Genre: Country, Singer-Songwriter
Ticket: $35.00 + service fees
Doors: 8 PM
Show: 9 PM
“Bringin’ Country Back” is more than a catchphrase for Zane Williams. It is a rallying cry for a return to authenticity and substance in mainstream country music, and a fitting title for his sixth studio album. “I think of country music as poetry for the common man,” he says reflectively. “The stories that draw you in, the simple truth stated in a way you wish you could’ve said...there’s an honesty to country music that totally grabbed me the first time I heard it.” That plain-spoken, down-home honesty has now become the calling card for Zane’s own career, landing him four #1 songs on the Texas radio charts, opening gigs with heroes like George Jones and Alan Jackson, and even an invitation to perform at the Grand Ole Opry in 2015. The genuine quality of his music is no fluke. In a world where most popular music is created by committee, Zane writes the vast majority of his songs alone, whenever the inspiration strikes. “I get a lot of ideas while I’m busy doing other tasks,” he says, “say driving down the road, or doing dishes, or mowing the yard. My wife can always tell when I’m working on a song because my toe is tapping, my lips are moving, and I can’t hear a word she’s saying.” Taking the reins for the first time as sole producer on this project, Williams says that being an independent artist has its advantages. “We didn’t have any hoops to jump through for this record, and no one to please but ourselves. I just went into the studio with my favorite players, most of whom play with me on the road, and I did my best to create a record that sounds like the music I love.” For Zane, that means lots of harmonies, fiddle, and steel guitar wrapped around songs that, while carefully crafted, lean more toward good-natured showmanship than gloomy introspection. Unsurprisingly, most of the subject matter draws its inspiration from Zane’s current life experiences. He offers the listener some road-tested dancehall advice in the rollicking “Honkytonk Situation,” while “Slow Roller” and “That’s Just Me” celebrate his traditional values against a backdrop of easy-going, mid-tempo grooves. Only twice on the record does Zane break from his real life situation to play a character role...first as a cowboy down on love in “I Don’t Have the Heart,” and second as a recent divorcé in the heartbroken “Goodbye Love.” He closes with an homage to country music legend Willie Nelson, whose discovery of musical independence in Texas has many parallels with Zane’s own. Early on, neither Zane nor his family would’ve guessed he one day would become the standard-bearer for traditional country music that he is today. Born in Abilene, TX, to a pair of college professors, Zane was moved as a child first to Kentucky, then West Virginia, and then California as his parents pursued their academic careers. While he enjoyed singing harmony in church and composing his own instrumental pieces on the family piano, it wasn’t until he turned sixteen and got the car keys (and control of the radio inside) that he had his first transformative experience with country music.