Hailed by the Irish Times as "a musician of remarkable sophistication," John Williams holds five All-Ireland titles and is the first American-born competitor to win first place in the Senior Concertina category. His additional talents on flute, whistles, and bodhràn distinguish him as a sought after multi-instrumentalist on the Irish session scene. John has appeared on numerous recordings, film soundtracks, and television broadcasts including The Brothers McMullen, Traveller, and the PBS series Out of Ireland. His solo debut on Green Linnet was included in the Irish Echo’s Top Ten traditional releases of 1995. As a founding member of the band Solas, John received wide recognition and played to capacity crowds at Wolftrap, the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, the Montreaux Jazz Festival, and the National Folk Festival. The group earned both a NAIRD award and a Grammy nomination for their self-titled 1996 release.
On Steam, John carries three generations of concertina music within him; Brendan Williams, his father, and Old Johnny Williams, his grandfather, successfully linking Shannon with Chicago. John joins forces with producer and former Solas mate Séamus Egan, fiddler Liz Carroll, Solas guitarist John Doyle and percussionist Paul Wertico (Pat Metheny Group). The resulting sound is one of explosive ensemble playing and masterful understatement.