Nicknamed the “Gentle Giant” for his laid-back demeanor and easygoing approach to music (not to mention the fact he was rather tall), Don Williams and his smooth, rich voice were familiar to country fans through the 1970s and ’80s.
Williams is a bona fide country music legend, and was deservingly inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2010. However, for the most part he’s been out of the spotlight in recent years. Which is why his new album, And So It Goes, is such a big deal–it’s his first in eight years.
“I don’t remember the first time I heard Don Williams, because for me, he’s always been in our house,” says Urban in a well-made, 11-1/2-minute promotional video for And So It Goes.
Don Williams has “such a hopeful voice,” says Krauss, “everything good, everything figured out, everything kind–it’s like nothing else.”
That voice, she says, “speaks to everybody. Everybody wants that.”
“It was the voice that got me,” says Urban, “but it was [also] the groove. It so infected the way I play guitar, and the way that I write the groove in music.”
And So It Goes was produced by longtime Nashville vet Garth Fundis (Alabama, Sugarland, Keith Whitley) and features ten songs penned by such songwriting stalwarts as Kieran Kane, Ronnie Bowman, Al Anderson and Leslie Satcher, as well as Don himself.
It’s not the kind of album that will shock or surprise–in fact, for longtime Williams fans, it’s fairly familiar territory. Williams’ voice is in excellent form–rich like chocolate and as warm as an old friend’s gentle touch. And at the same time, between the vocals, the laid-back pacing, and the uncluttered arrangements, it sounds absolutely refreshing.
As producer Fundis said of the project, “We weren’t looking to reinvent Don, just to make a good new Don Williams record.”
Listen to one of the new songs, “What If It Worked Like That,” on Soundcloud.
And So It Goes tracklisting:
1. Better Than Today
2. Heart Of Hearts
3. She’s With Me
4. I Just Come Here For The Music (featuring Alison Krauss)
6. What If It Worked Like That
7. She’s A Natural
8. Imagine That (featuring Keith Urban)
9. First Fool In Line
10. And So It Goes
– Kurt Wolff, CBS Local