Artist: Bear Williams
Alias: Larry Kimpel
Location: Chicago, IL
High School: Emil G. Hirsch; Chicago, IL
College: Columbia College; Chicago, IL
Began Performing: 1978 w/ Mavis Staples & The Staple Singers
Instruments: Vocals, Bass, Guitar
“Robert Cray & Charlie Pride Meets The Rolling Stones"
THE BEAR WILLIAMS BAND:
Bear Williams: Bass, Lead Vocals
Alton Smith: Keys, Vocals
Bill Brickey: Guitars, Vocals
Chris "Chili" Winters: Lead Guitar
Clyde Davis: Drums, Percussion
Dee Kimpel: Vocals
Dana Buetow: Vocals
Lucas Bauer: Vocals
Beginnings: The Bear Williams sound begins in Arkansas where his Mother and Father were both born. Some of his earliest musical influences were the Staple Singers, Robert Johnson, Howling Wolf, BB King, and Son House .
Favorite Things: My Wife, Family, Good Music, Classic Cars, Westerns, Model Trains, Good Food, Great Friends.
Motto: Strive To Be The Best That I Can Be And Help Others Along The Way!
More About Bear Williams...
Q. Why did you decide to do a Blues/Americana Roots-Based Recording?
A. In 1976, I attended the funeral services of "Howlin Wolf" at the A.R. Leak Funeral Home in Chicago. I was just 17 but it was a very impactful moment in time for me. I was just deciding at that time what I wanted to do with my life and I just knew soon after that chance encounter with the late legend that music would indeed become my life's passion.
My high school band director, Mr. George Hunter was the teacher that urged not only myself, but all of my classmates to attend this homegoing service. Mister Hunter didn't let us know who the artist was, but what he did say was "All of you need to go up to Leak's funeral home after school today and pay your respects to a giant in the music industry." I think the seeds of the Blues were somehow planted in me that day.
Throughout my long career I've played many styles of music from Rock to Soul to Jazz to Country to Reggae to Pop. But I must admit, that the one music that brings me the greatest joy inside my soul is that of the Blues and Americana roots genre. Perhaps it's the simplicity and rawness of the music coupled with the complexity and raw emotion of the stories that grabs me and just won't let go. The great B.B. King once said that, "The Blues is soothing to me, just like if someone had a toothache and a dentist gives them some medicine to stop the toothache." That's what the Blues meant to B.B. and I can agree with him wholeheartedly.
My new project, "Waters Of Love" is the beginning of a brand new journey in music for me. Its a path that I am extremely proud and excited to be traveling upon. If you're a fan of Blues and Americana Roots music, then won't you come along on this journey with me? I know that we'll have a ball together!