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Willie J. Laws sings the blues at FSU

Cesareo Contreras/THE GATEPOST

By Maria Hornbaker

On Monday, Willie J. Laws and his rhythm and blues band performed in the Dwight Performing Arts Center (DPAC) for a Midday Performance.

Guitarist, singer, and songwriter, Willie J. Laws has been performing a mix of country, rock & roll and classic R&B for over 25 years. According to his website,, his music is a “Soulful mixture of South Texas Blues/Funk.”

He also has been nominated for the Boston Music Award.

Bruce Mattson accompanied Willie J. Laws on the piano, Osi Brathwaite on drums and Malcolm Stuckey was on bass guitar.

This was Willie J. Law’s fourth time performing at Framingham State.

Suzanne Wright, a freshman who attended, said, “I came here because I like blues music, to be honest. I saw this was a free show. I didn’t have any classes so I said ,‘why not?’”

The first song that was performed was an upbeat tune that had a splash of funk.

Most of their songs were original. The covers were of the rhythm and blues genre.

The second song he performed was an original called, “Black Maria.” Although this was mostly instrumental, the song was catchy.

His stage performance went along with the feeling of every song. He was active and noticeably in tune with every strum on the guitar, beat on the drums and tap on the piano.

His next original song, “Boogie Man,” had the audience clapping their hands along to the upbeat, slow, yet soulful rhythm of it.

The transition from one song to another was smooth but not noticeable. However, when he slowed down the groove, you could tell that there were differences.

The highlight of the performance was when he played the guitar with his mouth.

His last song, “Cornbread Moan,” energized the crowd.

Student Ian Blight said, “I enjoyed it. It was very good.”

When asked why he loves rhythm and blues so much, Laws said, “The blues is the root for all American music.”


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