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Funky Geezer

Category: Personalities
Award: Best Local Character - 2016
Year Won: 2016
Pick: Editor's Pick

He shows up at the Evening Muse for open mic night wearing his trademark pageboy hat, looking impossibly skinny and far too old to be out past 9 p.m. on a Wednesday. But as he starts to play, the bluesman silences all doubt. Halfway through his song, he puts on a ridiculous plastic beanie cap and declares, “Let’s get happy.” The audience whoops and claps.

He is Woody Williams, otherwise known as the Funky Geezer. Fixture at Smelly Cat Coffeehouse in NoDa, onetime contestant on “America’s Got Talent,” and the best damn bluesman you can hope to see for three dollars on a weeknight. In a city often accused of being bland, he’s a much-needed enigma, a man who sings with sorrow and a sense of humor that draws us all in.