Williamson Branch reprises Southern Nights

Celebrated family band Williamson Branch is marking their 10th anniversary as a touring group with a new single, their bluegrass cover of Allen Toussaint’s Southern Nights, which became a crossover hit for Glen Campbell in 1977.

The Branch is veteran bluegrass guitarist and singer Kevin Williamson, along with his wife, Debbie, on mandolin, with daughters Melody on fiddle, Kadence on bass, and Caroline on mandolin and fiddle. All sing – quite well, in fact – offering the band a wide range of vocal sounds, all with that special family harmony.

The Williamsons closely mimic Campbell’s arrangement of Southern Nights, with a bluegrass twist, and even brought in the great Carl Jackson to play banjo, who had done the same for Glen in ’77.

Melody, who sings lead, shared a few words about their cut.

Southern Nights is a song we all grew up loving. We’ve put our Williamson Branch spin on it; a bluegrass arrangement and three part harmony throughout the track. Having Carl Jackson, long time instrumentalist for Glen Campbell, featured playing banjo on our version of this amazing tune makes it all the more special.”

Those of us of a certain age, who recall this song’s omnipresence on country and pop radio in the early part of 1977, should get a special kick out of hearing this sparkling new version, retaining the flavor of Glen Campbell’s charm and the sound of the late ’70s.

Check it out…

Southern Nights from Williamson Branch is available today on Pinecastle Records from popular download and streaming services online. Radio programmers will find the track at AirPlay Direct.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.