Blues club gig for Gypsy Bill

TROUBADOUR Gypsy Bill Williams plays for the Blues Club at the Cask on Friday.

Since Bill and wife Del started busking in York over 20 years ago, they have established themselves on the blues circuit and regularly appear at blues festivals.

They have shared bills with blues luminaries including Eric Bibb, Big Joe Louis, John Hammond, John Jackson, Louisiana Red, Bob Kirkpatrick and Tony McPhee.

Like most of his mentors, Bill is a self-taught guitarist and harmonica player who plays foot cymbal, high hat and bass drum.

Del plays upright bass and is also self-taught, originally using a tea chest similar to the one used by jug bands at the turn of the 20th century. She now favours the more familiar acoustic variety.

Promoter Mark Horsley says: “I saw Bill and Del at the Guisborough blues festival last month and they put on a great, uptempo, feel-good performance. When they started to play, the dance floor immediately began to fill up.

“Bill has a very deep raucous voice, a really energetic stage presence and is a wonderful guitarist. He boasts a wide range of styles and, among many other things, plays some really impressive slide guitar.

“Audiences really appreciate Bill’s enthusiasm and commitment to the blues tradition and his no-nonsense approach. It’s all about the music, the songs and communicating with the audience”.

Entry costs £5 (or £3 for club members). Tickets can be reserved by ringing Mark on 07956 925925.

l The blues club is a not-for-profit organisation run by volunteers. It is based at the Cask but has no commercial link with the pub. Like most other music clubs in the country, it relies on ticket sales to pay for acts.