Luckily Mick Collins is back on this one as executive producer. Collins is a story unto himself; his guitar work and singing with the Gories provided a template for Jon Spencer's success with his Blues Explosion. Here he pairs Williams with the right musicians by way of the aforementioned Blues Explosion, Memphis's Compulsive Gamblers, Cheater Slicks, the Countdowns, and Collins's own Dirtbombs. What's interesting is that the entire record sounds as though it was done by the same raw band, with Williams's alternately cruel and pleading vocals holding everything together. Williams provides nasty wit and expert vocal timing, but Collins stitches it together seamlessly with great playing and production.
Where Silky and last year's followup, Red Dirt, contained a few touching country songs, Godfather is much more funk- and groove-oriented. Williams's softer side makes an appearance here and there, but he expertly goes back and forth between his persona as a hapless, cuckolded older man and a vengeful pimp with no conscience. In other words he hits all the bad-ass Stagger Lee/Iceberg Slim marks that white America still loves to exalt and scorn. Since Williams wrote much of that book 40-plus years ago, it is a pleasure to see him still cranking out the same stuff in an undiminished and unrepentant manner.