In the early 90's, Williams sang guest vocals on Smothers' album for the Dutch label Black Magic, Bossman: The Chicago Blues of Little Smokey Smothers (produced by Dick Shurman). Based on that performance, the label decided to record Williams with his own band (and Smothers guesting on guitar). The result was Cold Shot, which was voted Best Blues Album of 1995 in Living Blues magazine's Readers' Poll. Cold Shot definitely boosted Williams' profile. He signed with Ecko Records in Memphis and released, naturally, Hot Shot, which is arguably his best effort, along with several other albums for Ecko and, later, CDS Records. Despite his larger profile from Cold Shot, Williams still mostly toured clubs in the South, though he did play the Chicago Blues Festival in the mid 90's. He passed away in 2011 at age 73.
Lee "Shot" Williams' contribution to our second Blues Fix Mix CD comes from Cold Shot, and it is a terrific, bombastic cover of "If It Wasn't For Bad Luck," a single released by Ray Charles and Jimmy Lewis in the late 60's. Where the original version is stripped down and funky, Williams' version benefits greatly from his world-weary vocal, Smothers' stinging guitar break and the Chicago Playboy Horns. This is one that all of us blues fans can certainly relate to, so sit back and enjoy!!