dj williams

DJ Williams brings the funk with his favorite guitar—a new stock Gibson ES-335 he got in Austin—onstage with Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe. Photo by Rich Osweiler

A modern funk guitar kingpin brings sly, slinky solos and soulful scratching to Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe.

Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe shakes your booty. The group is a perennial festival favorite and offers a feast of irresistible grooves, jazz stylings, and down-home feel-good boogie-woogie. And DJ Williams, KDTU’s guitarist, is point center of that proprioceptive assault.

Williams is a monster. His rhythm playing sits deep in the pocket and lays a solid foundation. But Williams isn’t limited to rhythm—as if that were a problem. He’s also an inventive, effective, and ear-catching soloist, armed with a warm tone and superior chops. Within those chops are two signatures: his use of shell chords to expand the sound of the Tiny Universe and his exceptional scratching technique, which makes his abbreviated moniker seem like a matter of fate.

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