Earl “Guitar” Williams plays cigar box guitar with Marcus Lee on drums at Gip’s Place, a juke joint in Bessemer, Alabama. Williams learned to play guitar as a youngster, hanging out at Gip’s Place and the homes of friends who owned guitars in order to practice. He has played in singer Johnnie Taylor’s band and managed the band backing singer Benny Latimore. He also styled their hair. He can be seen performing at venues in the Birmingham, Alabama area and he also operates the Intensive Care Hair Salon in Bessemer, Alabama.
The cigar box guitar Williams plays was made by John Lowe, who performs himself under the name Johnny Lowebow. Lowe and his wife Beverly operate Xanadu Books and Music in Memphis, Tennessee.
Gip’s Place has operated for years in a tin covered shack in the back yard of gravedigger Henry Gipson.
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