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Holly Williams mines family profession

By Jeffrey B. Remz, August 2009

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Williams also brought the song to her father. "'The mom is the reason you and your sister turned out normal,' he said 'You had a great mother'. They're still great friends. It's not against him. It's just saying he's going through a lot."

Williams offers a few different styles on the new CD, which she said she "knew she wanted to be more raw" than her debut with a lot more pedal steel. There is the hard country of Keep the Change and A Love I Think Will Last, a duet with Sony artist Chris Janson in which they trade vocals. The two wrote that song along with I Hold On, on which he also sings.

After seeing Janson play at Tootsies when he was 19, "we dated for three years. Those were the only two songs we ever actually wrote together... Those are two of my favorites by far. We split last year, but we remain friends (Williams just got engaged in July)... We're gong to start writing here soon... Our voices have blended really well together, and he's definitely very charismatic."

Williams' record label isn't shy about making the family connection, pointing it out quite clearly in advertising for the new CD just whom this Williams is. "It was kind of either or for me. On the first album, my press sheet had nothing," she says.

"Sometimes people make a first impression that's negative – it's going to be music I don't like, I'm not going to listen to her. Other times, it opens up doors. I'm totally fine with them talking (about it). If they didn't, it'd be okay too. It is nice that people can make a connection as versus I'm another new artist. There's definitely been a lot more push on this record than the last one for it. It doesn't help or hurt sales. It's extra information if people want it."

Williams seems quite at ease with who she is and where she came from. "I've never dealt with the pressure thing too much... I've never felt I had to live up to (it)... I don't go through it expecting I'll have to be as famous as him or Hank Sr. I just want to build my fan base one by one."

Williams also didn't shy away from mentions of her family in song with Sometimes and Without Jesus Here With Me, on each of her albums mentioning the family name. The latter deals with the car accident. In the song, Williams sings, "I don't talk to him that much/I know I never pray enough/But I don't know where I would be/Without Jesus here with me."

"When I grew up, I was in church every Sunday," says Williams. "It's definitely always been a part of my life. It's more about when you get too busy and forgot to talk with God. My grandfather had so many gospel songs that people don't know about... That was kind of my way of saying that it's gotten through me life, and it's gotten through me so many hard times."

"Some of his words are almost as powerful as anything we would read in the Bible," says Williams.

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