The title of Zane Williams’ sixth studio album, Bringin’ Country Back does the perfect job of letting you know what's in store once you settle in for a listen. Produced by Williams, the eleven self-penned tracks pay homage to traditional country music with a wonderfully heavy presence of pedal and steel on well-crafted songs that range from powerful ballads to those made for dancin'.
The spirited title track kicks things off with truthful, pointed lyrics, “Just cause you don’t hear it anymore don’t mean there’s no one to fill those shows;” while Williams readies advice on what to do when you’re in a “Honkytonk Situation” in the swinging dance hall ready number, “Texas ain’t just a state, it’s a state of mind.”
That’s followed by the laid-back charm of “Slow Roller;” the uplifting fiddle-laden “Hello World” (which recalls Alabama) and the cleverly written, double entendre driven “Church of Country Music.” Via a melody infused with a bit of the blues, “That’s Just Me” delivers a simple message that is more than appropriate in the current socio-political climate; “I Don’t Have The Heart” is a beautiful mid-tempo tune that could have easily been written or sung by Randy Rogers and “Keep On Keepin’ On” is a guitar-heavy anthem to keep doing whatever it takes to achieve the dream you’re chasing.
The album is rounded out with “You Beat All I’ve Ever Seen,” which is one of the sultriest ballads ever and the utterly sad tale of the demise of a marriage in “Goodbye Love” before closing out with Williams ode to another troubadour on “Willie’s Road.”
Williams covers much ground on an album that is thematically and melodically well-rounded - as well as thoughtful, touching, and downright fun. There’s real country music out there folks, and Zane Williams is definitely one of the singer-songwriters helping to bring it back to the forefront where it belongs.