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“Williams offers acoustic-driven work that falls in the timeworn space between folk and country, but his inherent charm and unique rhythmic sensibility make it all seem fresh and new.” — Independent Clauses
“Williams’ words ring heavy with an emotional tone ripe with allegories and historical cues you’d expect from the birth-state of America. It’s soft and rugged, wholesome and powerful, and takes you on a ride through each song.” — Nashville Music Guide
“A confessional singer in the spirit of Bob Dylan, Tom Waites or Tom Petty, Rob Williams is a pure story teller at heart.” — IndieMinded.com
Rob Williams is a natural storyteller. In the opening lines to his latest record, An Hour Before Daylight, Williams introduces his origins in a smart, buoyant style that continues throughout the record. His interest in history, which informs many of the songs on this new record, is not based in facts and figures but rather in the personal, exploring specific characters and how they are affected by circumstances and changes throughout their lives. An Hour Before Daylight excels in its offering of compelling stories, each sung in Williams’ smooth and slightly raspy voice over loose but well-shaped arrangements featuring classic Americana instrumentation. The result of these elements is the kind of record that you leave playing in your car for the whole drive from Brooklyn to San Diego because you’re never not in the mood to hear them.
There is an ease and brightness in Williams’ songwriting that blends the relaxed, free-wheeling feel of old classic country with a new, more modern intelligence. His dexterity with rhyme makes his storytelling feel natural, while the subjects addressed in An Hour Before Daylight range from loneliness to lies to Greek mythological figures to a sociopolitical drama of miners in Butte, Montana. His background in education (he earned a doctorate in educational leadership) is evident in his lyrics, but their cleverness is not overbearing or stiff. Each song reveals more of Williams’ emotional capacity to understand and empathize with a wide variety of human conditions. His songs are of and for real people.
Williams is currently heading back into the studio in Richmond to record his fourth solo album, which will be released sometime in 2020. “This time we’re preparing ahead of time, just to try something different!” Catch Williams on tour in the Northeast this summer, or next fall during a brief regional tour of the West.
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