Williams said he played his first professional shows in Lafayette, La., where he lives now, but remembered that his first real break came after sitting in with the famed Buckwheat Zydeco.
Buckwheat Zydeco is one of the biggest name in zydeco music and one of the few zydeco players to have achieved some mainstream success, sharing stages with Eric Clapton, Dwight Yoakam, Willie Nelson and others.
"He played a big part in my career," Williams said. "He helped me out a lot, hooked me up with the right people and introduced me to record company people. He was just a good guy and good friend of my brother."
Williams said zydeco is kind of a family business for him. His cousin and brother have been part of the Zydeco Cha-Chas for decades. His son, Nathan Jr., has his own zydeco outfit, Lil Nathan and The Zydeco Big Timers, which has been around since Nathan Jr. was a teenager.
Williams said he couldn't help but be proud that his son is continuing the tradition.
Playing zydeco isn't exactly rock 'n' roll, but it's a pretty good life. He gets to bring the party.
"I just love what I'm doing," he said. "I'm blessed."
The River Queen will run a taxi service between Haddad Riverfront Park and the University of Charleston on Saturday for Wine & All That Jazz. Those departing at UC must have or be willing to purchase a ticket to the day's event.
Tickets are $3 for adults. Children age 12 and younger are admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult.
Leave Haddad: 7, 8:30 and 10 p.m.
Leave UC: 7:45, 9:15 and 11 p.m.
Reach Bill Lynch at ly...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5195.