Last Day of Galax
Greg Cahill, IBMA President writes, "The Last Day Of Galax is the perfect title song for this recording. The lyrics elicit the wide range of feelings often experienced by those who attend traditional music festivals, from the strong sense of community that develops amongst those who participate in informal music sessions to the tinge of sadness that permeates the air at the end of the festival as everyone prepares to return to 'the real world'. The instrumental fiddle tune closing of the song pays respectful homage to the Galax Fiddlers Convention that is so renowned for round-the-clock campsite sessions. After several listenings to this recording the one recurring observation I had is that Johnny Williams is 'the real deal'. The songs he writes all tell a story, stories about lost love, new love, the perils of the Civil War, a gospel song, a somewhat comical song about country living, a song about old ways of living, an so on. His voice can sound like the most traditional bluegrass singer or have the cry of the most respected old time country singer, and his strong rhythm guitar playing is the glue that holds the performance of the excellent musicians on this recording together. The variety of the material holds one's interest from the beginning to the end of the recording. It is quite a musical accomplishment to perform songs by Greg Allman and Hank Williams equally as well as bluegrass songs by Randall Hylton, original compositions and a very traditional old-timey instrumental, complete with wonderful fiddle and clawhammer banjo playing. It is also quite an honor to co-author songs with the likes of John Thompson and the venerable songwriting team of Tom T. and Dixie Hall. The flow of this recording is reminiscent of the actual stage shows at the Galax festival, with the various styles and sounds, new and old, that all somehow manage to maintain the pure sound of great traditional music. The players that accompany Johnny here capture the true feel of every song and the harmony singing by Amber and Jeanette is positively superb. The final selection Let 'That Someone Be You' showcases Johnny the songwriter, singer and guitar player in a solo performance that to me confirms my recurring observation that Johnny Williams is 'the real deal'. I am confident that you will feel the same as you listen to this very special recording again, and again, and again."