Review: “Down Home” Josh Williams

I enjoyed the new CD by Josh Williams titled Down Home. It was with much anticipation that I waited for him to release this CD as I’ve been a fan of his since his days with Special Consensus. Back in the Special C days he sang and played mandolin. Today as the head of his own band he plays guitar and sings lead. His voice is strong, a true lead voice, with the ability to sing over a huge range. I am floored by the clarity of his bass vocals and also his high notes. He is an amazing talent.

If you ever get a chance to see him in person it is a real treat as he truly puts all of his strength and emotion into every note.

Down Home features Josh on guitar, mandolin, lead and harmony vocals (truly a gifted musician). He is joined by a stellar group of musicians to fill out the band sound and add another harmony line. Initially I was struck by the use of drums on a few of the tracks, but on continued listening I realize they are used sparingly, tastefully and at this point do not detract from my overall enjoyment of the CD.

The arrangements are great, as he mixes in excellent breaks on various instruments without having them step on one another. There is a nice variety of content from snappy up-tempo tunes to slow sentimental songs. Since Guitarmageddon, at the Station Inn “Cherokee Shuffle” has become his signature fiddle tune, and it is included here in a brisk version. The only cut he does not play guitar on he is joined by Tony Rice. This track (probably my favorite) is a Delmore Brothers tune called “Blue Railroad Train.”

“Blue Railroad Train”

Incidentally Josh is now Tony’s first call for mandolin with the Tony Rice Unit.

I think we will see more excellent work from Josh in the future, but for now this is an excellent CD I hope you will enjoy.

Pinecastle Records<

David Angell

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