Wide Awake Day
The story of the album Brian Williams was born and brought up in North Wales. He has been writing songs since he was in his teens. Most of the songs on the 'Wide Awake Day' album were written between 1990 and 1995 when he was living near Aberystwyth, Wales. They first got an airing in venues local to Aberystwyth with a band called 'Hylas Corner'. Some of the original members of that band appear on the album. Ian Gulley, with his excellent guitar work, and Dylan Jones, with his great voice, are two of the contributors. The songs were recorded between 2004 and 2007 in a tiny village close to Aberystwyth. In the front room of an old miner's cottage, with it's two foot thick walls, there was a natural silence. Brian used the atmosphere to capture the sound he wanted on a Roland VS890 digital recorder. By this time Brian had split with his partner and was living and working in The Midlands. He combined visiting his daughter with recording at the naturally quiet location. Most weekends he would pack instruments and equipment for the 2 hour journey to Wales. There was time to work on one or two tracks each trip - first the guitar, then the vocal. When he was happy with the sound, Brian invited the other musicians to the cottage to add their contribution and, gradually, gradually, the album took shape. Along with Ian Gulley and Dylan Jones, Steve Blaquire brought the mellow sound of his fretless bass, Sam Christie provided great percussion on 'Elena la Buena' and Dave Moore added whistle to 'Wide Awake Day'. Brian's daughter, Becky Smith-Williams, also lent her angelic voice to 'We Will Find A Way'. When all the music was laid down the next step was to mix and master it. Back in The Midlands, at The Garage Studio, Brian worked with the very experienced and very patient sound man, Larry Rushton,. A late decision to replace one track on the album with another delayed the completion of the final product but a few months later the track, 'The Gap Down By The Sea', was recorded with the help of talented Birmingham accordionist, Richard Adey, and it was soon fitting snugly in the album. The photography and design were generously provided by Anne Pillar and Peter Cartwright.