This week DeBraun Thomas features a veteran musician who freely shares his gift with others.
Winchester native Danny Williams moved to Lexington in 1997 and has been a regular part of the music scene ever since. Williams plays guitar, bass, ukulele, and drums but says his main instrument is the mandolin which he started playing when he moved to Lexington. It was learning this instrument that Williams says changed how his approach to music for the better.
“And then I thought ‘well I’m just gonna, ya know, I’ve been playing guitar for a while so I’ll just think of it as an upside down guitar kinda like that’ and that was a terrible idea it took, it was not a good idea so I thought ‘if I’m gonna keep playin this I’m gonna have to treat it like it’s a brand new thing and I don’t know anything’ so that’s what I did and from then on I’ve been addicted.”
This addiction has led Williams to be a part of many bands in Lexington including Bluegrass Collective and the Barry Mando Project, a group Williams started in 2010 as a jazz funk trio where he plays the baritone mandolin. In addition to being a mainstay in the local music scene, Williams has also made a name for himself as a teacher with the Lexington Music Lab. Williams says teaching is also another way for him to hone his craft as a musician by playing music unfamiliar to him, but the most rewarding thing is sharing that gift.
“The biggest benefit I think of teaching is just watching somebody become really good and passionate about music, I’ve been lucky to have several people become professionals and that’s heartwarming for sure.”
Danny Williams plays with Bluegrass Collective on the fourth Sunday of every month at Lynagh’s Irish Pub. Williams also plays with Deep Cuts, The Smithdogs, and the Barry Mando Project. Information about these projects and others can be found at Barimando.com. Information about the Lexington Music Lab can be found at lexmusiclab.com.