To say that Josh Williams has led a tumultuous life thus far might just be an understatement. In between being ousted from Rhonda Vincent’s ensemble in 2007 and the release of solo record Down Home in 2010, Williams may have begun gaining wide acclaim for his considerable talents as a guitarist, yet he was entering a state of wreckage on a personal level, ravaged by drug and alcohol abuse. Luckily, he’s been on the rise since 2012, when he was given a second chance by Vincent and begun working on his first album in six years, just recently released, Modern Day Man.
An overall traditional jab at bluegrass and honky-tonk music, Williams covers the songs of such celebrated country artists from over the decades as Jerry Douglas and Chris Stapleton. It makes for a refreshing delve into western music in a market that has become all too pop-friendly, and comparatively speaking, Williams succeeds many of his modern contemporaries as the real McCoy when it comes to specializing country and bluegrass performance. Knowing Williams’s story only increases the authenticity and relatability of the collective work, highlighting the inspiration invoked into the piece as the artist finally glues his life back together in full following the tragedy he had overcome. For those who don’t, it still marks itself well as a pleasantly listenable release in an industry still recovering slowly from the “bro” movement.