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Don Williams

I Turn the Page – 1998 (Giant)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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CDs by Don Williams

There's nothing flashy about Don Williams. His return to a major label finds nary a change in his sound or approach. No hotshot producer. No A-list duets. Just warm singing and equally warm story songs.

A successful album for Williams is always dependant upon the quality of songs it contains, and the selections found here easily live up Williams' high standards. In fact, many were preserved for years in Williams' roll top desk. "Pancho," is said to have remained on the shelf for 12 years before Williams dusted it off for this project. But it was well worth the wait. Nobody but Williams can dispense fatherly advice the way he does on "Ride On." He sounds right at home with the blues-lite of "Elise" and even saves a song like "Cracker Jack Diamond" from sinking into a sea of sentimentality.

Except for the album's closer, "I Sing For Joy," Williams' name is nowhere to be found on writer's credits. Fortunately, though, he's packed this release with the style of stories he's so often written himself, making this a comforting pager-turner, and a welcome return to the big leagues.