St Andrew's in the Square, Glasgow Rob Adams
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Holly Williams has a novel dividing timeline for her current repertoire. There are the songs from her latest album, The Highway, and there are others such as Three Days in Bed, where she loses herself in the arms of a stranger in Paris, that come under the heading of, in her own words "before I was a knocked-up married lady".
The baby Williams is expecting in October will be the great grandchild of Hank Williams and may well grow up to be asked, as Holly is regularly, what it's like to be descended from country music greatness. She wears this legacy lightly, never having known her grandfather, who died almost 30 years before she was born. One of the most moving, most spirited, songs of the night, Waiting on June, is actually about her other grandparents, who lived their entire married life in smalltown Louisiana.
There are references to Hank, in the wistful Sometimes and Gone Away from Me, and the encore is a feisty God-fearing romp through his I Saw the Light, but Williams is essentially living her own life, making her own observations, detailing her own good and bad experiences and with the superb, country-soul vocal support of guitarist Anderson East and bassist Annie Clements' rootsy holler, she creates a lusty, sing-it-like-you-mean-it downhome sound.
Without You, sung solo in a brief switch from fretboard to keyboard, is an honestly heartfelt singing postcard to her husband, drummer Chris Coleman, who is touring with Kings of Leon on guitar, having apparently taken up the instrument at his wife's suggestion so that he could accompany her. That will teach her.