Music Bio of Brian Williams

My love for music started at the age of 8 yrs. old with a plastic trumpet I had received as a Christmas present. At the age of 9 yrs. old, I moved on to my grandmothers organ that she kept in the living room and learned a few folk/country songs from her music book but I was still not satisfied. At 10 yrs. old, my older brother had given me an old Kay guitar, I learned a few cords, picked up a few rock star stances and took my guitar out to the balcony to show-off to a couple of cute twins that lived across the way. I thought to myself, “self” this is what I was meant to be… A ROCK STAR! But every time a cool song came on the radio, I always found myself picking up the drum sticks and playing the corner wood trim of my closet till there was a pile of sawdust on the floor. When I turned twelve, I had come home from school and my grandmother told me to get upstairs and clean my room. As I entered my room there sat a Slingerland drum set she had purchased at a yard sale, already set up and ready for me to play. I jumped so high that I hit my head on the ceiling. That was the start of my true love for music.

At the age of 14, I moved in with my mother and changed schools to become the drummer for a very popular country band named ‘The Sundowners’ out of Elmira, New York. Within six months we had been awarded 1st place in the Elmira ‘Battle of the Bands’ as well as 1st the following year (1978 & 1979).

I became homesick and moved back to my home town Trumansburg, NY. so to live with my father and grandmother. I then started a rock band called Zephyr, playing songs from Def Leppard, Mötley Crüe, Kiss, Ratt and others. Zephyr played all the local parties and we soon were the local rock stars of T-burg.

After graduating high school in 1981, I then moved to New Orleans, Louisiana. In 1985, I landed a gig playing with two house bands at the world famous Papa Joe’s on Bourbon Street in New Orleans, ‘Scarab’ (classic rock band) and ‘EJ & the Electric Blues Band’ (Jimi Hendrix style rock-blues). I was playing 6 days/week, 8 hrs./day. On one occasion, C.C. DeVille (guitarist in the band ‘Poison’) stepped up on stage and played 5 songs with ‘Scarab’ including Johnny B. Goode at 120MPH!! In 1987, ‘Scarab’ had been graced with the privilege to be the warmup band for Santana on the River Walk in New Orleans. In 1988, ‘Scarab’ had disbanded and the Lead Singer and I had formed ‘Tour DeForce’. Tour DeForce played consistently throughout New Orleans and surrounding areas for the next couple of years.

In 1990, my roommate Dannell Darrenbecker (Robert Plant’s illegitimate son and who was a splitting image of a young Robert Plant) and I had formed ‘Creatures of Habit’, an all original band. Robert Plant had offered to send his plane to pick us up and fly us to his studio in Greece to record but before that happened, Dannell suddenly started trying to sound like his father (which no one can do properly) and after several talks with him I decided to leave the band before anything evolved.

I had been in numerous professional bands throughout the remaining years but in 2019, I have landed a drumming position with a very talented and exciting group of musicians called ‘Grey Ridge Boogie Daddies’ which has rekindled my love for music again and sparked excitement within me for what’s in store for the future with this group.

I am a dedicated professional drummer for 44 years. Music is deeply woven in both sides of my family. My grandmother and world famous recording artist Joe Bonamassa’s grandmother were sisters. My mother and Joes’ father were inseparable as kids and close cousins. My cousins on my father’s side include Alex Koch, drummer for Canada’s recording artist ‘Tony Balony’ and Steve Koch, guitarist for Canada’s Premier recording artist ‘The Demics’ & ‘One Eyed Jacks’. I guess I am the black sheep for not quite making it to the concert stage or major album label status but I sure do have fun trying to get there.

A List Of Bands From The Past

1977-1979: The Sundowners (Country) – Elmira, NY

Local Club Band/1st place ‘Battle of the Bands’ 2 consecutive years

1980-1981: Zephyr (Heavy Metal) – Trumansburg, NY

Private parties

1985-1988: Scarab (Classic Rock) – Papa Joe’s, Bourbon St. New Orleans, LA

House band (6 days/wk.), Warmed-up for Santana on the River Walk (1987)

1986-1988: EJ & The Electric Blues Band (Electric Blues) – Papa Joe’s, Bourbon St. New Orleans, LA

House band (6 days/wk.)

1988-1990: Tour DeForce (Classic Rock) – New Orleans, LA

Local Club Band

1991-1992: Creatures of Habit (Originals) – New Orleans, LA

Recording Band

1992-1993: Cold Steel (Classic Rock/Southern Rock) – Bloomington, IN

Local Club Band

1993-1994: The Peptides (New Age Progressive) – Bloomington, IN

Local Club Band

1997-2000: Joe Kerr & the Red Roosters (Blues/Texas Shuffle) – Montreal, Canada

Local Club Band

2005-2007: The Undecided (Classic Rock/Southern Rock) – Interlaken, NY

Festivals / Local Club Band

2007-2009: Cheyenne (Country/Southern Rock) – Van Etten, NY

Festivals / Local Club Band

2013-2015: Lake Effect (Grunge/Metal) – Ovid, NY

Local Club Band

2015-2016: Moe Graz & the Hillbilly Composers (Classic Rock/Southern Rock) – Ovid, NY

Local Club Band

2015-2016: Double Down (Grunge/Classic Rock/Modern Country) – Ovid, NY

Local Club Band

2016-2017: Frazzled (Classic Rock/ Modern Country) – Hawthorne, FL.

Local Club Band

Current: Dixie Kingpins (Blues Rock – Originals) – Sweetwater, TN.

Recording / Festivals / Local Club Band