About 11 years ago, I was walking down the middle of Cherry Street wrapped in asoke, a fabric worn by the Yorubas of Nigeria for hundreds of years. And, no I wasnt trying to get hit by a car. The streets were blocked off for the Macon Music and Heritage Festival. So, I was headed to the Jazzplex until the festivities started up.
Before reaching the club, there was a stage at the corner of Third and Cherry streets. One of the band members stopped me and we introduced ourselves. He couldnt help to mention that I looked like an artist and didnt seem to be from Macon. However, he was shocked to learn that I was born and raised right here. Anyway, we end up being life-long friends.
Lamar Williams Jr. is one of Macons diamonds in the rough. Hes quite humble about his underground work and legacy as a musician, singer and songwriter. His father was the late Lamar Williams, bassist of the Allman Brothers and Sea Level bands.
After researching the history of Lamar Williams, I can recognize a lot of his characteristics in his son. According to stories from legendary musicians like Johnny Lee Jaimoe Johnson and Chuck Leavell, Lamar Williams was confident, laid-back and naturally talented. He knew how to use the bass to create the heartbeat of a song.
Like his father, Lamar Williams Jr. uses his visceral abilities to create music and songs. Hes a quiet guy with a charming personality whos serious about music. Although he picks up his guitar every now and then, Williams Jr. is more gifted with singing and songwriting.
When you hear him perform or listen to his CD, you can feel the message. Whether its pop, neo-soul, gospel, hip-hop, alternative or R&B, his voice has a way of touching the soul. When you witness him in a recording or rehearsal session, his ear for music becomes obvious. And the most striking similarity between Lamar and his father are their physical features.
Lamars father and beautiful mother, Marian Belina, were both natives of Mississippi. However, the vibrancy of the arts in Macon attracted them to live here and make it their home.
Hopefully, Ive inspired you music lovers to check out Lamar Williams Jr. on FaceBook, Twitter and ReverbNation. Hes a past member of the well-known Southern rock band Rehab. Williams Jr. has laid down vocals on some of Rehabs songs as well as toured with them. And, I definitely cant mention Rehab without mentioning one of their present members Demun Jones from Jones County. He introduced me to the group at least eight years ago, while he was on their promotional street team.
In the meantime, check out the Allman Brothers Band Museum at the Big House for more information. And, spark up a conversation with Lamar or his sisters, Marla and Erica. Im sure theyll be delighted to share and learn more about the musical talents of their dad.
Yolanda Y-O Latimore can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.