There is one thing that is inarguable about William Beckmann. The South Texas native has a voice that is begging to be heard by the masses. He’s one of those artists where you don’t wonder “if,” but “when” he’ll blow up on the national scene because there is too much talent here for it to be contained on a local or regional scale. The only question has been what this young man from Del Rio might do with all that singing talent, because he can do just about anything.
Beckmann made a big impression with his super traditional country breakout single “Bourbon Whiskey” in 2021. Yet his 2022 debut album Faded Memories showed his command with more contemporary country sounds too. Meanwhile, the bilingual singer from the Texas borderland can croon out the cleanest, most classical and authentic Tejano ballads you can find. He could have an entire career in that realm if he wanted to, and very well might.
Now with his new 7-song album called Here’s To You. Here’s To Me, William Beckmann broadens his repertoire even more. Though you don’t get any ’50s-style country songs or Spanish sonatas, Beckmann turns in a hard-charging Outlaw-style song in “She Can’t Be Found.” “Bad Dreams & Amphetamines” is a classic country trucker song, even if the sound is a bit cleaner than what you’re used to for these kinds of songs. “Tennessee Drinkin'” has a bit of a Chris Isaak swagger, which fits Beckmann’s voice keenly.
When you can sing the phone book like William Beckmann, maybe you don’t have to pick a lane and instead can follow your heart on a tour through wherever your influences take you. The variety of styles is part of the appeal in Here’s To You. Here’s To Me, starting with the opening song “Damn This Heart of Mine,” which is just good country music that shoots it straight down the middle.
William Beckmann is also currently a writer for the publishing house Warner Chappell. The album’s second song “Leaving Kansas” is a solid track, but is more personal to the song’s co-writer Nick Walsh than to Beckmann. “Tennessee Drinkin'” about falling in love with a girl on the Texas coast and fondly recalling her while drinking in the Volunteer State (where Beckmann now currently lives) feels a bit more true to his world.
“It’s Still January” might be a little too torchlight for some, but you have to respect Beckmann wanting to cut a song written by the legendary Keith Gattis. Even if these kinds of syrupy love songs are not your style, you have to admit William sings them so well. “The Party” is a bit of a strange song, sort of like and overcussing Taylor Swift track or something. Beckmann may have stretched a little too far with that one, but it seems like one of the objectives of his 7-song albums is to probe and find his sweet spot.
Here’s To You. Here’s To Me was produced by Oran Thornton who also worked with Kaitlin Butts on her stellar 7-song EP What Else Can She Do?, as well as recent projects from Brent Cobb and Adam Hood. It may be a fair concern that Beckmann isn’t finding a niche and sticking in it like most young artists do to gain support, and instead is trying to be all things to all country music people. But he’s still young, and his hunky nature probably isn’t hurting his prospects either.
What’s for sure is that wherever William Beckmann lands, he will command attention. He already is making waves in the Texas scene, including selling out Gruene Hall. Seeing him live, you immediately appreciate that he comes from an era where country singers had to be great singers first, and then everything else fell into place. It’s already falling into place for Beckmann. But with this level of talent, you know that the future will even be brighter.
1 3/4 Guns Up.