Zach Williams and The Reformation
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Zach Williams and The Reformation

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"Williams breaking through in music"

Saturday, January 26, 2008

By Chris Swindle

JONESBORO — If ZACH WILLIAMS is anything, it’s in love with music.

Williams, a Jonesboro singer-songwriter who’s usually seen around Northeast Arkansas on stage with an acoustic guitar in his hands and a microphone at his face, didn’t even put his musical skills to work until about a year ago when some friends in local band Further Down expressed interest in what the young musician could accomplish.

“I was on the road with them, helping out at shows, and the guys were like, ‘Man, you need to get out and play some of this music live,’” Williams said.

Dustin “Red” Dorton (bass and vocals) and Josh Copeland (lead guitar and vocals) from Further Down joined Williams, and local solo artist “Shugga” Shane Chastain started playing organ and keyboards for the group. With Brian “Bullseye” Hill and Evan Wilons joining as alternating drummers, the ZACH WILLIAMS Band was formed, and today Williams couldn’t imagine not being a performing artist.

“That is all we do — eat, sleep and breathe music,” Williams said. “It was like everybody just wanted to be a part and help out.”

With influences such as The Black Crowes, Tom Petty and The Allman Brothers Band, Williams plays what he calls southern folk fusion.

“I pretty much grew up listening to all kinds of music, and it has all kind of been a melting pot of all the different styles I have come to love,” Williams said.

The singer-songwriter said that writing music is a great way to handle the stresses of everyday life.

“The songs that I write are pretty much outlets to things that I have experienced,” Williams said. “It’s a way for me to get things I need to say off my chest.”

Williams said most people can relate to his music because they too have experienced loss, happiness, frustration and a range of other emotions that he tries to convey.

The musician said his merging of various styles and his ability to convey many emotions have resulted in a regular and expanding fan base in Northeast Arkansas.

“I am pretty sure that no matter what age you are, you could come to a show and hear a song that relates to some of the things that you are experiencing and enjoy the music,” Williams said.

The ZACH WILLIAMS Band has shared the stage with many other local bands such as Plain Meanness, Starroy, Further Down and Solomons Vine at Northeast Arkansas venues such as The Brickhouse. Plus, the group has played at venues in Little Rock, Fayetteville, Hot Springs and even Colorado.

Williams said his concerts tend to have “a pretty laid-back atmosphere.”

The band plays a number cover songs live including “Voodoo Chile,” “Wind Cries Mary” and “Red House” by Jimi Hendrix, “Before You Accuse Me” by Eric Clapton, “Midnight Rider” by The Allman Brothers and “Remedy” by The Black Crowes.

Though the band does have regular members, Williams said other local musicians sometimes perform with the group or fill in if a member has other engagements.

“That’s what has been cool about the people in this area,” Williams said. “It seems like everyone just wants to play, and we all help each other out.”

Williams has recorded a 4-song demo that he sells at shows, but he is already working on songs for a full-length CD that he plans to record at Young Avenue Sound, a recording studio in Memphis. When it’s finished the album should have 11 or 12 tracks, but Williams said he has not settled on a name for it yet.

“The plans are to finish a CD and see what happens,” Williams said, adding that once he’s done recording he hopes to move to Nashville.

“Honestly, I don’t know what I would be doing if I didn’t play music,” Williams said. “It feels like it is something I will do for the rest of my life. It’s kind of like breathing. When I stop playing music and writing songs, a part of me feels like it’s dying. And then you pick up a guitar and play some chords, and a new song is born.”
Copyright 2008 Jonesboro Sun
- The Jonesboro Sun




Zach Williams and The Reformation (ref•or•ma•tion) an act of reforming; state of being reformed

Zach Williams and the Reformation may be a new band, but they certainly are not green. As of matter of fact, they look and sound like they just stepped off of a bus from 1975. Their sound is a familiar mix of Rock N Roll, R/B, Soul, and the Blues, making them comparable to all of the greats (Allman Brothers, Tom Petty, Rolling Stones, and Joe Cocker.)

Native to Northeast Arkansas, Zach Williams has seen many trials and tribulations in the past two years. A married guitar player one day, re-born singer/songwriter the next, Zach has found that playing music is an outlet for things that he has and will experience. As a child, Zach fell in love with Classic Rock watching his father’s band perform. When his dad noticed his son’s budding love of music, he passed down his guitar, a 1967 Gibson Blue Ridge Custom. Zach immediately began writing songs, and began his soulful journey!

Zach found new motivation and decided to focus primarily on his music shortly after he met the members of Southern Rock band Further Down. Further Down, is known for their hit song "What You Say", extensive touring schedule including appearances with over 40 national acts, and featured songs on nationally syndicated television shows Nickelodeon’s, "I Carly” and “Zoe 101.” Zach admired the sound FD was going for, and felt a certain connection with the band. It wasn't long before he started touring with them, playing opening sets as an acoustic artist.

With changes in life and new inspiration the past year has brought Zach piles of hit songs everyone can relate to. Ready to record, he needed a full band to back him up. Zach recruited his new found friends (members of Further Down) and entered the infamous recording studio, Young Avenue Sound, in Memphis TN. These skilled musicians managed to lay down six songs in six days. The songs came together so well, that a whole new band was born. Zach Williams and The Reformation has had show offers start pouring in and decided roll with flow. Playing mostly regional venues, and drawing record size crowds, ZW and The Reformation plan to release their freshman album in mid summer '08, and start a national tour in the fall. ZW and The Reformation is a great rock-n-roll band that consistently joins people together for a good time.