And So It Goes
Sugar Hill Records
4 stars (out of 5)
By Donald Teplyske
Don Williams, a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, had 17 #1s from 1974 to 1986 followed by another 14 top ten songs before the radio hits stopped coming in the early ’90s. During the last decade, Williams hasn’t recorded too much and slipped into retirement in 2006.
Encouraged to record again and reunited with producer Garth Fundis, Williams returns with an album that is unlikely to top the charts but which will provide admirers with an unneeded reminder of his identifiable approach to country music.
With a voice as individual as Waylon’s or Willie’s, Don Williams can’t be mistaken for anyone else. His calm and understated approach to singing has long been popular, and And So It Goes consistently meets all expectations.
“She’s With Me” is a Williams original, and along with “Heart of Hearts” and “I Just Come Here for the Music” (with beautiful accompaniment from Alison Krauss), forms the solid backbone of an album where each song pulls the listener in a little closer. The specific events of songs may not always be familiar, but the related emotions and depth of experience are universal. Nothing is forced or false; every word lingers, each nuance rings true.
The fresh-sounding “Better Than Today” kicks off the album with hope and positive thoughts with the lively and classic Williams sound apparent. Beyond the trademark Williams groove—a shuffle of varying tempos—are messages, none of them terribly heavy but all sincere enough to provide the opportunity for mental rumination, regarding the possibilities of choices made. In addition to Krauss, Vince Gill and Keith Urban contribute harmony vocals and guitar.