Agile! Mobile! And Hostile!

Andre Williams plays it cooler than Iceberg Slim in an igloo

It's a tall order to remain the biggest badass in the R&B world for damn near 50 years, but living-legend Andre Williams has managed to do it with verve, style, and an impeccable wardrobe. Williams first hit the scene with his 1956 smash hit "Jail Bait," a hilariously funky jam that warned "Even 17 and a half is jail bait." While continuing to crank out the coolest spoken-word raps this side of Iceberg Slim, Williams took a day job at Motown and wrote the definitive dance tune "Shake a Tail Feather" for the Five Duo Tones -- which went on to define '60s nostalgia in the films The Blues Brothers and Hairspray. Unfortunately for his career, Williams left Motown in 1965. He cut several classic sides for Chess and spent a chunk of the '70s with Ike Turner -- who introduced Williams to both Peruvian marching powder and the gutter. But the gutter doesn't stain cats like Andre Williams. In 1997, he was "discovered" by garage rockers the Demolition Doll Rods. A year later, his career was reborn with Silky, a Caucasian collaboration with blues deconstructionists John Spencer, the Dirtbombs, and a pre-White Stripes Jack White. Since then, he's released another four records including Red Dirt, a brilliant country album with Williams' Alabama roots sprawling out of the wax, and his current live opus, Holland Shuffle. This is Williams' first visit to South Florida in memory -- so buckle your seat belt and (in the words of Mr. Williams) be prepared to get Agile! Mobile! And Hostile! Andre Williams will perform with Blowfly and the Heatseekers on Friday, December 5, at I/O Lounge, 30 NE 14th St., Miami. Admission is $12; call 305-358-8007.
 
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