About This Music

At age 16, Richard Willaims led the Red Garter Banjo Band at the New York World's Fair. Then he discovered his Uncle Syd's bouzouki and acquired a taste for the exotic. He has since stumbled upon nearly a dozen ethnic, hard-to-spell instruments, bringing his own wild and subtle style to rock, folk-jazz, modal improvisations, gospel, belly dance, and now...The Wanderer.

From a mystical Wild West bordello through Dixieland dementia, to Arabian desert dances, The Wanderer cuts new paths from West to East through uncharted musical territory.

Richard Raven Williams brings his mastery of 16 stringed and wind instruments to skillfully crafted lyrics, creating new musical genres along the way: Iraqi Tex-Mex on the beach in Baja, Confucius does 30's swing in Just a Dream, and a sorrowful sarod in the fractured C&W tale Livin' in a Van. The longing of the heart in Harbor Lights and Calling goes terribly wrong and moves west on a river trip through hell in Santa Fe, as Dear Marie's New Orleans jazz band in the asylum basement plays on.

The Wanderer stirs a complex mix of opposing elements: dry humor, deep yearning, faith and terror, hope and despair. Water and desert set the stage for a soulful encounter of American folk, jazz and ragtime, with the intriguing twang of Mid-Eastern strings: Mose Allison meets Ravi Shankar. And though The Wanderer's destinations are diverse and sometimes outlandish, Williams maintains cohesiveness throughout the journey and brings us home in one piece.