Album Review – Don Williams “And So It Goes”

June 25, 2012 - By Trigger  //  Reviews  //  17 Comments

This biggest question heading into the release of Don Williams’ And So It Goes was what would change in Don’s sound after an 8-year hiatus from recording, 18 years after last working with long-time producer Garth Fundis, a quasi-retirement, and an induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame? Well the answer is positively nothing, and that’s what makes And So It Goes such a treasure.

It’s so easy when reflecting on country music’s past to focus on the big, flashy names: Willie & Waylon, Dolly & Kenny, Merle & George while intermixed with all the superstar names and dramatic style changes in country music, Don Williams amassed 17 #1 hits over his career, and did it all with an endearing straightforward, no nonsense approach, letting his towering build that won him the name “The Gentle Giant” and his rugged frontiersman hat convey his message. Don never needed to say much in his own defense. He looked more like country music than anyone else.

With his bronze secured in The Hall, Don Williams didn’t have to do much with this release, which means he could do what he wanted. Throughout this album is a sweetness, an innocence that harkens you back to Don’s golden era when country music was a lot more stable, and the approach and goals of the music much more simple: tell a story, touch someone’s heart, offer hope or relief, and do it all with class.

Who built the pyramids? Do aliens exist? Where does God come from? One more phenomenon. But if you know how strong my love is. And your heart and mind can comprehend. Just how long I’m gonna feel like this. Then you’ll know what infinity is.

From some country artists, lines like this from Don’s song “Infinity” would be cheesy. From Don, it is the utmost of class, and speaks to the simplicity that is supposed to be at the heart of country music, the ease of simple goals and simple pleasures, releasing the burden of big questions. And the mood is all brought along so charmingly by Don’s smooth voice and approach.

This album has the ability to stimulate memory and reflection without coming across as dated or even nostalgic. This was the wisdom of going back and using Don’s original producer of Garth Fundis on this album. And So It Goes is like an ice cream cone your grandfather bought you, the smell of your grandparent’s house, a tire swing on an old tree, the shade of the light when it hits a golden meadow just right at the turning of spring or fall.

And So It Goes simply sends you to this soft place, and makes you second guess yourself if you overlooked some mainstream 70’s and 80’s country for lacking substance. It makes you wonder just how many of those Don Williams #1’s can you name. Not all of them? Well you better start digging and see what you missed.

This isn’t honky-tonk music, no heavy bass or stomping of boots on barroom floors. This is contemporary country from a by-gone era. And despite of what you may of thought about contemporary country before, you may be surprised to find And So It Goes speaking right to you.

1 3/4 of 2 guns up.

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Preview & Purchase Tracks from And So It Goes

17 Comments to “Album Review – Don Williams “And So It Goes””

  • Beautiful, brought me to tears, but not so difficult today because my beautiful loving 13 year old collie, Cruiser, died in my arms last night. This is what I am always yammering about when I talk “a voice you want to listen to.” Thanks Triggerman


    • Condolences on your loss Karen.


      • Thanks.


  • Beautiful written review trigger man .I never really cared for Don Williams . My old man tried to give me a greatest hits cd of his and I wasn’t that impressed at the time . The way you wrote this review now got me intrigued to give it another shot and this album too. To see that old cowboy in that aged posed has me interested to hear his ballads and words.


  • Solid. That’s what Don Williams has always been. And smooth as hell. As long as we still have Willie, Merle, Don and a few others still doing themselves proud, I’m a happy man.


  • Always been a big fan of the Gentle Giant… Nice review..


  • Pure.Simple.Greatness.

    And I love the fact that three well-known artists join him on this album, but do so in the background – Vince Gill on “Heart of Hearts”, Alison Krauss on “I Just Come Here for the Music” and Keith Urban on “Imagine That”. The harmonies are beautiful and well done.

    Kudos to Garth on the production, and thanks to Don for the music.


  • I’ve been to thousands of gigs through the years but around 7 years ago saw Don in a club in Rockwall Texas the place was packed but you could have heard a pin drop. He had that audience in the palm of his hand all night long. Seated for the entire show very little banter between songs but truly a master craftsman of song. I’ll look foward to hearing the new songs. Great review.


  • Seen him live twice in the last year. I was so mesmerized by his voice and performance. Best part was he sat on stool and just played music, and didn’t run around the stage like a clown, it was all about the music and the emotion of the songs. Truly beautiful.


  • In this day and age of so called country music, isn’t it amazing to hear something so pure and simple and so enjoyable to listen to as Don Williams is and always has been. I have about have everything he has done and it always stays right within my reach to listen. It was an answer to the biggest item on my wish list when he decided to do this album, dreams do come true and I’ll get to see him again at the Birchmere in VA come September, life’s simple pleasures is his music.


  • I was SO excited to see the The Gentle Giant had released a new album. I grew up listening to him with my dad. I was born in 1984, so I missed out on the height of his career. My parents and I saw him in concert in Georgia back in 2011. He was amazing. I immediately purchased the album when I found out about it and highly recommend it. His voice is as smooth and steady as ever and these 10 new tracks speak to you in that classic Don Williams way. Check it out!


  • My dad and I disagree on music greatly. He’s into Johnny Horton, Marty Robbins, and John Denver; I’m into Waylon Jennings, Jerry Reed, and Johnny Cash.

    The one we always seem to agree on, the one we listen to in my truck or his when we go somewhere together, is Don Williams, and I can’t wait to listen to this whole album; I’ve already sampled it on Amazon and I’m ordering it because what I hear sounds amazing.


    • Lol, Matt, I ordered two copies also. One for me and one for my Dad!


  • My daddy died when I was nine years old (I’m 30 now) — grandma always said he could sing like Don Williams. I never heard my dad sing. But Don Williams’ voice hasn’t changed, and it’s always a reminder. The album is beautiful without forcing a thing.


  • This CD should be #1 on the charts today. There is a lot of junk out there now by people who cannot sing . Lambert, Swift and all the new cutie guys who cannot carry a tune. Has the music changed for the worst!!!


    • Keep the noise out of country and appreciate people like Don Williams who can sing.
      Lambert,Swith, Chesney,Mcgraw do not hold a candle to the gentle giant. Just ask Vince and Keith and they will tell you the same if they are honest and do not want to hurt the feelings of all the untalented modern whalers of today.


  • I was curious about Don Williams’ latest effort and I’m glad that I stumbled upon this article. Sadly, Don Williams has all but faded into obscurity like many of his still-living contemporaries, so it surprised me when I learned that he had released a new album. Most older country stars don’t have the install base to release a new album and have it be successful, so it’s nice to see that Don Williams saw fit to give it at least one more go-round. Hopefully it’ll sell well enough to get another made.


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