When your grandfather is a towering music legend and your father and half-brother are hugely successful musicians, becoming a musician yourself seems a natural course of events.
The flip side is that while a big name may open some doors, it can be an uphill battle to be taken seriously and not have those same doors slam shut.
Meet Holly Williams.
She hails from one of the most famous lineages in American music: Williams is the granddaughter of Hank Williams Sr. and the daughter of Hank Jr.
However, she is not one to rest on these lofty genetics. Williams has released three recordings over the past 10 years that have received high praise and made numerous best-of lists. She will perform with a trio at 8 p.m. Saturday, June 14, at The Palms Playhouse, 13 Main St. in downtown Winters.
Williams is a talented lyricist and tunesmith whose music marries vignettes and character studies with emotional resonance. The New York Times said, “She’s often closer to songwriters like John Prine or Bruce Springsteen than to the smiley Nashville mainstream.”
Williams delivers her songs in a full and very listenable alto voice. Her ability to effectively belt songs out (a welcome departure from the rash of breathy vocals in country, pop and folk) and include healthy doses of yearning and regret in her voice calls Bonnie Raitt to mind.
Williams’ most recent album is 2013’s “The Highway.” Produced by Williams and Yuba City’s Charlie Peacock (The Civil Wars), “The Highway” contains 11 original tracks written or co-written by Williams and features guest vocals from Jackson Browne (“Gone Away From Me”), Jakob Dylan (“Without You”), Dierks Bentley (“’Til It Runs Dry”) and Academy Award winner Gwyneth Paltrow (“Waiting On June”).
Tickets are $20 and are available at Armadillo Music in Davis, Watermelon Music in Woodland, Pacific Ace Hardware in Winters and at the door if not sold out.