You can call it “traditional” country, “outlaw” country, “real” country or whatever suits your fancy. But, rest assured, the roots of the art form remain in good hands with folks like Alex Williams at the helm. The young, bearded and baritone-voiced singer-songwriter is one of the newest additions to the Big Machine Label Group’s eclectic roster.
Williams is originally from Indiana and, after a flirtation with ‘80s hair metal, traded in his electric guitar for an acoustic when his grandparents turned him on to classic country artists like Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings. “I just love that ‘70s Texas singer-songwriter thing,” says Williams. “It was an exciting time for country music.”
Williams relocated to Nashville where he attended Belmont University, but got a true hard knocks education when he hit the road with a touring band. It was there he developed his knack for insightful lyrics and well crafted songs. “I was with this band for five or six years,” explains Williams. “My manager Jeff, I believe, knew Julian and invited him out to the house to listen to us play. I was pretty ready to be done with the band at that point and do my own thing.”
Williams was 25 and at a crossroads in his life. Leaving this somewhat established band was tough, but couldn’t have happened at a better time. Julian Raymond, a Grammy-winning producer-songwriter who has worked with Glen Campbell and Hank Williams Jr., took Williams under his wing and worked on well over 50 songs with him that eventually became the artist’s debut album. “I was so busy working on the songs that I didn’t even expect that there would be a deal involved,” says Williams.
True to his musical heroes like Nelson, Jennings, Jerry Jeff Walker and Guy Clark, Williams writes about real people and personal experiences. The inspiration behind the album’s title track is one case in point. “When I knew it was time for me to leave the band, my drummer got really pissed at me,” says Williams. “He said, ‘Your songs are better than you are.’ That was hard to hear, but I thought I’d better write that down. It became the centerpiece of my album and the start of a new beginning.”
Alex Williams’ debut album Better Than Myself was released globally on Aug. 11.
Date Signed: March 2017
Label: Big Machine Label Group
Type of Music: Traditional Country
Management: Jeff Lysyczyn - Big Show Music Co.
Booking: Matt Malcolm - William Morris Endeavor Ent.
Legal: Chip Petree - Ritholz, Levy, Sanders, Chidekel and Fields
Publicity: Jaclyn D. Carter - Shore Fire Media
A&R: Julian Raymond - Big Machine Label Group