BluesMan McKinney Williams was born and raised in rural Lexington, Mississippi. At the age of 9, his mother gave him a guitar and his daddy taught him how to play. Born to a musical family, he and his brothers used to sneak out on Saturday nights and play at a local jukejoint, making sure to be home before their mother awoke on Sunday morning.
It was there in the Mississippi Delta that his musical journey began, singing gospel in the church with his family. He wrote and composed his first album, Stay Focused, in 1991 with his family gospel group The Williams Singers. The album was a local success and sold over 11,000 copies.
Over the years, he continued to sing, and later formed a gospel group with his children, affectionately called Pop and Them Chillin’. Growing up in a musical family meant that he was always surrounded by different forms of music. Though he performed as a gospel singer for 35 years, the blues was in his heart.
Heavily influenced by legendary blues men like Elmore James and Howlin’ Wolf, McKinney branched off from gospel and launched his solo career as a Blues singer, calling himself “The Blues Man.” He refers to his style as “Front Porch Blues” – the kind of Blues that people played on their front porches at the end of the day. His style is also known as “cotton sack blues”, reminiscent of the days of the field hollers.
BluesMan, as he is affectionately known to his audience, has made his home in Jackson, Mississippi ever since he left the farm to make a better living for his family. His recently released acoustic album "Bluesman Show" is available here.
Now that his children have finished college and are out on their own, Bluesman is ready to take his unique style of blues on the road. Look for him in your neck of the woods soon!