Last night I got to listen to Holly Williams’ debut CD (Mercury Nashville), “Here With Me,’” that is scheduled for release on June 16. Holly wrote or co-wrote 8 of the 11 songs on the CD, and I enjoyed listening to every one of them. If you really like country music, you are going to like Holly Williams. It’s as simple as that. You can listen to tracks from “Here With Me,” by clicking here.
Holly is the daughter of Hank Williams,Jr.; granddaughter of Hank Williams, Sr.; and half-sister to Hank Williams III. Writing seems to come easy to Holly, and singing seems to come naturally. Her writing is descriptive, and you find yourself waiting for a story to unfold through her songs.
Her biography says she grew up with interests ranging from modeling and fashion to interior design. But “her love affair with songwriting came back to the forefront at age 17 when she picked up a guitar, learned a few chords, and discovered her gift for crafting music and lyrics was still very much intact.”
Holly never forgot her interest in fashion and design, and opened the high-end clothing and accessories boutique H. Audrey in 2007, and H. Audrey Home in 2008, introducing new designers and brands to Nashville’s retail scene.
"I’ve always had this business side that I’ve needed to fulfill. I actually get to travel to Paris twice a year for work which is crazy to me, and dress friends of mine and stylish musicians. Sheryl Crow, Patty Griffin and Faith Hill all have a great eye for fashion. I love seeing who wears what to award shows and concerts!”
“My whole thing with writing is I love to tell a story,” she said about her music. “When I listen to songs, I play the movie in my head. There are certain songs in my head I see the colors and the visuals. Tom Waits is a genius at doing this. I’ve always hoped some of my songs inspire vivid pictures.”
“A song that was a departure for me from what I’m used to writing, but is an absolute blast to play live is ‘Love I Think Will Last’,” Holly admits. A song which follows in the light-hearted vein of Johnny and June Carter Cash’s “Jackson”, Holly continues, “People laugh at it. They love the story of it.”
I like to see who our country artists consider “influences”. Some list three or four. Some have as many as 10 … Holly lists 54 people who have influenced her music … and she ends that list with “and too many more to name”. Tom Waits, The Beatles, Peter Gabriel, Bob Dylan, Jackson Browne, Stevie Wonder, Ryan Adams, Merle Haggard, Neil Finn, Dad and grandpa, Leonard Cohen, The Band, Elliott Smith, John Prine, Radiohead, Nick Drake, Patty Griffin, Neil Young, Bonnie Raitt, Bruce Springsteen, Robert Johnson, Cat Stevens, Dolly Parton, Wilco, Patty Griffin, The Police, Nico, Lou Reed, Elvis Costello, The Rolling Stones, Leadbelly, Early Genesis, Paul Simon, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Daniel Lanois, Otis Redding, Chrissie Hynde, Sam Cooke, David Bowie, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, Joni Mitchell, Jimmy Scott, Tom Petty, Ben Folds, Fleetwood Mac, The Perishers, The Magic Numbers, Lori Mckenna, Billie Holiday, Johnny Cash, Ray Charles and too many more to name.
Here’s a little video that shows Holly talking about Hank Sr. being inducted to the Music City Walk of Fame.
Hope you will all jump on over to Holly’s MySpace page. Read the rest of her bio, listen to some of her music, then run on out on June 16 and pick up your copy of “Her With Me.” And remember, if your local radio stations aren’t playing Holly’s music, you need to call and let them know you want to hear it. Be sure to check out her tour schedule, too. I haven’t had the pleasure of seeing her in concert yet, but hopefully – that won’t be too far off.
That’s it for this morning. I have another fund raiser today for our Relay For Life team for the American Cancer Society. I’ll talk to you all soon!