Sunday, May 19 2013 5:00 PM EDT2013-05-19 21:00:22 GMT
The Alabama Department of Transportation will conduct its annual rehearsal of the plan that helped safely evacuate the Gulf Coast during Hurricane Ivan in 2004 and Hurricane Dennis in 2005. On Wednesday,More >>
The Alabama Department of Transportation will conduct its annual rehearsal of the plan that helped safely evacuate the Gulf Coast during Hurricane Ivan in 2004 and Hurricane Dennis in 2005. More >>
It's all about the odds, and one lone ticket in Florida has beaten them all by matching each of the numbers drawn for the highest Powerball jackpot in history at an estimated $590.5 million, lottery officials...More >>
Some lucky person walked into a Publix supermarket in suburban Florida over the past few days and bought a ticket now worth an estimated $590.5 million - the highest Powerball jackpot in history.More >>
Sunday, May 19 2013 2:00 PM EDT2013-05-19 18:00:09 GMT
Spring cleaning doesn't get much easier than during Trash Amnesty Week, set aside each spring by the City of Auburn. During the week of May 20-24, 2013, the fees normally assessed to Auburn residentsMore >>
Spring cleaning doesn't get much easier than during Trash Amnesty Week, set aside each spring by the City of Auburn.More >>
A senior White House adviser insists President Barack Obama learned the Internal Revenue Service had been targeting tea party groups "when it came out in the news."More >>
A top White House adviser insisted Sunday that President Barack Obama learned the Internal Revenue Service had targeted tea party groups only "when it came out in the news" while Republicans continued to press the...More >>
AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) -
"Sometimes, I'll just sit over there for hours and play," Riley Williams says, pointing to his couch as he tunes his guitar. "I won't even sing."
He twists the knobs at the end of the guitar neck until they're turned just right.
"Bills, work, relationships," he says. "If something's really tearing at me, I can write a song about it."
And then he plays.
An bright, upbeat number fills the room as he picks the taut strings.
For Riley, the guitar has always been a way to express himself.
"I picked up on the blues mostly," he says. "It's just raw. It's down to earth. I think everybody can relate to it."
He switches gears to a more bluesy song as he continues to play.
"Came home from work, walked in my back door," he sings in with a little twang in his voice. "A little bottle in my hand for this I'ma pour."
When he picked up the instrument 11 years ago, he found himself with an innate talent.
"Turns out I have a natural ability for it," Riley says.
At first glance though, it wouldn't seem like playing guitar would be a "natural" fit for Riley, who was born without a right hand.
But he hasn't let that keep him from playing the music he loves, and playing it well.
"I get asked a lot how I do that. It's just natural for me," he says.
"I pick the guitar with the skin right here and right there," he shows Fox 54's Jake Wallace. "Sometimes I use this little part right here depending on what I want to do."
And he uses those parts in what seems like a perfect way, dropping a quick solo on his acoustic guitar.
Riley says he and his family aren't really sure what caused him to be born with only one hand, and the vibe you get from him, it doesn't seem like he cares that much.
Initially, he says he was terrified about playing in front of crowds. Now, it's something he does on a regular basis throughout the CSRA, stunning many people with his ability despite his condition.
"I get all kinds of different reactions," Riley says.
"Some people are really interested by it. Some people are a little nervous about it. Some people are even scared of it," he laughs. "In that case, I think it's funny to mess with their minds a little bit."
And overcoming people's expectations has been something Riley has done his whole life.
"I remember being told a lot that I can't do this or I can't do that," he says. "That just made me want to prove everybody wrong."
He attributes his persistence through adversity to stubbornness.
"All the men in my family are stubborn," he laughs. "So I'm stubborn."
"If somebody said I couldn't do something, then I was going to do it," Riley says. "And I was going to try my best to do it better than them."
And don't call his condition a disability.
"The word disability makes me think they're unable to do something because of their condition," he says. "I feel like I've always been able to do what I want to do."
Besides playing the guitar, the 30 year old also drives motorcycles with no special modifications. He says he hopes to serve as an inspiration to others in similar circumstances, proving anyone can do anything they set their mind to.
"For anyone who has any sort of obstacle they have to overcome," Riley says. "If you just persist, and you stay on track with what you want to do, you'll be able to do it. And you'll probably be able to do it well."
For now, Riley says he's happy just playing locally a few times a month.
"It's just a hobby," he laughs. "It doesn't pay the bills."
But says after he earns his college degree from Augusta State, he might just think about pursuing a musical career, surely overcoming more obstacles along the way.