blues" world with the hit "I'll Take The Risk".  In 2000 Williams scored another hit with "She Made A Freak Out Of Me", followed by "Somebody's After My Freak". Williams left the label again and recorded one disc for Charles Wilson's label called "Let The Good Times Roll" before returning to Ecko for four more successful albums, establishing him as one of the icons of the genre.

In 2008 Williams signed with CDS Records. His first CD for the label was released in 2008 and produced the hits "It's Friday (Time To Get Paid)" and "Wrong Bed". Two more albums were released by CDS Records, "I'm The Man For The Job" & "The First Rule Of Cheating" in 2010. Williams passed away 11-25-2011.

Album Discography

"Country Disco" (Roots/TK 1977) "Country Disco" (Roots/TK 1977)

1. I'm Willing
2. (I'm So) Afraid Of Losing You Again
3. Making Love Is Really My Thing
4. Country Disco
5. You Can't Hurry Love
6. The Love You Saved
7. I Think It's You
8. We're Gonna Make It
9. Me And My Woman

"Shot Of Rhythm & Blues" (Vivid Sound/Soul Trax 1994)

1. Make Me Holler
2. Ace Of Spades
3. You Can't Hide From The Blues
4. My Girl
5. These Blues Are Too Big
6. After Hours
7. Make Me Yours
8. Feel An Urge Coming On
9. Choking Kind
10. Three Into Two Won't Go

**1/2 Very rare Japanese release contains tracks produced by guitarist Sonny Mack, songwriter Bob Jones and "Shot" himself. Ranging from mediocre covers of "My Girl", "Ace Of Spades" & "Choking Time" to strong Blues numbers like "These Blues Are Too Big", "After Hours" and "You Can't Hide From The Blues". Shot's vocal on the latter is possibly a career best.

"Cold Shot" (Black Magic 1995) "Cold Shot" (Black Magic 1995)

1. It It Wasn't For Bad Luck
2. Love Is a Cold Shot
3. Drop Your Laundry
4. Boogie Down on the Weekend
5. Drowning on Dry Land
6. I Feel an Urge Coming On
7. High Steppin' Mama
8. Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye)
9. Who Is He Waht Is He to You
10. Don't Let the Green Grass Fool You
11. How Do You Want Your Thrill
12. I'm Tore Up

*** Acclaimed set of brassy blues which includes the chestnuts "Tore Up", "If It Wasn't For Bad Luck" & "Neither One Of Us" and also some Lee "Shot" hits from the past like "Drop Your Laundry" & "Boogie Down On The Weekend". This disc is especially noteworthy for "Shot" fans because this features a mostly live band.

"Hot Shot" (Ecko 1996) "Hot Shot" (Ecko 1996)

1. I'll Take the Risk
2. Make Me Holler
3. Somebody Took My Girl and Gone
4. Times Are Tough
5. Boogie Down on the Weekend
6. Lovin a Different Woman Ain't the Same
7. I Like Your Style
8. You Made a Believer Out of Me
9. You've Got to Try Me
10. Down in the Hood
11. I'll Take The Risk (remix)

*** First for Ecko is suited for "Shot" and features a big southern soul hit in "I'll Take The Risk". There's also ripping versions of his classics "I Like Your Style" & "Boogie Down On The Weekend". The set also contains what may be his finest moment, "Times Are Tough". The lyric: "Times are hard. Time are tough. Even Tarzan is mad about the world's situation. They stole his vine! His only means of transportation." Despite the humor there's an earnestness to the track that's truly Soulful.

"You Turn Me On" (Diamond Lady 1999)

1 Get Up Get Funky Get Loose
2 It Ain't Me No More
3 Your Turn Me On
4 Cry To Me
5 Easy
6 Welcome To The Club
7 I've Got So Much To Give
8 Yesterday I Fell In Love
9. Yesterday (instrumental)
10.Lifting Up Teh Name Of Jesus


Lee Shot Williams Freak "She Made A Freak Out Of Me" (Ecko 2000)

1. She Made a Freak Out of Me
2. Your Hoochie Boyfriend
3. It's Blues Party Time
4. Somebody Blew the Whistle on Me
5. On the Love Flight
6. I Got What I Wanted But I Lost What I Had
7. Ain't No Heartache Medicine
8. Sure Shot Man
9. Sex Starved Lady
10. Midnight Love

*** Lee "Shot" is back and scores a big hit with the title track. By this point he's fully immersed in being a southern soul-part blues singer- with most of the music expertly programmed and performed by the Ecko Records staff (John Ward). "Somebody Blew The Whistle On Me" is another hit where "Shot" complains one of his "playa hatin' friends" told his woman about his playin'. He names everybody from Artie "Blues Boy" White to Cicero Blake to Bobby Rush on this joint. Other standouts are "Sure Shot Man" & "I Got What I Wanted But Lost What I Had", which shows the sad results of cheating.

"Somebody's After My Freak" (Ecko 2001)

1. Somebody's After My Freak
2. Do What You Do
3. Let's Party Now
4. Back in Trouble Again
5. Who's Knockin' the Boots
6. I'm Gonna Be the One to Make You Happy
7. Freakology
8. Do We Keep Hanging On
9. Strong Do Cry, The
10. Cheatin' Fever

*** Williams and Ecko staff follow the successful blueprint of the last "Freak" album with this fine follow up. "Somebody's After My Freak" has "Shot" complaining that ever since he told y'all about the girl who made a "freak out of me" men are trying to steal his good thang. Labelmate Rick Lawson answered this song with "Lee Shot, Come And Get Your Freak". Other hits include "The Strong Do Cry" & "Let's Party Now".

Lee Shot Williams - Let The Good "Let The Good Times Roll" (Wilson 2002) 

1. Let the Good Times Roll
2. Get Away
3. Ain't Getting No Easier
4. Southern Girl
5. Sex Me Up
6. Ain't No Use
7. Ain't No Woman
8. Shaky Ground
9. Crossroad

*** One-off release on Charles Wilson's label (Wilson Records). If you don't mind (or if you like) programmed soul/dance music you'll dig this infectious concoction. Floyd Hamberlin, who wrote all nine tracks, and Wilson himself produced this party music- heavy on a uniform programmed drum/synth combo. While "Sex Me Up" is a rip of Hot Chocolate's "Sexy Thing" the highlights are the ear candy "Shakey Ground", "Ain't No Woman" & "Crossroad". Chico Banks plays guitar on some tracks.

"Before The Honeymoon" (Hot Spot 2002)

1. Freakology
2. Before The Honeymoon
3. Knockin' My Boots
4. Let's Dance
5. Is It Because I'm Black
6. What You Do In The Street
7. Never Gonna Find
8. You Fooled Me
9. Baby By An Outside Woman
10. It Ain't Me No More

** Mostly-forgettable and extremely rare CD includes a remake of "Freakology". Contains songs (like the title cut ,"Baby By An Outside Woman") new to Lee Shot's catalog and some old singles he released in the 80s but bootleg sound quality makes this a hard listen. For completists only. (The label , Hot Spot, recently produced a hit with Willie B. called "Larry Licker").

"Chicago Blues & Deep Soul Legend" (Famous Grooves 2003)"Chicago Blues & Deep Soul Legend" (Famous Grooves 2003)

1 : I'm Trying
2 : Hello, Baby
3 : I'm Tore Up
4 : They Told A Lie
5 : You're Welcome To The Club
6 : Hold Me, Hold Me, Hold Me
7 : When You Move You Lose
8 : Don't Misuse My Love
9 : The Millionaire
10: I'm In Love
11: I Hurt Myself
12: I Like Your Style
13: I Feel An Urge Coming On
14: You Are My Dream
15: I Found A Love
16: It Ain't Me
17: Baby, Baby
18: Checking Out
19: You Got To Try Me
20: It Ain't Me No More
21: Chokin' Kind
22: Since I Fell For You
23: Are You Leaving Me
24: Drop Your Laundry
25: The Love You Saved
26: On The Love Flight

*** Varied collection of blues and soul from this fine performer recorded in the 60s and 70s starting with his wonderful first single from 1962 "I'm Trying/ Hello, Baby" where he is accompanied by Little Mac, Freddy Robinson, Detroit Jr. and others. The rest of tracks were recorded over the next 15 years for a dozen different labels and find Lee with different bands and with different arrangers but always sounding good. The downside is the poor sound quality and the inclusion of two cuts mistaken as sung by Lee Shot! (actual singer unknown)

Lee Shot Williams - Get Down Tonight "Get Down Tonight" (Ecko 2004)

1. Get Down Tonight
2. You Got That Voodoo
3. My Kinda Lady
4. Who's Your Daddy?
5. Somebody's Changin' My Sweet Baby's Mind
6. Caught in the Middle
7. Juke Joint Slide
8. Give Me All Your Love
9. Back Door Lover
10. Cheatin' Is a Risk
11. Juke Joint Slide (remix)
12. [remix]
13. [remix]

**** He's back where he found his most success (Ecko Records) and delivers the best disc of his career. 10 songs- 10 winners. Two big hits, "Get Down Tonight" & "Juke Joint Slide" get you dancing (or toe-tappin' n' head-bobbin' if you don't dance). A couple fine slowies in "Who's Your Daddy" & "Give Me All Your Love" & a bona fide blues with "Back Door Lover". As a bonus there's three remixes of "Juke Joint Slide" as "hidden tracks". Programmed "party blues", "soul blues" or modern "Southern Soul" at it's zenith.

Lee Shot Williams "Nibble Man" (Ecko Records) "Nibble Man" (Ecko 2005)

1. Just Another Hole in the Wall
2. Ghetto Party
3. You're Slackin' Up in the Bedroom
4. Ease on Down in the Bed
5. I'm a Nibble Man
6. I Gotta Go Home So I Can Get My Freak On
7. Party Woman
8. Nothing But Party Blues
9. That's Really What the Blues Is All About
10. Ease on Down in the Bed

***1/2 Last year he delivered the fabulous soul/blues disc "Get Down Tonight" (featuring the hits "Juke Joint Slide" & "Get Down Tonight"- and several shoulda been smashes) and he aims to keep the momentum flowing here with this new party-themed disc. Things start off right with the dancer "Just Another Hole In The Wall", which is a kissing cousin to Carl Sims' recent hit "It's Just A Party". The first single is "Ease On Down In The Bed" with Lee Shot giving a humorous Bobby Rush-esque monologue on how to please your woman ("Ease on down in the bed a little further..."...but after he moves on down past her navel..he kisses her...her...her right knee- hee hee). A solid straight slow blues tune "You're Slackin' In The Bedroom" is here as is the album's highlight "I'm A Nibble Man", a smooth midtempo head bobber that's made for cruisin' in your ride. Not far behind is the thumping blues groove of "That's Really What The Blues Is All About". Lee Shot even revisits the "freak" theme with the self-penned "I Gotta Go Home So I Can Get My Freak On". All tracks are good but unfortunately there's only 9 new cuts here as track 10 is a "radio version" of "Ease On Down...". Fans of Southern soul blues, Lee Shot Williams or simply Ecko's (John Ward) patented sound will be very pleased.

Lee Shot Williams Starts With A P "Starts With A P" (Ecko 2006)

1. Everything I Like to Eat Starts with a "P"
2. You've Been Lying
3. Meat Man
4. It's Your Party
5. Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven
6. You Don't Have to Be a Freak to Do Freaky Things
7. Who's Knockin' Boots?
8. It's Not What You Got, It's What You Do with It
9. I Never Loved a Woman the Way I Love You
10. Why Am I Always at the End of Your Love Line?

**1/2 Like it or not modern Soul Blues or "Southern Soul" is mostly about sex, cheating and clubbing. If that ain't for you there's always Gospel. Anyway, there's just no denying songs comprised of double entendre and sexual innuendo are what sells in this market and "Shot" has been on a roll. Last year he scored two hits having to do with his oral fixations ("Ease On Down In The Bed" & "I'm A Nibble Man") and now he's back with another that'll make Marvin Sease wish he wrote it. Williams says "Everything I Like To Eat Starts With A P". You know, pizza, pot roast, peanuts, peaches...and I think you know where he's heading- the bedroom. It's not much of a song but if you liked "Ease On Down" you'll dig it. Hitbound fo' sho'. The innuendo continues on the mildly funky "Meat Man", featuring a big synth hook and the fine slowie "Knockin' The Boots" (making it's third appearance now). "It's Not What You Got It's What You Do With it" is another sweet, midtempo Southern Soul headbobber with radio potential but the real highlights are two Electric Blues cuts. After all, "Shot" first made a name for himself singing real Blues like the classics "Drop Your Laundry" and "I Like Your Style" and here he nails Don Nix's "Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven". Only Albert King's done better with this gem. It's a nice break from the programming that dominates the label's records. "Shot" also answers Aretha Franklin with "I Never Loved A Woman The Way I Love You". His disparate phrasing makes this a surprisingly effective Blues version. There should be a mandate thus forth that all Lee "Shot" Williams discs should contain a minimum of two straight blues cuts.

Lee 'Shot' Williams "Meat Man" (Ecko) Lee 'Shot' Williams "Meat Man" (Ecko 2006)

1. Meat Man
2. Secret Love Affair
3. Times Are Tough
4. Make Me Yours
5. I Got What I Wanted But I Lost What I Had
6. I Found a Love
7. Ease on Down the Bed - (live)
8. Midnight Love
9. I've Got a Problem
10. I Ate Too Much Over the Holidays

*** Two albums in one year on Lee 'Shot' Williams. "Meat Man" finds Shot continuing the cunninlingus theme he's been obsessed with as of late. "Nibble Man" sported two such songs ("Ease On Down In The Bed" & "I'm A Nibble Man"), "Starts With A P" delivered a particularly blatant one ("Everything I Like To Eat Starts With A P") and now "Meat Man" has another (two if you count the "live" version of "Ease On Down"). "I Ate Too Much Over The Holidays" is a fitting a title indeed! The superfluous sex talk aside it's a great cut destined to gobble up the competition on the charts.

While Williams' Ecko outings always give concessions to trendy, risqué novelty songs, he's really a Deep Soul & Blues man at heart. The set gathers some obscure 45s released on other labels like "Midnight Love" and "I've Got A Problem", two smoldering Bluesers, while Shot powers out Wilson Pickett's "I Found A Love" on the Deep Soul side. Especially noteworthy is the original version of his classic "Times Are Tough" (from his Ecko debut "Hot Shot"). That unmistakable gruff voice is front and center on this gem- perhaps his finest moment on record. Plus you gotta love that clever lyric: "Times are hard. Time are tough. Even Tarzan is mad about the world's situation. They stole his vine! His only means of transportation." Despite the humor there's an earnestness to the track that's truly Soulful. "Meat Man" does have it's share of repeats from previous albums, such as the title track, a bouncer with an incessant keyboard hook that's essentially the same cut with added background voices. Deja vu strikes again on the great shuffle-bumper "I Got What I Wanted But Lost What I Had", which is either a remix or new version.  "Midnight Love", "Ease On Down" & "Times Are Tough" aren't new to his canon either but pound-for-pound this is still a good  Shot album.

"Shot From The Soul" (CDS 2008)

1. Country Woman
2. It's Friday (Time to Get Paid)
3. Wrong Bed
4. Leaving You Dinner
5. Sexy November
6. Certified Lover
7. Two Steps Forward
8. Dirt Road to Your Heart
9. Shaking Your Tree
10. Catch You in the Truth

"The Best Of" (Ecko 2009)

1. She Made A Freak Out Of Me
2. I'll Take The Risk
3. Who's Knockin' The Boots
4. Ease On Down In The Bed
5. I'm A Nibble Man
6. Somebody Blew The Whistle On Me
7. It's Your Party
8. Your Hoochie Boyfriend
9. Juke Joint Slide
10. Lovin' A Different Woman Ain't The Same
11. Down In The Hood
12. Cheatin' Is A Risk
13. Who's Your Daddy?
14. Just Another Hole In The Wall

****1/2 When it comes to "best ofs" it's impossible to please everybody. If the artist has an extensive career some key track is bound to miss the cut. That said this 14-track collection pretty much gets it right. You got the big hits "She Made A Freak Out Of Me", "I'll Take The Risk", "Juke Joint Slide", "I'm A Nibble Man", etc. , his best slowies ("Who's Your Daddy?", "Your Hoochie Boyfriend") and a lil' juke joint Blues ("Down In The Hood").

"I'm The Man For The Job" (CDS 2010)

1. I'm The Man For The Job
2. 753 L.O.V.E.
3. 30 Minutes
4. Yesterday I Fell In Love

5. You're Welcome To The Club
6. It Ain't Me No More
7. Got A Good Woman
8. Are You Leaving Me For Another Man?
9. Easy
10. Lifting Up The Name Of Jesus
11. Yesterday (Extended)

"The First Rule Of Cheating" (CDS 2010)

1. It Don't Take All Night
2. Get Up Get Funky Get Loose
3. You Turn Me On
4. I Hurt Myself
5. (Sleeping In The) Wrong Bed
6. The First Rule of Cheating
7. You Fooled Me This Time
8. You Can't Hide From the Blues
9. Cry To Me
10. I've Got So Much To Give

"Greatest Hits, Vol. 1" (CDS 2015)

1 Sleeping in the Wrong Bed
2 753 L.O.V.E.
3 Sexy November
4 It's Friday (Time to Get Paid)
5 Shaking Your Tree
6 First Rule of Cheating
7 Are You Leaving Me?
8 You Fooled Me
9 Yesterday I Fell in Love
10 I Hurt Myself
11 Catch You in the Truth
12 Dirt Road to Your Heart

"2 Albums On 1 CD: Shot From The Soul & I'm The Man For The Job"

1 Country Woman
2 It's Friday
3 Wrong Bed
4 Leaving You Dinner
5 Sexy November
6 Certified Lover
7 Two Steps Forward
8 Dirt Road To Your Heart
9 Shaking Your Tree
10 Catch You In The Truth
11 I'm the Man For The Job
12 753-L.O.V.E
13 30 Minutes
14 Yesterday I Fell In Love
15 You're Welcome To The Club
16 You Can't Hide From The Blues
17 Got A Good Woman
18 I Hurt Myself
19 You Fooled Me This Time
20 It Don't Take All Night


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