Williams is an award winning singer, songwriter and guitarist. He has been named Virginia State Champion Male Vocalist and is an award winning songwriter, having won the bluegrass division of the prestigious Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at Merlefest in 1998 and 1999. He penned four songs for Bell Witch, The Movie soundtrack, three of which were recorded by The Jeanette Williams Band.
Junior Sisk, Larry Stephenson, Special Consensus, Mark Newton and New Classic Grass have also recorded his songs. As well as writing solo, Williams has also co-written with other notable writers, such as Tom T. Hall and Dixie Hall.
Williams is active in many spheres of bluegrass music having been president of the Dan River Bluegrass Association for five years and producer of many local music events. He is a regular member of Big Country Bluegrass and supports and plays with his wife, Jeanette Williams, whenever he can.
Mountain Roads Recordings will release Williams’ first album for the label, Last Day of Galax in early 2009. Joining Williams on the album are his wife Jeanette Williams (bass), Chase Johner (mandolin), Tony Mabe and Debbie Yates (each playing banjo), Billy Hawks and Katheleen O’Connell (sharing the fiddle duties) and Kenneth Berrier (steel guitar).
Of the 15 songs on Last Day Of Galax several were written by Williams alone, two were co-written with Tom T and Dixie Hall. Among the others are songs penned by Greg Allman, Hank Williams and Randall Hylton.
Johnny Williams had this to say about the CD ‚Ä¶.
“It features 9 of my originals and 2 songs I co-wrote with Tom T & Dixie Hall. It also includes an old Hank Williams classic, a Blue Grass Cardinals cut, an Allman Brothers song and an Old Time traditional fiddle tune. It’s the first time any of the original tunes have been recorded. It started out to be a song demo for me then turned into a full blown solo release. The great host of singers and musicians really brought it all together; Jeanette Williams, Amber Collins, Debbie Yates, Kathleen O’Connell, Chase Johner, Tony Mabe, Billy Hawks and Kenneth Berrier. Having Wesley Easter engineering at his Eastwood Studio was also a huge plus.”
Mountain Roads Recordings was formed by Karl and Gail Cooler in February this year in order to focus on the unique sounds that originate in the mountains.