Chris Williams “Something From Nothing”

Independent, 2023

On ‘Something For Nothing,’ Chris Williams and his collaborator Kid Reverie come up with a high-quality independent surprise.

The fact that different musical genres keep seeping into Americana is nothing new. It is up to the artists combining these new musical elements with the genre to refine the combinations and make it work. Willmington, North Carolina artist Chris Williams and Steve Varney (AKA Kid Reverie), his songwriting co-collaborator, have done exactly that on ‘Something For Nothing,’ the album billed under Williams’ name.

Williams and Varney met during the pandemic and did all the composing and recording remotely via Zoom, passing the tracks back and forth via Pro Tools. The duo played all of the instruments (minus drums on 5 tracks from Michael McKee), recorded, engineered, and produced the album together.

Although such remote collaborations can be patchy and uneven, Williams and Varney manage admirably. Not only have they come up with some subtle and subdued Americana, but have blended in production elements currently often characterized as Ambient Americana, like on the opening track ‘Morning’ or the excellent ballad ‘Himalayan Hills.’

Still, throughout the twelve tracks here,  the duo stay true to the spirit of modern Americana, roots and folk-oriented singer-songwriters, without at any point compromising the quality of their songwriting or their musical performance.

It can easily bear the tag of an independent surprise.


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