When she isn’t spinning classic tunes on the legendary New Orleans radio station WWOZ or working in her local community, Cole Williams is stirring up her own magic with her band. Together they create what Williams called African Rock, a heady amalgamation of soul, funk, rock, reggae and blues. Since 2007 the Cole Williams Band has opened for the likes of India.Arie, Lauryn Hill, Emily King, and Corey Henry to name a few. The group are fixtures of the vibrant New Orleans music scene and can be found playing around town regularly at famous clubs like the Maple Leaf, as well as touring across the world. Last year they released their album Sin City The Mix Tape, a fiery collection of R&B, funky soul, and dance music. While that album was undeniably fresh and innovative, the Cole Williams Band also embrace older influences.
Today Glide Magazine is excited to premiere their rendition of Sam Cooke’s powerful song “A Change Is Gonna Come”. The song is one of the towering classics of soul music, and you need to be hugely talented to even come close to doing it justice. Luckily Cole Williams and her band are more than qualified for the job, delivering a simmering, heartfelt take that hits you hard with wave of emotion. Of course, Williams makes it her own with her unique jazzy vocal stylings.
Reflecting on the choice to cover the song and its musical importance, Williams has this to say:
“A Change Is Gonna Come” is a song I’ve always been drawn to because of the message, and of course the arrangement and performance by Sam Cooke. As an artist, I feel a responsibility to empower my fans and reflect the times through my music and performances. My band and I perform this song at our weekly residency at the Marigny Brasserie, and we always feel the energy of the crowd when we start playing this song. I’m not just singing this song, I experience this song, and feeling the story or the message of a song I choose to cover is vital. This is also my first band recording since relocating to New Orleans from Brooklyn. We recorded the song at Long Gone Studio located in the 9th ward of New Orleans. This song is a very special piece of music and has always been very close to my soul.”
7/21 Brooklyn – C’mon Everybody
7/22 Philadelphia – World Cafe Live
7/29 NYC – Rockwood Music Hall