A while back, I posted a list of my favorite music of the year so far. Holly Williams's album The Highway has been in heavy rotation on my playlist since I discovered it quite by chance back in April (thanks, Paste!). Last night I had the great pleasure of catching Holly's acoustic show at Park Tavern as part of their Unplugged in the Park summer music series.
It astounds me that this woman isn't a superstar already. Her songwriting chops and soulful voice are truly wonderful. But until the world discovers how great she is, I felt very lucky to be able to experience her talent and warmth in such a small venue.
This guy, Anderson East, provided harmony vocals. His voice complemented Holly's beautifully. Annie Clements (of Sugarland, apparently--I'm not familiar enough with them to have known that if Holly hadn't said it) played bass. For some reason I didn't get any photos of her, even though she was standing right in front of me. Oops! Bad blogger!
Holly's songs tell moving stories about travel, heartbreak, and her friends and family. She spent most of her childhood with her mother's family in Louisiana, but oh by the way, her father and grandfather are Hank Williams, Jr. and Sr. While she's clearly proud of that lineage, she's also frank about the fact that she never knew her grandfather (he died decades before she was born), and that her dad put her family through "a lot of shit."
After the show, Holly encouraged the crowd to stop by her table and say hi. She was gracious enough to sign my CD and thank me while I babbled something about the show being wonderful. We both look kind of giddy in this photo. Probably we're both just basking in the glow of her awesomeness.
I've written a lot on this blog about the challenges of living on a tight budget, but one thing I never regret splurging on is good music. It energizes and inspires me, and I feel great knowing that my dear disposable dollars are supporting artists, venues, and local music sellers.
Here's a taste of what Holly's live show is like. If this is your kind of thing, I urge you to catch her if she plays anywhere near you!