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Zane Williams

Overnight Success – 2013 (Be Music)

Reviewed by Greg Yost

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CDs by Zane Williams

"First you buy an ol' second-hand amp with a knob that sticks/ You plug a cheap Fender in, then you crank it to ten and you learn a few Haggard licks/ Then you play every day for oh, about nine or ten years/ Writin' songs for your girl and blowin' all your money on gear

Then you talk to a drummer who's a friend of a friend at church/ He's got a buddy who's been learnin' the bass, so you get together after work/ You play together six months 'til the band is tight/ Book your first big gig on a Friday night/ Step up to the mic and pray you remember the words

Then you sing about love or maybe love gone wrong/ And you do a little drinkin' to a drinkin' song/ You make everybody dance, everybody smile, everybody feel good for a while/ And when you're done... way to go, you finished step one"

These lyrics are the first three verses from the title track to "Overnight Success," the fourth release from country singer/songwriter Zane Williams. These lines expertly convey the real story of the hard work and dues paying which eventually lead to modern music's "overnight successes" and in doing so they showcase Williams' ability to tell an interesting story with his songs.

Williams has long been known as a talented songwriter, earning major recognition nationally. In 2005, Williams took the top prize in two of three categories for which he was a finalist in the Chris Austin Song Contest at Doc Watson's annual MerleFest gathering in Wilkesboro, N.C. Additionally, "Hurry Home," arguably Williams' best known track and a charting single for Jason Michael Carroll in 2009, won the prestigious Maxell Song of the Year Award in the 2005 edition of the John Lennon Songwriting Contest.

The artist's considerable lyrical talents are on full display throughout this new 11-song set. "While I Was Away" is a heartfelt and personal appeal from a father who is missing the little but important moments of a child growing up due to work commitments/travel. This certainly isn't a groundbreaking subject for a song, but Williams has a way of telling the familiar tale, which allows the audience to easily experience the emotion through the narrator's eyes while avoiding being overly saccharine. Williams strikes the right balance between the understanding that work supports the family and the realization that the distance caused by the work directly impacts the family.

"Little Too Late," a lament about waiting too long to pursue the love of your dreams, is another example of how Williams can covey so much with so little. There's just something about the following lines that capture the moment and make you feel that heartache:

"Look at you laughin', leanin' into him/ With his arms wrapped around you where mine shoulda been/ Pretty as a picture and so in love/ If I'd have moved quicker well it could have been us

Look at you floatin' ten feet off the ground/ And lookin' up at him like there's no one else around/ Whoever said good things come to those who wait/ Never lost a girl like you by lovin' just a little too late"

Williams' lyrical prowess is complemented throughout by catchy melodies and big choruses.

With impactful lyrical content that both resonates and lingers and a strong musical foundation, "Overnight Success" will likely appeal to country music fans lucky enough to encounter it.