Back Talk Blues Band Featuring Gary "Guitar" Williams

Gary "Guitar" Williams

Vocals and Guitar

Gary was born on December 13, 1959, to Samuel & Rachel Williams. Gary’s dad had a big love for blues and soul music, which he passed on to Gary at an early age.  “I saw the Beatle’s on The Ed Sullivan show in 1964 and was struck with the love for Rock & Roll.  I got my first guitar before I was 10 years old.  I was playing in bands by 12 years of age, and I continue to have a serious love for Rock & Roll. When I was 14 years old, my dad told me to check out Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf and B.B.King. As I listened to them more and more, I was hooked on the Blues.”  

“After high school and college, I did a short stint in the military. When I got out, I played with Satch & Company, a spinoff of The Ohio Players, but the blues were calling me. After playing in some really cool rock bands, I decide to go full-tilt with the Blues. I started Gary "Guitar" Williams & The True Blues, and we burned it up as a trio of Blues rockers.”

“I met Snapper Mitchum in the 80’s when he was playing bass for Son Seals out of Chicago. He and Son became mentors to me. After leaving Son Seals, Snapper started The Blues Invaders Blues band and, when he needed a new guitar player to replace the one leaving, I got the job. Albert Collins and Albert King were also big influences.”

“Tony Houston and I were co-guitarist in The Blues Invaders and that was one of my favorite lineups. Years later, I met Phil Guy (Buddy’s Guy’s brother) and he came out and toured with us. He was an awesome guitar player and singer. I learned a lot from him and will never forget him. This all happened from the mid 80’s to the mid 90’s. The Blues Invaders toured all over US & Canada. After leaving Snapper in the 90’s, I started The Gary "Guitar" Williams group, playing Chicago blues.”

“Years later, I found myself playing guitar with Malcolm Gibson & The Mighty Juke. I did two stints with that outfit. Malcolm is a killer harp player and dynamic entertainer. Later, for several years, I played guitar with The W.G. Blues Unit, out of Yellow Springs , Ohio. The W.G. Blues Unit was a progressive funk, rock, and Blues band. Gerry Greene was on Bass, Romey was on drums, and I played guitar. We later added Mark Crockett on harmonica, and had several guest vocalists sit in with the band. We played many show’s and festivals as well as recording a live cd of performances at our many shows.”

“In one of the latest chapters of my life, my old friend Jake Shumaker, earlier of the Malcom Gibson band, called and asked if I wanted to sing and play guitar with Tess & The TrueTones. Tess was leaving the band, so I was to be the new vocalist and co-guitarist. We later became The Uptown Blues Players, with Jake on drums, Skip Conner on bass, and later, Mike Safreed on bass. We played a lot of show’s around the Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky area, and we have an unfinished album waiting to be final-mixed. After two years with The Uptown Blues Players, I am at the crossroads once again.  I am excited about the Back Talk Blues Band Featuring Gary “Guitar” Williams. We are going to tear up some Blues for the world to hear.”

Marty Romie


As a bass player, Martin ‘Marty’ Romie, aka ‘Mr. Firstcall’, has performed with some of the  world’s best blues artists, including: Hubert Sumlin, Bob Margolin, Anson Funderburgh, Keb’ Mo’, Jimmy Thackery, Sean Carney, Kenny ‘Beady Eyes’ Smith, Rich DelGrosso, Josh Fulero, Jonn Del Toro Richardson, Tom Holland, Christian Dozzler, Samantha Fish, Mark May, Lydia Warren, Omar Coleman, Karen Lovely, Dave Workman, Joey Gilmore, Silky Ray, Quinn Sullivan, Cincinnati Slim, and Shaun Booker, and has performed in bands that opened shows for The Allman Brothers, Joe Bonamasa, John Primer, the Little River Band, and many others.

Along with being a founding member of several Dayton based bands, including The Soulcasters, Powerful Stuff, Brown Street Breakdown, Kiko Rio, Michael Scott Band, The Silver Kings, and Miss Lissa & Company, he has also worked extensively with Noah & The Stratocats, the Gary ‘Guitar’ Williams Band, Low Rent Blues, Piney Brown & His Swift Wind Band, Skeptical Cats, Michael Locke & The Repeat Offenders, and the Doug Hart Band.

 “ I’m excited about my latest and current project with the Back Talk Blues Band Featuring Gary “Guitar” Williams. Great players! I’m always looking forward to digging deeper into the blues.”   Mr. Firstcall


“Golddust Woman”  Piker-Jammer Band – recorded at Pantheon Studios and Chaton Studios in Phoenix, AZ for Desert Winds Records, 1980

 “Live At Gilly’s”  Noah & The Stratocats - recorded at Gilly’s in Dayton, OH by Exceptional Sounds, 2000

 “Buzz Me”  Noah & The Stratocats featuring Hubert Sumlin – recorded at Blue Heaven Studio in Salina, KS for APO Records, 2000

 “Very Lucky Man”  Sean Carney Band featuring Omar Coleman – recorded at Tony's Treasures Studio in Cadiz, OH for Sean Carney Get Down Blues Music, 2011

 “Sean Carney’s Blues For A Cure”  Vol. 4,5,6 assorted tracks with assorted artists including Sean Carney, ‘Long Tall Deb’ Landolt, Joey Gilmore, Karen Lovely, John Popovich, Steev Inglish, Dave West, Jan Roll, Brian Duress, Dave Workman, Micah Kesselring, Benjamin Thomas, Tom Collins, Omar Coleman, Jonn Richardson, and Noah Wotherspoon  – recorded at Tony’s Treasures Studio in Cadiz, OH,  2011, 2012, 2013

 “A Million Miles”  Lisa Imondi – recorded at Sonic Lounge Studio in Grove City, OH for Canti d’Imondi L.L.C., 2013

Mike Safreed


Mike has been playing guitar since he was seven years old, listening to country music, and was taught to play by his Uncle, "Ike". During high school, Mike played with a few local rock bands, doing mostly covers of the then-new British Invasion bands. One high school band in particular, Randy and the Viceroys, had some local notoriety with a couple of recordings that received both local and national radio play. Mike also had some personal success early on, getting to play in the opening band when Check Berry played at Hara Arena in the mid-1960's.

Also during the 1960's Mike worked at two local recording studios, Mega City Recording, and Mega Sound Recording, as both a recording engineer and a session guitarist, with some backup vocal work thrown in for good measure.

In the 1970's Mike followed a lot of guitarists and became enamored with the Allman Brothers Band, and fell in love with Southern Rock. After purchasing a Gibson Les Paul, Mike set out to learn every Allman Brother tune, but quickly learned that a lot of the guitar licks that he was learning were originally created by some of the great Blues guitarists of the early and mid 20th century. So, Mike started listening to the original Blues artists and by the 1980's, he had completely redeveloped his guitar style. 

Move ahead to the early 1990's and you will find Mike playing guitar all over the place, further developing his Blues style. By the early 2000's, Mike had played in several local Blues bands, but still hadn't found a group of players that wanted to play "real" blues. That all changed when he met Teresa Burns, a vocalist born in Canada but raised in the USA. Teresa shared Mike's love for the Blues, and together, they set out to create a band that would play nothing but Blues. That first band would become Red Hot and the Convertibles, and they then became The Red Hot Blues Band. Later still, and after many player changes, they finally became Tess and the TrueTones, and had almost 10 years of local and regional success.

When Teresa decided to move out of the area, the band changed to the Uptown Blues Players, and Gary "Guitar" Williams replaced Teresa. Due to some health issues, Mike had to leave the band, but in very early 2013, he returned, but this time on bass. Now, after a year, Mike and Gary have joined up with Marty Romie on bass and Rob Adamson on drums to create the Back Talk Blues Band Featuring Gary "Guitar" Williams. With the new lineup, Mike will handle a lot of the guitar duties and will support Gary with some back-up vocal work. 

Mike's main guitar influences include Ronnie Earl and a west coast player named Lloyd Jones. Plus, you'll hear an occasional lick from Albert King, Freddie King, B.B. King, and even Albert Collins. But, most of what you'll hear is Mike's unique style. He's taken licks from some of the Blues guitar greats, and made them his, adding his personal twists to create his own licks.

Rob Adamson


On drums, Rob Adamson lays down some of the best "shuffle" beats in the Blues world. Starting in the Washington, DC area, Rob has been playing drums in Blues bands for almost 40 years, and has played with some of the areas best and longest running bands, including The SoulCasters, Jim Cowan & Powerful Stuff, and the Doug Hart Band. Rob brings a real positive attitude to the band, and is a great influence on all of us. When you see him oat one of shows, don't hesitate to engage him in conversation. And, if you want to really see his true passion, just mention something about "fishing". And, he has the pictures to prove his boasting!