Zane Williams
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Zane Williams

McKinney, Texas, United States | SELF

McKinney, Texas, United States | SELF
Band Country Singer/Songwriter

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"Zane Williams The Right Place"

Known to most people at this point in his career as the award-winning songwriter of the Jason Michael Carroll single “Hurry Home,” Zane Williams is also a very much capable singer and his own right. For this record, his sophomore album, Zane Williams worked with fellow singer/songwriter and noted producer Radney Foster to craft a tight 10 song set of tunes that run the gamut from shuffle western numbers (“Tired of Being Perfect”) to partyin’ drinkin’ songs (“99 Bottles”) to reflective ballads (“Christmas is Christmas Again”).

With Radney Foster’s production touches, Zane Williams is showcased as an artist that is worth seeking out as The Right Place recalls the best about Jack Ingram and other mainstream-leaning Texas artists. “99 Bottles” is purely Texas yet I could see this song becoming a well-played summer-time anthem as it takes the old party song “99 bottles of beer” on the wall theme and twists it into a much, much more fun and entertaining song while “Tired of Being Perfect” recalls a classic Buck Owens or more recent Dwight Yoakam track. "Christmas Is Christmas Again" is a well-written holiday song that is worth listening to more than just at Christmas time.

“I Am What I Am,” is a rockin’ little track and it fits into an oiled groove that keeps your toe tappin and singin’ along while the album’s title track, “The Right Place” is a similarly rockin little gem that finds Zane singing about a bar that helps one escape their troubles behind, even if it’s just for that night. Story songs like “Six Steel Strings” (Co-written with Radney Foster) and “Pablo and Maria” help make The Right Place a balanced and well-thought out album and proves that albums madein Nashville needn’t be something that is ‘bombastic’ or ‘produced’ to a ‘slick sheen’ in order to be very fine albums. Anyone looking for something real would do well to check out The Right Place and Zane Williams as he’s most definitely one of the better singer/songwriters working in the industry today. - Roughstock.com


"Zane Williams The Right Place"

Zane Williams can sing a country song, and write one, too. More than one, of course. In this self-titled, self-released project, the Dallas-area resident shares 10 – 11 if you count the digital bonus track – good, radio-ready tunes somewhere between traditional and commercial. He won the 2009 B.W. Stevenson songwriting competition at Poor David’s Pub.
The Right Place covers a lot of the “required” subjects – including a sad love story about two people with Spanish names, a Christmas story, a faded cowboy dream, drinking, the road, and more – and still manages to make it work.
On the title song, he wonders what life would be like in a bigger town, etc.
On “Six Steel Strings,” he wonders if a traveling musician is any different from a shoe salesman down the street, both making a living at what they do best.
“99 Bottles” – no, not exactly that one, but its country cousin – is a tongue-in-cheek bar song about a thirsty man, loosely based on the “I Been Everywhere” list concept. It’s the kind of humor that bar owners should love.
The digital bonus track, “Born Into Love,” is for his new son, Buck, who was not born into money but into love. The Right Place, produced by Radney Foster, is consistently solid within commercial limits and should pay some bills and buy lots of diapers for his and his wife Jodi’s new son.
– Tom Geddie


- Buddy Magazine


"Zane Williams Finds Himself in the Right Place"

Zane Williams caught my attention right away. You may not have heard of him yet, but if things go his way you will since he aspires to become one of the great Texas singer-songwriters. His new album The Right Place seems informed by the best of his nine-year experience with Nashville, but with an artistic eye focused squarely on the Lone Star state, making it a smart and accessible record that's fun and a little quirky. I like his voice but his writing is what sets apart tracks like "River Girl," a vivid picture of the early stages of romance. (She's doesn't live on a shack-boat, though. They just like to sneak off to the river.) Fittingly enough, Williams had excellent writing credentials before this effort. He won both the John Lennon and Nashville Songwriters Association writing contests, and Jason Michael Carroll recently cut Williams' "Hurry Home." He also gets a pretty strong endorsement from Radney Foster who says, "Zane Williams is the real deal. He has the wordsmith chops of a young Guy Clark and the melodic sense of Rodney Crowell." Foster produced The Right Place, which should be enough reason to go to Williams' Web site and stream the whole album right now.
--Chris Parton
- CMT.com


"Zane Williams The Right Place"

This singer/songwriter is unabashedly Texan, from his traditional, laid-back country voice to the cover of his album (the title is set within an outline of the Lone Star state, in leather). Zane, who wrote Jason Michael Carroll’s “Hurry Home,” wrote nearly every track on his CD by himself, then brought in fellow Texan Radney Foster to produce. “99 Bottles” finds Zane rattling off all his favorite beers, while the plucky “Live to Love Again” should be a great pick-me-up for any woman who’s been dumped. “Tired of Being Perfect” is a plea for more spontaneity within a relationship. If you’re in the mood for true honky-tonk music, you’re in the right place.
- Country Weekly


"Zane Williams The Right Place"

Zane Williams is a true singer/songwriter – a story teller. He has mastered lyrics that paint a picture while telling a compelling story. This narrative is then wrapped in a wonderfully Texas country music sound, which completes the package in a satisfying and moving way.
Zane's latest CD, The Right Place, contains a strong mix of songs and themes from the light-hearted "99 Bottles" to the tragic "Pablo and Maria." Zane is not afraid to lay open his emotions with songs that are well-crafted and real. This is the type of CD you hope and pray will gain a larger audience so more people will understand just how good music can be.
There is not a bad song on this album, but there are a few songs that clearly stand out. For the pure fun of it you have "99 Bottles," a honky tonk song that is surely a favorite when played live. On the romantic side, "River Girl" is a wonderfully tender, sweet love song about a guy and a girl escaping down to the river to share each other's company and dreams.
"Six Steel Strings" is a little darker and addresses the issues faced by many musicians. They love the person they are with, but they also love music. The musician can't walk away from either of his loves and must find a way to make them both work. The strong presence of steel-guitar underlines the strong emotions in this song, which was co-written with Radney Foster who also produced the CD.
An even darker song is "Pablo and Maria." This tragic story tells of a man on the run who marries his love and is then captured and killed. His new wife is devastated and commits suicide. The lyrics in the song bring this haunting tale to life. The imagery is so clear you can see and feel every moment of this story.
"Christmas Feels Like Christmas Again" is a nice reflective song that chronicles the last few Christmas seasons, which haven't been so great, but this year there is a new life in the family and hope and joy are returned. Although not over the top, it is a nice reminder that even though times may be tough now, there is hope that they will be better soon.
The Right Place is an excellent CD from a talented singer/songwriter. Zane Williams can tell a story like few others. His music brings those stories to life. This CD is a great start to the new year.
- ICMB.com


"Zane Williams The Right Place"

There are voices that immediately announce themselves as something you’ve never heard before, there are voices that are so anonymous as to blend into the background, and there are voices like Zane Williams’ that lay in between. His singing is not immediately recognizable as a new tone or style, but there’s an excitement in his delivery that jumps off this latest record. What’s especially intriguing is how he combines the humble and direct style of someone like Bruce Robison with the honky-tonk extroversion of Robison’s brother Charlie. The Abilene-born Williams relocated to Nashville for nine years and released a string of indie albums that started to find a bit of twang with 2000’s Fast Licks and Toothpicks.

A couple of years after releasing 2006’s acoustic country Hurry Home, Williams returned to Texas and discovered his roots still intact. Together with producer Radney Foster he’s retooled himself as an electric honky-tonker, freeing himself to indulge his native twang on the roadhouse circuit through which Jack Ingram and Pat Green each found huge regional followings. Though recorded in Nashville, Foster and Williams conjure the wooden floors and neon beer signs of Texas dance halls, not least of which through Williams’ songs. The opener, “The Right Place,” offers a warm welcome from the regulars at the bar, and his incredibly clever “99 Bottles” turns the round into a tongue-twisting, thirst-quenching recitation of beer brands.

Williams’ ten originals tread tried-and-true subjects, but even there he finds some original and clever twists. The kiss-off “Tired of Being Perfect” isn’t due to cheating but the result of an overly-demanding mate, the bluesy “I Am What I Am” allows Williams to imagine other occupations as he stands firm in his commitment as a musician, and “The Cowboy and the Clown” peels away self-prescribed illusions of diminished expectations. The album closes with an original Christmas song that wipes away years of bad times with the miracle of a new baby. It’s a heartfelt (if perhaps a tad treacly) ending to a fine album that otherwise avoids the softer style Williams had developed in Nashville.
- No Depression


"Zane Williams CD has Story and Substance"

"The Right Place" is Zane Williams' newest project, produced by Texas great Radney Foster on Hack Circle Records. It is slated to be released Jan. 19.
Honestly, this album is one of the best I have heard in a very long time. Zane just has a way with words, a storyteller as much as a songwriter. I have heard a lot of music, I am around it every chance I get, and I'm telling you, I haven't taken this (advance copy) CD out of my car in two weeks. I just turn it on and let it play.
It's not just one or two songs that are good. This album takes you on a journey from the bar room, to heartbreak, to an old western story, to the struggles of a musician, and finally the joys of family.
It combines honky tonk with roots rock with Texas folk, bringing the best of what he learned in Nashville back to his McKinney home and his fans.
If you have never heard of Zane Williams just take my word -- this is a must have CD.
Foster explained that he is often asked to work on CD projects, and turns away many of those requests. "The Right Place" and working with Zane was one he jumped at to produce, he said. He also partnered up to sing with Zane on one song.
"Zane Williams is a great singer and a great songwriter and a great story-teller, and in Texas we value that more than anything among the artists," Radney said.
"The Right Place" is available on www.zanewilliamsmusic.com, either for downloading or for pre-purchasing a signed copy.
- Sherman Herald Democrat


"Zane Williams"

There isn't anything simple about an artist injecting the natural beauty of true simplicity into one of his songs. And, sadly, today's country music landscape is littered with catchy ditties that aim for an unaffected purity but instead fall into a clichéd and brain-dead compost pile filled with recycled anecdotes on life in Hickville, U.S.A.
Current McKinney resident Zane Williams is a relatively new name to many who follow Texas country music, but he's been crafting simple songs and gaining the respect of his peers for many years. After seeing a respectable level of success in the Nashville hit-machine as a songwriter, Williams busted out his G.T.T. sign and pointed his truck south in order to revive his performing career.
Songs from Williams' recent release, The Right Place, traverse the Texas roadhouse crossroads of honky-tonk country, rock and storytelling. The title track wastes no words in explaining how life's simple pleasures, such as "a slow dance and a stranger to hold you tight" might just be the remedy for a soul looking for answers, whether they be permanent or momentary.
The immensely well-regarded Radney Foster, who seems to write a smash hit every year, has enthusiastically jumped onto Williams' bandwagon. Williams has recently opened up some shows for the hit-maker, who also serves as an apt comparison for the up-and-coming Williams. The two talented songsmiths will be playing together at Poor David's Pub, perhaps Dallas' premier venue for the simple pleasure of authentic tales being told through the strums of an acoustic guitar and a hushed, appreciative crowd.
On a related note, the venue turns a whopping 33 years old this month
- The Dallas Observer


"Radney Foster with Zane Williams"

It was a small crowd at Poor David's Pub on Thursday night, perhaps 150 people. But oh, what a great show they got: an uplifting, rousing set from master singer-songwriter Radney Foster, and an opening set from his protégé, Zane Williams, that had us thinking we might just be witnessing the birth of a star.
Radney Foster performed his hits and many that he's written for others Thursday night at Poor David's Pub.
Foster, superbly accompanied on vocals and guitar by Eric Borash, kicked off his 15-song set with the rousing, gospel-tinged "Revival," the title tune from his 2009 CD. The Del Rio, Texas, native culled songs from throughout his nearly 25-year career, including extravagantly sublime takes on "Faster & Louder," "Crazy Over You" and "Texas in 1880," all from his days with Bill Lloyd in the duo Foster & Lloyd.
Great news for fans: He and Lloyd plan a reunion show in May in Houston, and they've already cut six songs for a new album, to be released in 2011. In a backstage interview after the show, Foster said one of those songs is the cherished "Picasso's Mandolin," which he and Lloyd wrote with Guy Clark but never recorded themselves. The new album will also feature Tom Petersson, of Cheap Trick, on bass. Now that's something to look forward to.
During the show, Foster also sang several songs he's written or co-written that have been bigger hits for other singers: "Raining on Sunday" (Keith Urban), "A Real Fine Place to Start" (Sara Evans) and "Godspeed" (Dixie Chicks). Foster good-naturedly noted that he has a "Keith Urban Memorial Kitchen" at his home, courtesy of songwriting royalties.
Of course, the crowd swooned most appreciatively over songs he's made hits himself: "Nobody Wins," "Just Call Me Lonesome," "Folding Money" and a glorious rendition of "I'm In," with singer-songwriter Kylie Rae Harris standing in for Abra Moore, who recorded it with Foster.
Foster sounded fabulous throughout, a bit crackly on the high notes – he was battling allergies – but so genuine in his emotions that it mattered not a whit. He and Borash shared several thrilling duos on acoustic guitar, with an extended lick on "Crazy Over You" that had us wishing they'd play for another three or four hours, please.
In "I'm In," Foster sings, "My words might not be magic but they cut straight to the truth." We'd all agree with the second part of that statement, but on Thursday, the magic was definitely in the house as well.
That extended to opening act Williams, whose new album The Right Place was produced by Foster. He shares Foster's shrewd storytelling skills and sly humor. Harris accompanied Williams for his seven-song set.
Standout songs included the hilarious "Tired of Being Perfect," the soulfully romantic "River Girl," "Six Steel Strings" (co-written with Foster) and the showstopper, a rip-your-heart-out ballad called "Pablo and Maria" that, if there's any justice, will be No. 1 on the charts any day now.

- Dallas Morning News


Discography

2011 Ride With Me
current single: Ride With Me (#48 on Texas Music Chart)
2010 The Right Place
singles: The Right Place, 99 Bottles, River Girl, Live to Love Again
2006 Hurry Home
single: Back Porch Bluegrass Band
2003 Zane Williams Live
2000 Fast Licks and Toothpicks
1998 Step in the Right Direction
1996 Train of Thought

Photos

Bio

The Zane Williams Band is a high-energy, five piece rockin' country band fronted by an award-winning Texas singer-songwriter. Often compared to the likes of the Zac Brown Band, Dierks Bentley, or even country legends Alabama, their unique blend of story songs and feel-good anthems is infectious and their chemistry is undeniable. Yet it took a personal crisis in the life of Zane Williams to bring them all together.

In 2008, disillusioned and frustrated with a music career that was still stagnant after nine years, Zane attended a seminar for real estate developers and decided to leave music behind for good. “There I was at this conference, learning how to make money through neighborhood revitalization projects, and preparing to start a whole new career. Then I asked if I could sing the group a song that I’d written,” says Zane. “It touched on a lot of the same themes we’d been talking about in regards to personal development and chasing your dreams. When I finished, everyone just looked at me and said “Why are you here? You’ve got a gift. You need to be doing music.” I realized that music wasn’t the problem, it was the way I was going about it. I went home and told my wife, “It’s time to move back home to Texas.”

Leaving behind their Nashville home and Zane’s income as a professional songwriter to start all over in Texas was a scary and difficult transition, yet the rewards were immediate. “It was wonderful to be back close to our families. My first gig was at an open mic night, and I met a local DJ there who started playing my music that very week. I started making fans right away, and there was so much more appreciation for my style of music down here in Texas…I would even call it reverence. For the first time in my life, I started to feel the momentum building.”

From there, the dominos began to fall faster as his career picked up steam. Zane met fellow singer-songwriter Kylie Rae Harris at a local music venue and the two instantly realized the blending of their voices was something special. Word of mouth led them to the rest of the band members, who were all playing regularly in the north Texas music scene, and faithful radio play on Dallas station KHYI eventually led to Zane’s first entry on the Texas Music Chart, a song called “Ride With Me”. Zane was a prominent character on the nationwide TV show "Troubadour, TX" and will continue to be featured in season 2.

“I’m doing what I love and I’m where I need to be,” says Zane. “Once I could honestly say that, that’s really when things started to happen for me.”

Listen to Zane’s new record “Ride With Me”, see live video of the full band, and find out when Zane is coming to your town at www.ZaneWilliamsMusic.com

Zane's awards and achievements:

Penned Jason Michael Carroll’s 2010 top 15 hit “Hurry Home”
Winner of Merlefest Chris Austin, John Lennon, BW Stevenson, NSAI/CMT song contests
Kerrville New Folk Finalist, Telluride Troubador runner-up
Has opened for George Jones, John Michael Montgomery, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Radney Foster, Aaron Watson, and more.

Quotes:

"Zane Williams is the real deal. He has the wordsmith chops of a young Guy Clark, and the melodic sense of Rodney Crowell. " Radney Foster

"If you're in the mood for true honky-tonk music, you're in the right place..."
Country Weekly Magazine

"Recalls the best about Jack Ingram and other mainstream-leaning Texas artists"
Roughstock.com

"Combines the humble and direct style of someone like Bruce Robison with the honky-tonk extroversion of Robison’s brother Charlie...99 Bottles is incredibly clever" No Depression

“The first time I heard Zane he blew me away….incredible songs, great storyteller. I’m really excited about Zane’s future and think he’s gonna be around for a long time.” Jim Catino, VP of A&R, Sony/BMG Nashville

Recent Shows:

Greenville Municipal Auditorium – Greenville, TX
McKinney Performing Arts Center – McKinney, TX
Love and Wa