A native of the Arkansas Ozarks, Allison got her start as a punk rock musician before rediscovering her musical roots. Several years in the mountains of North Carolina educated her in Appalachian banjo techniques, especially the fast, distinctive styles of Hobart Smith and Wade Ward.
In 2005 she formed the Forge Mountain Diggers, a hard-driving oldtime band, with Freight Hoppers fiddler David Bass. The Diggers toured internationally for three years, sharing stages with Rhonda Vincent, Donna the Buffalo, and many other giants of the new roots music scene.
Allison Williams’ solo CD ” Give Me the Roses” came out in autumn of 2008, featuring driving arrangements of traditional old-time songs, as well as eclectic originals, woven together by a talented backing band of rising stars: alumni of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Old Crow Medicine Show, and the Wiyos, among others.
Since then she has toured internationally, playing to a sold-out Barbican Hall in London, as part of the BBC’s “Folk America” special, and backing folk legend Michelle Shocked on her 2010 East Coast tour.
Making her home again in the Ozark mountains, Allison, when not on the road with her Hot Ash String Band, does live and studio sound, works with Southern folklore, and plays swing bass as much as possible.
Allison owns and operates May Bell Music in Fayetteville, offering vintage instruments, repairs, lessons focusing on traditional music styles, and offering workshops, concerts, jam sessions, and other events regularly.
Contribution: Willow Gardens
Down in the willow garden where me and my true love did meet
There we sat a-courting my love fell off to sleep
I had a bottle of red, red wine which my true love did not know
And there I poisoned that dear little girl down by the banks below
I drew my dagger through her which was a bloody knife
I tossed her in the river which was an dreadful sight
My father often told me that money would set me free
If I would murder that dear little miss whose name was Rose Connelly
Now he sits by his garden gate a wiping his tear-brimmed eyes
Mourning for his only son out on the scaffold high
My race is run beneath the sun, hell is waiting for me
For I did murder that dear little girl whose name was Rose Connelly