Americana Highways brings you this premiere of Rob Williams song “Falling Sky” from his upcoming album Weathering the Storm, Vol. 1 due to be available August 28, 2020. Weathering the Storm, Vol. 1 was produced by John Morand, recorded in Richmond, Virginia at Sound of Music Studio, and mastered by Nathan James at Vault Mastering in Phoenix, Arizona, with cover photography by Tom Hyde.
“Falling Sky” is Rob Williams on acoustic guitar and vocals; Leslie Williams on electric guitar; Turtle Zwadlo on bass; Kris Krull on drums and backing vocals; and Ian Shenk on keyboards.
A groovy foundation and punctuated guitar work classifies this work by Rob Williams as eminently listenable. Step up to the “Falling Sky” and you’ll be glad you did. We asked Rob Williams some questions about the song. The song is beneath.
AH: What is the story behind this song? Why did you write it?
RW: The origin of this song was a motel stay while touring in 2016 a few days prior to the election. When I checked into the motel in the afternoon, the TV in the room next to mine was tuned into a cable news channel with the volume turned up loud enough for me to hear it pretty clearly. I went to play the show and returned several hours later to find that nothing in the room next door had changed – same channel, same volume, same story. It made me think about the negative impact that obsession with news/opinion channels can have on our psyche and our dispositions, and how it contributes to the growing social and political divide.
AH: What kind of a vibe were you going for on this song when you recorded it? Do you think you ended up with a song that sounds like you expected it to sound? If so, how so, and if not, what’s different about it?
RW: This was intended to be a quiet folk song when I wrote it back in 2016. After a little reflection, however, I realized that I wasn’t keen on the arrangement and set the song aside. I reworked it a bit and presented it to the band as we prepared for one of the recording sessions for this record. We didn’t spend much time rehearsing this one before it was recorded. Instead, it was one of those songs that came to life in the studio as we made decisions on arrangement and instrumentation on the fly. Working that way as an independent artist can be risky, but it can pay off when you’re working with a good band and a good producer.
AH: How do you describe your music to people who haven’t heard it before? How about your live show?
RW: I typically say Americana. It’s a broad category and doesn’t offer much clarity, but it’s a start. These days most anything that includes an acoustic stringed instrument is either labeled country, folk, or Americana. My songs don’t fall entirely into either country or folk, so Americana seems to work best. That said, when the full band plays together, we’re more of a rock band than anything else.
AH: How has living in Richmond, VA impacted your music and your songwriting?
RW: Growing up in Richmond, it was easy to see the important role that events from the past have in shaping our lives. I majored in history in college and then taught high school history for several years. As a songwriter, I often make references to places and events from the past, either as metaphors or to imagine the lives of people from different times. Where historical narratives tend to focus narrowly on political and military leaders, songs provide a nice medium for sketching out smaller stories from times past.
Pre-order link: https://rob-williams-2.square.site/