Now/It's: Alex Williams at The Basement East

If it were 2007, Alex Williams would have been one of those country talents that would have fallen through the major label cracks in Nashville, due to an untimely existence. People just weren't into the idea of a new era of outlaw country the way people are now. It was the Dixie Chicks' year, with everyone and their mother having hear "Not Ready to Make Nice" at least a few dozen times. Carrie Underwood was voted Best New Artist. 

In a nutshell, it simply wasn't the right time. Then again, folks like Alex Williams would have been far too young to be overlooked in that era anyway. Luckily for all of us, Alex Williams is the best equipped - and is a part of - the most modernized realization of country music. He's outlaw with mainstream appeal - songs like "Little Too Stoned" may or may not break the radioplay mold, which would kick ass - but unbound by major label shackles (which would be a testament to both Williams and his label, Big Machine). Anyway, let's get as far away as possible from that incredibly questionable lede.

It's hard to imagine a more dreamlike signee than Williams, as his languid demeanor and loping lyricism give the sense of an independent spirit, all the while seemingly more than capable of charming when necessary. 

Both were on display in spades during Williams' release show for Better Than Myself at The Basement East on the record's release date, August 11th. To place things lightly, Alex Williams is "that dude." He kills it on all fronts - avoiding the "try hard" country exterior by keeping thing casual with his banter, but knows when to pay homage. He takes moments to shout out a song written for and about one of his grandmothers' husbands, which turned out to be "Old Tattoo," as well as noting that a song like "Little Too Stoned" is 'about illegal substances or whatever else you want it to be.'

So, in short, Alex Williams' release show for Better Than Myself about as solid as one could hope for in Nashville. Add that to the fact that Williams has spent a solid run the past year touring with everyone from Willie to Hank III, then 2017 is gearing up to be the best for Williams yet.