Big Joe played a 9-string guitar which he pounded, slapped and drove like a demented downhill slalom through a thicket of seminal Delta blues, singing in a gutsy, raw, emotion- exhausting voice. Many of his songs were loosely constructed around the beaten chassis of a familiar Mississippi tune or riff, but in his hands they were totally personal, often topical masterpieces.” - Ian Anderson - Folk Roots
Born in Mississippi as one of 16 children, Williams learned to play guitar at five on a homemade instrument. By the time he was 12, he left home to hobo around Mississippi, playing and singing music wherever he could. That set the pattern for his life and he fit the romantic vision of a wandering bluesman.