Williams has been working in bluegrass music much of his adult life. From his home in Kentucky, where he learned to pick and sing with the best of them, most of us first came to recognize his talents as a member of NewFound Road. From there he put together a critically-acclaimed band with Kati Penn called NewTown, who recorded a number of highly-praised projects before they dissolved in 2019. Since then, we have seen Jr reunited with his old NewFound Road bandmate in The Tim Shelton Syndicate.
For his first single they have chosen a melancholy ballad about the birth and death of communities throughout rural parts of the US alongside the rise and fall of the railroads, appropriately titled Railroad Town Without a Train.
Jr tells us that this song spoke to him right away.
“When I approached Mark Hodges at Mountain Fever Records about the possibility of doing a project, he immediately agreed and sent messages to songwriters on my behalf, looking for material. Writers have been sending material, and I appreciate them all so very much.
Railroad Town Without a Train stuck out immediately! It tells such a great story, about towns across America that have almost become ghost towns because railroads have shut down. Tim Stafford and Thomm Jutz did an amazing job of vividly bringing this to life. I am truly indebted to them, and Mountain Fever.”
Williams sings lead and provides banjo on the track, supported by Aaron Ramsey on guitar, Adam Steffey on mandolin, and Jeff Partin on bass and reso-guitar. Jeff and Jr sing the harmony vocals.
Have a listen…
Railroad Town Without a Train will be available on Tuesday, September 14, from popular streaming and download sites online. Pre-adds and pre-saves are enabled now.
Radio programmers will find the track at AirPlay Direct.