Country music megastar Keith Urban loves nothing more than sharing his talents. Whether day or night with musical brothers or sisters, Urban is ever ready to custom-design one of his distinctive guitar riffs to fit perfectly in a tune. Similarly, the “Who Wouldn’t Wanna Be Me” artist goes from subtle to sizzling as needed for vocal tracks to lend a hand on a tune for a friendly partner.
As Country Music Alley reported last month, however, Keith Urban saves his most passionate sizzle for his beautiful, incredibly talented Oscar-winning actress-wife, Nicole Kidman. The two had followers and fans stirred and shaken with Keith’s slathering kiss in salute of the couple’s 15th anniversary. The devoted lovebirds supply definitive proof that sensuality survives and thrives after 50. They also feel equally passionate about parenting, recently marking oldest daughter, Sunday Rose’s 13th birthday with a luscious layer cake and loads of shimmer and color.
When it comes to creative camaraderie, Keith Urban welcomes talents of all genders and genres. His infectious, jaunty “Throw It Back” track with R&B-Country fusion phenom, Breland, now tops 3 million views on YouTube, and that’s after their union on “Out The Cage,” along with Nile Rodgers. The energetic Urban partnered with Pink and earned multiple nominations in 2020 for “One Too Many.” Keith made more history, too, co-hosting the 2021 ACM Awards with Mickey Guyton.
Now, Keith Urban steps into the future and the past simultaneously in a new collaboration with Sam Williams, as Rolling Stone relates. The grandson of Hank Williams and the son of his namesake, Hank Williams, Jr., shows off his superlative pop voice in a smooth tune with a very serious message from his debut album. Keith Urban pitches in with his perfect touch on strings.
‘Kids’ is no easy ride for Sam Williams or Keith Urban
Of course, Keith Urban innately understands the delicate balance between the message, the music, and the style of the song. While Sam Williams is a newcomer to the music world, his name already carries a heavy mantle. While his new preview song from Glasshouse Children (indeed, the title speaks a lot), takes a breezy melody, its reflections on the kids in school who “sleep, drink, and cheat” in their world of “cold money” and “fake love” draws deeply on the isolation and disconnectedness of the times.
In a uDiscoverMusic profile, Sam Williams says that “’ Kids’ captures the sense of “monotonous negativity that comes with staying in the same town your entire life.” The desperate hope to get out gets quenched by still feeling like a child, so a cycle continues. Judging from the trailer snippet of the song, Keith Urban and the singer-songwriter fall into a seamless collaboration.
Keith Urban isn’t the only big-name joining Sam Williams
Sam Williams bears both the looks of his grandfather and the “Family Tradition,” to borrow his dad’s famous song title. Time will tell if Sam’s songwriting gifts stand the test of time in the same way. Already, the insightful songwriter deserves kudos for confronting issues of alcoholism, depression, gaining independence, and family upheaval in such candid ways with masterful musicianship. It’s no surprise that Keith Urban finds himself lured to the studio by the young artist. The songs “10-4,” “Can’t Fool Your Own Blood,” “Shuteye” and “The World Alone” precede the release of “Kids,” giving quite a feel for the entire collection and the artist. Coping with adversity is a primary theme.
Jaren Johnson of The Cadillac Three is the chief producer of Glasshouse Children. Ashley Monroe, now fighting her own health battle with tremendous courage, Joy Williams, Sean McConnell, Bobby Holland, and Dan Auerbach (of The Black Keys) are part of the writers league for the Sam Williams debut, due out August 20. Keith Urban knows he’s in good company. Topping off the roster of talent, country music legend, Dolly Parton, sings with Sam on “Happy All The Time.” Don’t be fooled by the title, folks!
Pain is a powerful creative force
Keith Urban and Sam Williams have strong country music roots and sensibilities across musical genres. In February, the aspiring and candid Williams tells The Boot openly that “There’s a lot of pain burned into my DNA.” Nonetheless, he sees a positive side in the hurting, as he notes how “pain can be a beautiful thing if you know how to deal with it.” Sam and his family shared a recent collision with pain through the death of his sister, Katie Williams, in 2020.
Just as Keith Urban turns inward on his piano ballad, “Tonight I Wanna Cry,” Sam Williams turns reflective and introspective on almost the entirety of his debut project. That takes courage, no matter how notable one’s lineage.
Williams describes his desire to “just be normal” growing up, Naturally, for Sam Williams, that means not going into the family business, music. He did his best to channel his efforts to business school in college, but musical sirens kept calling, and now, Sam Williams is answering their call, with Keith Urban and more all-star artists cheering him on!
Stay tuned into Country Music Alley for more on Sam Williams, Keith Urban, and more of your favorite country music makers!