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ACL Review: Holly Williams

Staff Writer
Austin 360

By Michael Corcoran

Editor’s note: This article was originally published October 4, 2013

A breeze blew through Zilker Park Friday afternoon and it wasn’t as refreshing as Holly Williams’ set on the BMI stage. With a voice both soulful and melodic, Williams displayed the good side of “country pop,” getting the crowd to bounce along. Her husband, Kings of Leon touring guitarist Chris Coleman, provided steady strumming while keeping out of the way of the vocals.

“I guess I’ll never know why Grandpa died,” she sang on “Going Away From Me,” which must be based on her mother’s side of the family. Holly’s grandfather Hank Williams died from alcoholism, as well all know.

Wearing a white straw fedora and brown leather boots right up to her bony knees, Williams had her set interrupted for 10 minutes due to sound probems, but got the crowd right back into it with “Highway,” an old theme of hard life on the road brought to life with a sweet refrain.

Her cover of John Prine’s “Angel From Montgomery,” meanwhile, was a crowd-pleaser, leading to perhaps the day’s first singalong.