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I became a Holly Williams fan while listening to her latest album, The Highway. I had never heard her music until the album came out. I had heard a lot of great things about this album, so I decided to give it a listen. All I had to do was listen to the first song on the album, Drinkin', and I immediately became a Holly Williams fan. I listened to the album all the way through. It is by far one of the Best albums to come out in years!
I later did some research and found out that Holly Williams comes from Country Music Royalty. Her grandfather is the Legendary Hank Williams Sr. and her father is Hank Williams Jr. Holly has proven that the next generation of Williams' are most certainly qualified to carry the Country Music torch. Holly's music reminds me of her grandfather's, Hank Sr. She's got that same aching in her voice as Hank Sr. did. Holly sings with such emotion and has a beautiful voice, raw voice. She has definitely inherited the Williams' songwriting talent as well. She is a very gifted songwriter, anyone can hear (or see) that!
Her latest album, The Highway, is by far her best AND one of the best out in years! (I know I already said that before, but it needs to be said again.) It starts off with the song, Drinkin', which is the first single off the album as well. It's a catchy song being sung from the point of view of a woman who's marriage is falling apart. You can hear the guitar throughout the song, along with that good ol' fiddle. The next song on the album is in fact one of the best. Gone Away from Me, is a gut-wrenching song. It's perfect vocally and lyrically. It's such a beautiful song and Holly's vocals really bring it home. Jackson Browne backs Holly on vocals to give the song a haunting feeling.The next song, Railroads, is more upbeat in the melody. (It's also another personal favorite of mine). This song is catchy both lyrically and tune-wise. It's definitely a good road song. The title track, The Highway, is about the desire to go out on the road. Holly wrote or co-wrote every song on the album. Some of them are personal, you can even say autobiographical. Gone Away from Me, along with Waiting on June, was inspired by Holly's maternal grandparents. Gwyneth Paltrow sings with Holly on Waiting on June. Dierks Bentley guests on 'Til It Runs Dry, a rootsy song. Dierks' backing vocals are fantastic on this song and mesh well with Holly's vocals. Another song that stands out on this great album is Without You. Jakob Dylan sings on it with Holly. His raspy voice really goes well on the song.
I can not rave enough about Holly's vocals. There are singers, and then there are SINGERS. Those special few have a uniqueness, a special quality to their voice that sets them apart from the rest. All you have to do is hear a few notes and you can tell who's singing. Holly is in that group. There's an aching in her voice, something you can't quite put your finger on. It's beautiful and haunting.
This album is a must buy/listen for any true country music fan, but even if you're not a country fan it's a must! This album is in a class all its own. It's put in the Singer/Songwriter category because it's really the only true place it fits. I think the word "Masterpiece" is over used these days, But it should be used when talking about The Highway. There is hope for Country Music as long as Holly Williams is still singing and making music.