Album Review – Chancey Williams – “One of These Days”
If we could wave a magic wand and instantly remake mainstream country music into something much better than what it is today, Chancey Williams and his new album One of These Days would not be a bad wish at all. It’s country with steel guitar and fiddle. It’s cool. It’s catchy and hooky, but the songs still say something. It’s not a perfect specimen of country according to the Book of Mark Chesnutt or anything, but it presents a pragmatic notion of what country music could be where everybody could enjoy it, and together.
We keep talking about how 90s country and Western country are two of the hottest trends in country music at the moment since people are hungry for twang and authenticity. It just happens to be that Chancey Williams and his crew can fulfill both of those desires, while still being something your pop country-listening cousins or neighbors would probably dig if you played it at the next barbecue.
Chancey Williams is a true rodeo cowboy from Wyoming who’s competed as a saddle bronc rider for years, and is the only guy since Chris LeDoux to both ride and perform at the legendary Frontier Days in Cheyenne. Chancey brings his real-world experiences to both lively songs and more sentimental ballads that show off a sincere passion for country and Western while satiating a range of emotions for the audience. And just like LeDoux, Chancey doesn’t mind bringing a little rock influence into the mix. But also like LeDoux, the end result is still country.
“One of These Days,” “Blame It on the Rain,” and “Only the Good Ones” are just well-written tracks, and they all come from the pen of Chancey Williams. Then producer Trent Willmon comes in, and from all those years and co-writes in Nashville, he knows how to tighten up the material and marry it with the music in a way that makes it widely appealing, while still remaining true to itself.
All that’s well and good, but when Chancey takes his Western and rodeo experiences and puts them to song, this is when he rises above the crowded field of folks making retro-sounding country. It’s not just the music and words. It’s how you believe them when they come from someone like Chancey.
When the forlorn fiddle opens the album on the song “The Saint,” and then the galloping rhythm underpins a Western song about the kind of hero/villains that the law hates and the people love, it’s not hard to buy in. When Williams sings about wanting to be buried in the Western plains before they disappear in “Land of the Buffalo,” you know it’s coming straight from the heart.
One of These Days is not all about gunfighters and wide open spaces though. A lot of variety is brought to the writing and sounds. You’re caught off guard by a downright drunken Irish pub singalong complete with phonetic accent in “On the Tear Tonight.” It’s not exactly authentic to Chancey, but it’s hard to say it’s not fun. “Hideaway” with its reggae/island beat might be a little too Chesney as opposed to Chancey for the rodeo crowd, but it’s one of the few soft spots on the record. That’s counterbalanced later by “Rodeo Time,” which is a straight up rock song, but one that still fits Chancey and his band well.
Chancey Williams might be a regional artist from Wyoming, but his sound is ripe for taking nationwide, which is already starting to happen. He’s already been making a big stink in Montana/Wyoming for years, and he’s well-known on the radio circuit too. Nothing would be better for country music than for Chancey Williams to blow up, and One of These Days just may have the gusto to do it.
1 3/4 Guns Up (8/10)
– – – – – – – – –
March 26, 2023 @ 10:48 am
Niiiice. Just all good vibes.
March 26, 2023 @ 10:53 am
Solid. Great band to see live as well. Keep up the good work, Trigger.
March 26, 2023 @ 2:22 pm
Good album! Thanks for sharing it.
Random but was wondering your thoughts on Emily Ann Robert’s new releases. Coming from a TV show i’m sure is not ideal but her newest songs sound pretty good I thought
March 26, 2023 @ 10:37 pm
I have been pleasantly surprised by her recent singles, though nothing I would playlist or feature individually yet. Looking forward to an LP to where I can really dig into what she’s trying to do.
March 26, 2023 @ 2:26 pm
Loved seeing CW locally in Wyoming on the regular. Great to see him rise to wider recognition.
March 26, 2023 @ 3:59 pm
This album just oozes authenticity from start to finish. It is a fantastic listen and will be on repeat for weeks and weeks for myself.
March 26, 2023 @ 6:28 pm
Authentic and the real deal!
March 26, 2023 @ 7:37 pm
Nice to see Chancey finally getting more widespread attention. Feels like ages ago that I saw him open for Merle Haggard at CFD.
March 26, 2023 @ 11:36 pm
Please, this is Brantley Gilbert lite. Maybe there’s some real emotion in these songs, if you strip back the heavy handed production, but the overall ‘floating down a river with a cooler of beer vibe’ is played out.
March 27, 2023 @ 6:01 am
This is nothing like Brantley Gilbert’s generic hard rock with slurred vocals here. And what’s wrong with a floating down the river with a beer vibe? Not every good song has to be some deep lyrical delve into life. Sometimes the mood calls for a good time honky tonk float down the river with a beer song.
March 28, 2023 @ 12:45 pm
Credit to any independent artist who is writing songs and getting out to play them live. Not trying to bring the guy down. There are some good ideas on the album.
It’s not fair from a production standpoint, but contrast ‘look good leavin’ and ‘one of these days’ with the vibe on Eric Church’s ‘cold one’ for a fun drinking song vibe and ‘talladega’ for the nostalgic drinking song vibe. Those Eric Church songs work because the songwriting, arrangement, vocal performance and production are serving a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. ‘Look good leaving’ and ‘one of these days’ both have arena rock snare hits, and arena rock emotional depth, despite the former being about checking out a gal’s ass as she’s walking out of the bar (a la ‘castanets’ – Alejandro Escovedo) and the letter contemplating growing old with a gal (a la ‘don’t blink’ – Kenny chesney).
March 27, 2023 @ 4:35 am
Takes me back to 1993 and listening to Chris Ledoux for the first time. Real solid pick Trig.
March 27, 2023 @ 5:54 am
Good stuff in the Cody Johnson/Randall King lane of good ole country music. I agree with the review, this is the type of country music that should be on the radio. Good times, tap your foot, songs you can sing along to in your car, or have a few cold ones to while grilling with your friends and family.
March 27, 2023 @ 7:46 am
Right out of the box I saw the album cover and said this is gonna be good. Any of you that know how I roll know I prefer the first song to be an up tempo statement of what’s to come and The Saint does that perfectly. Love the drum sound on this entire record. A lot of good tunes on here and only one or 2 that Trig mentioned aren’t really for me. Look Good Leavin’ is the bonafide hit that you gotta have to throw at radio even though they probably won’t play it, and the last track If I Die Before You Wake is a deep one. Overall I like this but I’m not sure if it’ll make the rotation and have staying power we’ll see ……………
March 28, 2023 @ 8:14 am
The Saint is the best album opener I’ve heard in recent memory.
March 29, 2023 @ 11:24 am
Real easy listen. Good review.. I think I am going to put his Fort Worth show on my radar. I am going to be spending some more time in TX and haven’t been up that way yet.