Josh Williams, Lonesome Highway

Jon Weisberger

By Jon Weisberger

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
A multi-dimensional set that nudges bluegrass into the 21st century.

A genuine prodigy who first drew attention as he reached his teen years, Josh Williams has matured into a dyed-in-the-wool bluegrass powerhouse. Apprenticing with the capable Greg Cahill in the Special Consensus before taking his current job with Rhonda Vincent and the Rage, Williams deepened his skills on guitar and mandolin and developed his rich, resonant adult voice while happily sticking to the traditional side of the music. On this solo album from 2004, Williams pays tribute to the first generation with songs like Flatt & Scruggs'”Legend of the Johnson Boys” and Jim Eanes'swingy “Don't Stop Now” (which features a guest turn by J. D. Crowe on banjo), nods to traditionally-based writers like Becky Buller (“You Love Me Today” and Ron Spears (“Cold Virginia Rain”), and even lifts from Music Row with Darryl Worley's “Sweet Forgiveness” to create a multi-dimensional set that nudges, rather than drags, tradition into the 21st century.