Just the job to shake the cobwebs from your head, Richmond VA’s Rob Williams delivers a fine set of rocking roots music on his solo debut A Place In The Sun. Sinewy and tough talking rock fronted by his thrashing acoustic guitar with a slight element of country thrown in for good measure Williams recalls folk such as Russ Tolman, Rhett Miller and the Old 97’s.
With his studio band (sister, Leslie Williams (lead guitar), Hanby Carter (bass), Tom Beekman (keys), Miguel Urbiztando (drums), Al Weatherhead (electric guitar, keys, pedal steel), Bob Miller (trumpet), and Toby Whitaker (trombone)) well honed despite them not hearing the songs until they ventured into the studio they beat the daylights out of the opening song, Whiskey In The Morning, which throttles along like a semi truck with its brakes gone. Nothing Good is a snappy and almost classic example of pop like roots rock , its chunky chords and corkscrew guitar solos along with the radio friendly hook recalling John P. Strohm. Strange Way and Short Sighted continue in this fashion with the latter girded with a horn section that somewhat detracts from the song’s basic attraction. The country side of things is well served by When You’re Better with piano and pedal steel swelling as Sarah Brawley duets with Williams. What You Gave digs deeper into the countryside with elements of The Jayhawks embedded in its DNA.