Wednesday, November 14, 2012

DALE WILLIAMS "The Eighth Wonder"


DALE WILLIAMS "The Eighth Wonder"
 
Here I Go Again - I'll Try To Smile - I Like You A Little - Mardis Gras - I Will Survive - Words Unspoken - Right On The Money - The Eighth Wonder - A Woman's Touch - Wouldn't Have It Any Other Way - Best Man - Mama's Prayer - A Little Torn - Hangin' High - Livin' Proof - Somewhere Between Tequila And Mexico
 
     My taste in country music usually finds its way back to a traditional and/or rural sound.  Kind of hard to find that these days, but sometimes a young artist will pop up with some of the most important of those ingredients.  And, Dale Williams used two of my favorite upper Midwest musicians on his recording session; Curt Shoemaker from Kansas on steel.  This guy has what I call a very 'sweet' sound on the pedal steel, fits very well with the love, lost love, love again, style of writing that Dale Williams does.  All of these songs are his originals.  Shoemaker adds just the right touch to make it a little 'more' country.  The other musician I've known since he was just a small boy beginning to play fiddle.  Jason Shaw is from Lincoln, Nebraska, and has taken just about every 'win' possible from the Winfield, Kansas, competitions.  His 'touch' as they say in fiddle circles, is unsurpassable.  Add to this a fine combination of various electric guitar stylists, a good infusion of 'honky-tonk' some sincere country lyrics, along with a poetic singer with a voice that means what it says.  Whew, in one short sentence I have spoken what is so lacking in what we hear in country music these days. Not sure where Dale did the session, but the engineer also has a 'sweet' touch.  Nothing is over done (so prevalent today), and nothing is buried in the mix.  I was totally enthralled to listen to a young guy from Columbus, Nebraska, as he sings songs he wrote, and found the way to have it recorded as good, and in some cases certainly better, than anything we hear on country radio these days.
     A little bit about Dale Williams.  He's a country boy, grew up in Columbus, Nebraska, at the edge of the famous sand hills, home to dinosaurs and hidden bones. The great upper Midwest home of hidden talented beauty. The words of a poet who grew up reading Carl Sandburg and Laura Ingells Wilder.  Living life on the edge of 'real' country, but spending a major portion of his time traveling and singing in Germany and other points north and south in Europe.  He's been on tour to Germany twice, spending a lot of time in Bavaria, headquartering out of Lauter.  Austria has also taken a liking to his songs, his music, his persona, and his wonderful ability to keep his head on his shoulders and face the world with an honest face and heart.  I would put this particular recording up against any major label product coming out today.  It's only a matter of time before Dale Williams surfaces in major radio air play.  He's too good for even the most jaded disc jockey (if such a creature exists) to not listen.
     I have a couple of favorites, "I Like You A Little" because it includes the Dobro and banjo of Mike McCraken.  Well, yes, that's the 'base' of good country music, and Dale includes it with some incredibly good honky-tonk.  Actually I didn't hear a 'bad' song on this recording.  They're all good, well spaced, adequately changed to keep interest, and certainly full of love, lost love, and love again.  Good going Dale Williams, come be with us on the Rural Music Gathering in Fremont, Nebraska, again, October 5-6-7, 2013, and bring some of those great musicians with you.
 
 Bob Everhart
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