Thu Oct 20 2022

8:00 PM (Doors 7:30 PM)

The Southgate House Revival - Sanctuary

111 E Sixth Street Newport, KY 41071

$15.00

Ages 18+

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Waylon Jennings said it best back in ‘78, realizing the line between his life and art had all but vanished. “Don’t you think this Outlaw bit’s done got out of hand?” the legend sang – and it’s a feeling Alex Williams knows all too well. Portrayed in 2017 as the heir to the Outlaw Country throne, the Lightning Rod Records artist played his part to perfection, living out the words to gritty hits like “Little Too Stoned” and the rest of a Nashville-produced album debut, Better Than Myself. But after five years of waging war against himself, it’s time to put the guns down. “It’s all I knew at that point. When I made the 4irst record, I didn’t have a band, I didn’t have a lot of writing experience, and overall a very surface level sense of what I wanted to do,” Williams says of his early days, and the tunnel vision which eventually led to his new LP, Waging Peace. Matching a cold look in the mirror with a newly liberated sonic style, the set marks a brand new chapter for an artist once pushed into a creative corner. “Now I feel like a totally different person, because there’s so much more I have experienced,” he goes on. “It’s not easy to get out of that powerful machine up in your head, and in my opinion it’s the toughest battle you can face ... But in the end, it’s worth it. I’m just trying to be honest with the songs and write the kind of music that I would want to listen to.”A small-town Midwestern kid who’s now amassed more than 5 Million global streams, and toured throughout North America and beyond, those words reveal a man who’s lived and learned, finding a way to put his truth in song. And how he ended up here is a story of its own. Raised in Pendleton, Indiana, Williams grew up assuming he’d follow his father into criminal justice – but was laying down the law onstage by high school. It was actually his dad who encouraged his early songwriting, Williams says, and fusing hard hitting heavy metal with guitar-driven rock with a deep-beyond-his-years baritone, he was soon gigging between Indiana and Texas, where a cousin had a bar. Soon the old soul was enrolled in Nashville’s prestigious Belmont University, but he quickly left for an education on the road – connecting with Outlaw heroes like Waylon and Willie, Billy Joe Shaver and more along the way.

Alex Williams

  • Alex Williams

    Alex Williams

    Americana

    I grew up on '80s hair metal," Alex Williams says with a laugh. "My dad listened to Cinderella and Ratt, so that was my musical upbringing until I was about 16. That's when my grandparents played me 'Dreaming My Dreams' by Waylon Jennings and 'Red Headed Stranger' by Willie Nelson."

    It would be hard to overstate the importance of those records on Alex Williams' life. After hearing them, he traded in his electric guitar for an acoustic, dove deep into classic country music, and, most importantly, began writing his own songs. Roughly a decade later, Williams is releasing his debut album, 'Better Than Myself,' and much like Willie and Waylon, he's doing it on his own terms.

    "It seems like there's a lot of people out there just trying to get through the day," reflects Williams. "They're working a job they don't love or following somebody else's dreams just because it's safe and it keeps them comfortable. I didn't want to be like that."

    'Better Than Myself' is a distant cry from the sugary pop hybrids currently dominating country radio airwaves, and as far as Williams is concerned, that's a good thing. He's part of a new breed of upstart outsiders, writing music that at once sounds both modern and traditional, channeling the raw, authentic sound that's made stars out of outlaw singers and red dirt rockers. His live show is a force to be reckoned with, earning him dates with everyone from Lynyrd Skynyrd to Hank Williams, Jr., but he's equally at home in the studio. Fat, twangy guitar tones, honky-tonk pianos, and swirling pedal steel lay the framework for Williams' blend of vintage country and southern rock, and his lived-in baritone breathes genuine life and depth into his based-on-a-true-story brand of songwriting.

    "This record represents the last ten years of my life," says Williams. "My thoughts, my feelings, everything that I've been through, it's all in these songs. It's what I've wanted to say for a decade."

    Williams was born just outside Indianapolis, in the small town of Pendleton, IN. After graduating from high school, he relocated to Nashville for a short-lived stint at Belmont University, but he quickly dropped out after realizing he could learn more about life by hitting the road and experiencing it than he ever could in a classroom.

    "I played some in Nashville and did the Broadway thing, and I played locally around Indiana some, too, but my first real gigs were in Texas," remembers Williams. "I went down there because my cousin owned this shrimper bar on the Gulf coast where I could play. That was a big part of what got me so into Texas and all those Texas songwriters like Guy Clark, Jerry Jeff Walker, and Billy Joe Shaver."

    Williams had a band with some of his former college classmates, and by the time he was ready to make the leap and go solo, buzz about the group had caught the ear of Big Machine Label Group's Julian Raymond. While Big Machine might be best known as home to crossover stars like Taylor Swift, Raymond's illustrious pedigree as a GRAMMY-winning songwriter and producer included work with old school greats like Glen Campbell and Hank Williams Jr., and he sensed something special in Williams.

    "I was worried," remembers Williams. "I was 25, leaving this band, and I had no idea where my career was going to go, but Julian gave me a chance. He invited me to come by and start recording demos of my songs, and we probably ended up doing 50 or 60 of them. We kept slimming it down, but I kept writing."

    When it was time to head into the studio for proper recording sessions, Williams and Raymond pieced together an all-star band featuring some of Nashville's finest musicians: drummer Victor Indrizzo (Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris), keyboard player Matt Rollings (Lyle Lovett, Mark Knopfler), bassist Joeie Canaday (Leann Rimes, Steven Curtis Chapman), pedal steel player Dan Dugmore (James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt), and guitarists Tom Bukovac (Don Henley, Stevie Nicks) and J.T. Corenflos (Dolly Parton, Alan Jackson).

    With Raymond at the helm as producer, the band recorded live on the studio floor and wrapped basic tracking in just two days. The result is a rollicking throwback chock full of wit and wisdom, colored throughout by Williams' fierce streak of independence. Album opener "Better Than Myself," which features harmonica legend and longtime Willie Nelson bandmember Mickey Raphael, sets the stage perfectly, as Williams sings, "Truth be told in every note I play / Truth be told I don't care what you say."

    "One of my old bandmates was pissed at me one time and he said, 'Man, your songs are better than you are,'" Williams remembers. "That was hard to hear, but I had to save the line. I wrote the song in the back room of a venue before we played one of our last shows together, and it really felt like this new beginning for me."

    Williams has never been one to pull a punch in his deeply personal songwriting. On the fingerpicked "Pay No Mind," he imparts hard-won insight about what (and who) really matters, while the folky "Freak Flag" is a devil-may-care ode to being yourself, and "Little Too Stoned" laments the loss of the authentic in favor of our society's obsession with the latest trends and fads. Elsewhere on the album, the hard-charging "Hell Bent Hallelujah" offers up a profane prayer for some good news, the infectious "More Than Survival" insists on living a life that's more meaningful than just getting by, and "A Few Short Miles" draws inspiration from a figure Williams met during those early days onstage in Texas.

    "There was a fisherman down there who rescued an old acoustic guitar from a dumpster after a hurricane came through Galveston," remembers Williams. "One day I was in the bar restringing my guitar and he knocked on the door and gave it to me. It was really inspiring getting to know him, and a lot of things he said to me made it into that song."

    Perhaps the most personal track on the record, though, is "Old Tattoo," a stirring ode to Williams' grandfather and the strength of his mother and grandmother in the face of his passing. "Time don't heal / It's just fadin' like the floors of an old saloon," he sings. "You can hide the pain away / Even if it's carved right into you / Like an old tattoo."

    It's an arresting moment, and an apt metaphor for a songwriter with the ability to lodge his melodies and lyrics deep beneath your skin. Forget fame and fortune, hits and hype. As far as Williams is concerned, the legacy you leave behind with the ones you care about most is the true measure of any man. With that in mind, and with a debut album as good as 'Better Than Myself' under his belt, it's clear that Alex Williams is here to do more than just survive.

Please correct the information below.

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limit 10 per person
Sanctuary

$15.00

Delivery Method

Will Call

Terms & Conditions

This event is 18 and over. Any ticket holder unable to present valid identification indicating that they are at least 18 years of age will not be admitted to this event, and will not be eligible for a refund.

This ticket is a revocable license and may be taken up and admission refused upon refunding the purchase price appearing hereon and is grounds for seizure and cancellation without compensation. Holder of this ticket (“Holder”) voluntarily assumes all risks and danger incidental to the game or event for which this ticket is issued whether occurring prior to, during, or after same, including, but not limited to, contracting, and/or spreading the COVID-19 virus, and agrees that the organization, venue, presenter, agents, participants, or players are not responsible or liable for any injuries, sickness, or death resulting from such causes. Holder acknowledges that the COVID-19 pandemic remains a threat to individual and public health, COVID-19 is a highly contagious disease transmitted through human contact and respiratory droplets (including through the air and via common surfaces) and it is possible that Holder may contract COVID-19 while at the game or event for which this ticket is issued. Holder agrees by use of this ticket not to transmit or aid in transmitting any description, account, picture, or reproduction of the game or event to which this ticket is issued. Breach of the foregoing will automatically terminate this license. Holder agrees that the license comprised by this ticket may be removed and Holder may be ejected from the game or event for which this ticket is issued in the event that Holder violates any law, ordinance, or venue regulation. Holder grants permission to the organization sponsoring the game or event for which this ticket is issued to utilize Holder’s image or likeness in connection with any video or other transmission or reproduction of the event to which this ticket relates.

Alex Williams

Thu Oct 20 2022 8:00 PM

(Doors 7:30 PM)

The Southgate House Revival - Sanctuary Newport KY
Alex Williams

$15.00 Ages 18+

Waylon Jennings said it best back in ‘78, realizing the line between his life and art had all but vanished. “Don’t you think this Outlaw bit’s done got out of hand?” the legend sang – and it’s a feeling Alex Williams knows all too well. Portrayed in 2017 as the heir to the Outlaw Country throne, the Lightning Rod Records artist played his part to perfection, living out the words to gritty hits like “Little Too Stoned” and the rest of a Nashville-produced album debut, Better Than Myself. But after five years of waging war against himself, it’s time to put the guns down. “It’s all I knew at that point. When I made the 4irst record, I didn’t have a band, I didn’t have a lot of writing experience, and overall a very surface level sense of what I wanted to do,” Williams says of his early days, and the tunnel vision which eventually led to his new LP, Waging Peace. Matching a cold look in the mirror with a newly liberated sonic style, the set marks a brand new chapter for an artist once pushed into a creative corner. “Now I feel like a totally different person, because there’s so much more I have experienced,” he goes on. “It’s not easy to get out of that powerful machine up in your head, and in my opinion it’s the toughest battle you can face ... But in the end, it’s worth it. I’m just trying to be honest with the songs and write the kind of music that I would want to listen to.”A small-town Midwestern kid who’s now amassed more than 5 Million global streams, and toured throughout North America and beyond, those words reveal a man who’s lived and learned, finding a way to put his truth in song. And how he ended up here is a story of its own. Raised in Pendleton, Indiana, Williams grew up assuming he’d follow his father into criminal justice – but was laying down the law onstage by high school. It was actually his dad who encouraged his early songwriting, Williams says, and fusing hard hitting heavy metal with guitar-driven rock with a deep-beyond-his-years baritone, he was soon gigging between Indiana and Texas, where a cousin had a bar. Soon the old soul was enrolled in Nashville’s prestigious Belmont University, but he quickly left for an education on the road – connecting with Outlaw heroes like Waylon and Willie, Billy Joe Shaver and more along the way.
Alex Williams

Alex Williams

Americana

I grew up on '80s hair metal," Alex Williams says with a laugh. "My dad listened to Cinderella and Ratt, so that was my musical upbringing until I was about 16. That's when my grandparents played me 'Dreaming My Dreams' by Waylon Jennings and 'Red Headed Stranger' by Willie Nelson."

It would be hard to overstate the importance of those records on Alex Williams' life. After hearing them, he traded in his electric guitar for an acoustic, dove deep into classic country music, and, most importantly, began writing his own songs. Roughly a decade later, Williams is releasing his debut album, 'Better Than Myself,' and much like Willie and Waylon, he's doing it on his own terms.

"It seems like there's a lot of people out there just trying to get through the day," reflects Williams. "They're working a job they don't love or following somebody else's dreams just because it's safe and it keeps them comfortable. I didn't want to be like that."

'Better Than Myself' is a distant cry from the sugary pop hybrids currently dominating country radio airwaves, and as far as Williams is concerned, that's a good thing. He's part of a new breed of upstart outsiders, writing music that at once sounds both modern and traditional, channeling the raw, authentic sound that's made stars out of outlaw singers and red dirt rockers. His live show is a force to be reckoned with, earning him dates with everyone from Lynyrd Skynyrd to Hank Williams, Jr., but he's equally at home in the studio. Fat, twangy guitar tones, honky-tonk pianos, and swirling pedal steel lay the framework for Williams' blend of vintage country and southern rock, and his lived-in baritone breathes genuine life and depth into his based-on-a-true-story brand of songwriting.

"This record represents the last ten years of my life," says Williams. "My thoughts, my feelings, everything that I've been through, it's all in these songs. It's what I've wanted to say for a decade."

Williams was born just outside Indianapolis, in the small town of Pendleton, IN. After graduating from high school, he relocated to Nashville for a short-lived stint at Belmont University, but he quickly dropped out after realizing he could learn more about life by hitting the road and experiencing it than he ever could in a classroom.

"I played some in Nashville and did the Broadway thing, and I played locally around Indiana some, too, but my first real gigs were in Texas," remembers Williams. "I went down there because my cousin owned this shrimper bar on the Gulf coast where I could play. That was a big part of what got me so into Texas and all those Texas songwriters like Guy Clark, Jerry Jeff Walker, and Billy Joe Shaver."

Williams had a band with some of his former college classmates, and by the time he was ready to make the leap and go solo, buzz about the group had caught the ear of Big Machine Label Group's Julian Raymond. While Big Machine might be best known as home to crossover stars like Taylor Swift, Raymond's illustrious pedigree as a GRAMMY-winning songwriter and producer included work with old school greats like Glen Campbell and Hank Williams Jr., and he sensed something special in Williams.

"I was worried," remembers Williams. "I was 25, leaving this band, and I had no idea where my career was going to go, but Julian gave me a chance. He invited me to come by and start recording demos of my songs, and we probably ended up doing 50 or 60 of them. We kept slimming it down, but I kept writing."

When it was time to head into the studio for proper recording sessions, Williams and Raymond pieced together an all-star band featuring some of Nashville's finest musicians: drummer Victor Indrizzo (Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris), keyboard player Matt Rollings (Lyle Lovett, Mark Knopfler), bassist Joeie Canaday (Leann Rimes, Steven Curtis Chapman), pedal steel player Dan Dugmore (James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt), and guitarists Tom Bukovac (Don Henley, Stevie Nicks) and J.T. Corenflos (Dolly Parton, Alan Jackson).

With Raymond at the helm as producer, the band recorded live on the studio floor and wrapped basic tracking in just two days. The result is a rollicking throwback chock full of wit and wisdom, colored throughout by Williams' fierce streak of independence. Album opener "Better Than Myself," which features harmonica legend and longtime Willie Nelson bandmember Mickey Raphael, sets the stage perfectly, as Williams sings, "Truth be told in every note I play / Truth be told I don't care what you say."

"One of my old bandmates was pissed at me one time and he said, 'Man, your songs are better than you are,'" Williams remembers. "That was hard to hear, but I had to save the line. I wrote the song in the back room of a venue before we played one of our last shows together, and it really felt like this new beginning for me."

Williams has never been one to pull a punch in his deeply personal songwriting. On the fingerpicked "Pay No Mind," he imparts hard-won insight about what (and who) really matters, while the folky "Freak Flag" is a devil-may-care ode to being yourself, and "Little Too Stoned" laments the loss of the authentic in favor of our society's obsession with the latest trends and fads. Elsewhere on the album, the hard-charging "Hell Bent Hallelujah" offers up a profane prayer for some good news, the infectious "More Than Survival" insists on living a life that's more meaningful than just getting by, and "A Few Short Miles" draws inspiration from a figure Williams met during those early days onstage in Texas.

"There was a fisherman down there who rescued an old acoustic guitar from a dumpster after a hurricane came through Galveston," remembers Williams. "One day I was in the bar restringing my guitar and he knocked on the door and gave it to me. It was really inspiring getting to know him, and a lot of things he said to me made it into that song."

Perhaps the most personal track on the record, though, is "Old Tattoo," a stirring ode to Williams' grandfather and the strength of his mother and grandmother in the face of his passing. "Time don't heal / It's just fadin' like the floors of an old saloon," he sings. "You can hide the pain away / Even if it's carved right into you / Like an old tattoo."

It's an arresting moment, and an apt metaphor for a songwriter with the ability to lodge his melodies and lyrics deep beneath your skin. Forget fame and fortune, hits and hype. As far as Williams is concerned, the legacy you leave behind with the ones you care about most is the true measure of any man. With that in mind, and with a debut album as good as 'Better Than Myself' under his belt, it's clear that Alex Williams is here to do more than just survive.

Please correct the information below.

Select ticket quantity.

Complete the security check.

Select Tickets

Ages 18+
limit 10 per person
Sanctuary
$15.00

Delivery Method

Will Call

Terms & Conditions

This event is 18 and over. Any ticket holder unable to present valid identification indicating that they are at least 18 years of age will not be admitted to this event, and will not be eligible for a refund. This ticket is a revocable license and may be taken up and admission refused upon refunding the purchase price appearing hereon and is grounds for seizure and cancellation without compensation. Holder of this ticket (“Holder”) voluntarily assumes all risks and danger incidental to the game or event for which this ticket is issued whether occurring prior to, during, or after same, including, but not limited to, contracting, and/or spreading the COVID-19 virus, and agrees that the organization, venue, presenter, agents, participants, or players are not responsible or liable for any injuries, sickness, or death resulting from such causes. Holder acknowledges that the COVID-19 pandemic remains a threat to individual and public health, COVID-19 is a highly contagious disease transmitted through human contact and respiratory droplets (including through the air and via common surfaces) and it is possible that Holder may contract COVID-19 while at the game or event for which this ticket is issued. Holder agrees by use of this ticket not to transmit or aid in transmitting any description, account, picture, or reproduction of the game or event to which this ticket is issued. Breach of the foregoing will automatically terminate this license. Holder agrees that the license comprised by this ticket may be removed and Holder may be ejected from the game or event for which this ticket is issued in the event that Holder violates any law, ordinance, or venue regulation. Holder grants permission to the organization sponsoring the game or event for which this ticket is issued to utilize Holder’s image or likeness in connection with any video or other transmission or reproduction of the event to which this ticket relates.