Authenticity. Self-reliance. Hard work. Camaraderie. Gratitude.
These are the qualities Zane Williams sings about in his rootsy anthem “Texas Like That”—-the title track of his 5th studio album—-and so it comes as no surprise that these are also the qualities on which his rapidly-growing career is built. Respected by his fans (the Zaniacs) as a down-to-earth family man, Zane is also a charismatic entertainer on stage and a prolific songwriter who wrote all ten of the new album’s tracks. It’s a rare combination of abilities that just may make him a superstar, especially among country music fans hungry for an alternative to today’s pop and hip-hop influenced “bro country”.
First up on this collection of ten self-penned songs is the energetic “Feelin’ Free”, which combines acoustic mandolin and banjo with a driving beat and soaring three-part harmonies. The gritty groove of “Throwback” manages to sound modern and traditional at the same time, and “Summer Rain” features a soaring guitar solo section as powerful as anything you’ll hear this year on top 40 radio. It’s a delicate balance that Zane strikes—-Texas authenticity with a bit of Nashville polish—-but by capturing the best of both worlds he creates a sound all his own that is a refreshing change for fans of either music scene.
Zane has earned a reputation for releasing albums on which every song is worth listening to over and over, and “Texas Like That” is no exception to that rule. The album continues with the catchy and romantic “She Is”, the toe-tapping “Just Gettin’ Started”, and the fan tribute song “Here’s to You”, which is sure to liven up the honky-tonks that are his bread and butter. However the strongest tunes on the album may be the stirring ballad “Jayton and Jill”, which is the kind of heart-wrenching story song that is so sadly missing on mainstream country radio as of late, and the vulnerable and poignant “Kansas City Sunrise”.
Zane is an anomaly in today’s country music….a modern-day “throwback” who is equal parts bar-room entertainer and introspective poet. If you ask the crowd of Zaniacs at a show just what they love so much about the man and his music, they might tell you it’s his genuine smile, or the way his songs seem to come straight from the heart, or how he sings about real life in a way that real people can relate to. For all these reasons and more, they keep coming back time and time again to get lost in the music and experience together just what it means to be “Texas Like That”.