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Biography: Zane Williams

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Zane Williams is a native Texan, born in Abilene back in 1977. He's been all over the country, but it's back here in his home state that he's making a name for himself.

 

 

Williams picked up music at a young age, singing in church and playing the piano and guitar.  While Texas will always be home, he has lived everywhere from Lexington to Los Angeles and absorbed a little bit of each place into his music.  Like many country artists, he listened to all kinds of music growing up - from easy listening to electronica to grunge to the Dave Matthews band to classical - and did not originally see himself getting into the honky-tonk scene even though he was a big fan of 90's country.  He wrote music as a hobby and started playing gigs at local bars in Abilene at the age of nineteen, but did not really consider songwriting as a career until his last year of school.

 

 

While writing and playing throughout the country, Williams developed a strong lyrical sense that has become the foundation of his music.  He eventually found himself in Nashville, employed as a songwriter for a local company.  Although a relatively unknown artist at the time, he found himself the recipient of several awards.  In the MerleFest Chris Austin Song Contest, he was a finalist in an unprecedented three categories, claiming the top slots in the country and general categories.  His song "Hurry Home" was selected as the $20,000 Maxwell Song of the Year in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest.  He released his first major album, Hurry Home, in 2006 and spent some time on the Big Yellow Dog Music label starting in 2007. The title track, by the way, was covered by Jason Michael Carroll and became a top 15 hit.

 

 

Unfortunately, things didn't work out for Williams.  By 2008, he found himself increasingly frustrated with his stagnant musical career and his lack of financial success.  He put his music on the back-burner and turned to the real estate business for a more steady income.  One day while at a seminar for real estate development and neighborhood revitalization, he played one of his songs for the others in attendance and came to a personal realization.  In his own words: "When I finished, everyone looked at me and said, 'Why are you here?  You've got a gift.  You need to be doing music.'  I realized that music wasn't the problem, it was the way I was going about it.  I went home and told my wife, 'It's time to move back home to Texas.'"

 

 

Although the transition back to Texas wasn't easy, it was immediately worth it.  Within weeks, Williams had his music on local radio and was getting some recognition.  He teamed up with another local singer-songwriter, Kylie Rae Harris, and by 2009 the Zane Williams Band was formed.  He even made the Texas Music Charts with his song "Ride with Me".  He released his latest album, The Right Place, in early 2010.

 

 

Zane Williams and his band are currently touring in and around Texas, playing venues both big and small.  He and Kylie Rae Harris are being featured in several episodes on a new documentary series, Troubadour, TX, on the CW network.  We are proud to say he joined us in the studio for Jon Garrett's Live in Texas on Thursday, November 17th.  Visit Zane's homepage here!

 

Discography:

(1997) Train of Thought

(1998) Step in the Right Direction

(2000) Fast Licks and Toothpicks

(2003) Zane Williams Live

(2006) Hurry Home

(2010) The Right Place

(2011) Ride With Me