It’s one thing to be Shooter Jennings or Justin Townes Earle, but being the Granddaughter of country music legend Hank Williams and the Daughter of the hard-living, hell raising outlaw and legend of sorts Hank Williams Jr., well that’s a whole other mountain to climb.
Like her half-brother Hank Williams III, Holly Williams takes the fundamentals laid down by her ancestors and burns her own brand on the work. Here With Me is much more a country record than her previous release for Universal South The Ones We Never Knew and perhaps the turn in style was a result of the automobile accident that nearly took the lives of her and her sister Hilary. Maybe, like Hank III, the primary motive for moving into the family business was the promise of a ready audience and cash.
Whatever the motive this is a great release that brings to mind the work of another blood kin of country music royalty, Rosanne Cash. Like Cash, Williams does great things with a modest vocal range and brings a sophistication to the songs (many of which she wrote) without completely smothering out the rustic charm with glossy productions and lazy paint by the numbers fluff reaching for a top charting radio hit.
Holly Williams is every bit the outlaw her destiny assumes she’ll be, she just prefers a level of uptown refinement to her country pedigree.