Rob Williams’ An Hour Before Daylight Album Review

An Hour Before Daylight


If you like front porch swinging and the sound of something smooth and familiar as you relax to the crickets and the highway, Rob Williams’ new album, An Hour Before Daylight, will hit the spot. Hailing from Richmond, Virginia, Williams’ words ring heavy with an emotional tone ripe with allegories and historical cues you’d expect from the birth-state of America. It’s soft and rugged, wholesome and powerful, and takes you on a ride through each song.


Each cut reads like the tracks of an old wooden coaster, takin’ you up and then back down again.

For a Tennessean, any album that kicks off talking about good ole’ Rocky Top is right in my book. I bet you’ll find your foot thumping to the jazzy blues and funky tunes of “The Old North State” as you dive into shaking set to follow. The blues stay heavy as the mood transitions into “Don’t Want to Love You” and a cover of Lucinda Williams “Blue” that leaves you feeling every word in this Ryan Adams meets Bob Dylan epilogue.


Williams slows the roll with “Broken”. The climax of this emotional journey:


“You come to me broken, weary, and worn.”


You feel it build up inside you as you rocket into another bass-driven melody in “Butte, Montana 1885”.

“Icarus Dreamt” brings the upbeat Americana train track rhythm and leaves you wondering what you might find worth chasing the sun for.


The next few tracks bring in a sweet harmony acoustic guitars, keys, and the crone of a soulful songbird.


“And it feels almost dreamlike”, he cries, and it does.


“Hide and Seek” reads like the ritual preparation of the final tracks as Rob brings it home. The steady buzz of guitar strings in “Rhythm of the Sunset” winds down the end of a great pilgrimage through a history of sound. “See the lights of Nashville, Tennessee,” he sings. You really should. The final notes are drawn out in “Goodnight, Illinois”. It’s the perfect ending of a rhythm roller coaster of blues, Americana, and smoky bar voices that sound so familiar. Don’t forget to check this out on October 27th.

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Review by Ashley Reed

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