VIRTUOSO guitar player Brooks Williams is helping the Essex music scene re-emerge from the pandemic when he returns tomorrow night.

Effortlessly combining old-time finger-picking, country flat picking and bluesy backbeats, Williams is rated one of the top 100 acoustic guitarists and hailed as "one of the most unassuming, natural performers on the circuit".

His musical apprenticeship was in bars and clubs in New York and New England, and he cut his teeth supporting artists such as Shawn Colvin, Chris Smither, Rory Block, Leo Kottke, Odetta, Billy Bragg and Taj Mahal.

Debut album North From Statesboro caught the attention of the Washington Post and National Public Radio, which set the ball rolling and Williams never looked back.

Today, Williams’ ongoing collaboration with Boo Hewerdine (State of the Union) is legendary and he has also performed and recorded with fiddler Aaron Catlow, banjoist Dan Walsh, guitarists Martin Simpson and Henry Parker as well as singers Katie Spencer, Christine Collister, Kris Drever, Finlay Napier, Sloan Wainwright, Hans Theessink and Rab Noakes.

Now based in Cambridge, Williams is performing upstairs in the Long Room of Maldon's Blue Boar Hotel this Friday (October 8) from 8pm.

He is back courtesy of MacTheatre, whose reputation for producing high quality live performances in local venues for more than 25 years was stalled by the pandemic.

Director Nicola Esson said: “After such a long time of being unable to come together, we hope to ease our audience into experiencing this reawakening of the arts.

"Brooks Williams is the most amazing performer and will bring the room to life again, beautifully.”

Friday's show is at 8pm. Tickets are £15 from the link on MacTheatre’s website

Seating is limited as MacTheatre are working to a reduced capacity audience.