A brief background on each song from the country artist's new self-titled solo record.
After years of performing in the trio Tessy Lou and the Shotgun Stars, Montana gal Tessy Lou Williams is releasing her first solo record. The Austin-based singer tells us the story behind each track.
“Your Forever Will Never Say Goodbye”
Mike Ward has been a family friend since long before I was born. He, in my opinion, is one of the most talented songwriters I’ve ever heard. The man sure knows how to write a country song! It was such a privilege to be taught this song by him several years ago and I’m so excited to be sharing with everyone on this new album. Carl Jackson’s harmonies help create that high-lonesome sound that this song embodies.
“Why Do I Still Want You”
Another one of my favorite writers is Leslie Satcher. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know her over the last few years of visiting Nashville and have even gotten to write with her a few times. This song, written by Leslie, was brought to my attention by Luke Wooten (my producer) and I very quickly fell in love with it. I learned it within an hour while sitting in the vocal booth at Station West.
“Mountain Time in Memphis”
My first Nashville co-write was with Jerry Salley. I was very nervous to be paired up with such a talented writer, not knowing if I could keep up! This idea quickly came to life once we started putting our creative minds together. I think it's a beautiful song and I'm very proud of it. It, being my initial experience of a blind co-write, just proved to me how amazing writing with someone else could be. I think it captures the struggle of choosing between love and life very well.
I wrote this song with Larry Cordle during another one of my Nashville writes. Much like with Jerry Salley, we’d never met before and knowing what songs he’d written, I was very nervous and intimidated going into our write. Larry made me feel at ease immediately and we cranked out one hell of a country song! I think this song is pretty relatable to most. We'’ve all spent time sitting and waiting for that particular phone call.
“One More Night”
Vanessa Olivarez was a name I’d kept hearing from several friends of mine in Nashville. We tried several times to get our schedules to match up, and though it took a while, we finally were able to get together for a co-write. I had been sitting on this idea for a while already and just couldn’t quite get all of the pieces together. I was thrilled when I presented it to Vanessa and she seemed as excited about the idea as I was. Her beautiful voice and ability to create a gorgeous melody truly helped this song come to life. I had such a blast writing this song with her. I believe that at one point or another, we’ve all wanted just “one more night” with someone.
I grew up listening to my mom (Claudia Williams) sing this song written by my dad (Kenny Williams) and Mike Ward. My parents played this song for many years in their band, Montana Rose, so it was one of the many songs of my childhood that I’d always loved. The older I get and the longer I’m in the music business, the more I’m able to relate to this song. It can be a hard, lonely world as a traveling musician, having to weigh the balance between your career and your personal life. I’m honored to put this song on my album and even more honored to have my dad doing the background vocals!
“Somebody’s Drinking About You”
Brennen Leigh is one of my favorite country voices and writers in existence! I have been a fan of hers since I first came to Austin back in 2009. Over the years I’ve lived in Texas, she and I developed a friendship out of our mutual love for country music, and writing with her is a musical dream come true. This idea came to us when we were sitting at the Station Inn in Nashville watching the New Monday show. We made a joke about a friend's nose itching because “Somebody was drinking about him,” and we knew that second the song needed to be written. Getting our schedules to line up was difficult at first, but between emails, texts, and a short meet-up, we were able to knock out this song. I am very proud of this song!
“Busy Counting Bridges”
Jerry Salley quickly became one of my favorite people to write with after writing “Mountain Time in Memphis” together. We met again for another writing session and decided we wanted to write a by-God country shuffle. We loved the idea of someone sitting in a bar and reminiscing over all the bridges burned in love lost. I think, though this song is about heartbreak, it has a great upbeat feel that can make anyone want to two-step around the dance floor.
“Round and Round”
This song came from my second write with Leslie Satcher. I was already a huge fan of hers and had already decided to put her song “Why Do I Still Want You” on the new album. One of my favorite things about writing with Leslie is, even though she can pull out some serious heartbreak, she can push me into writing things that are more upbeat. We started talking about life on the road and playing all over the country. We shared our experiences of the good, the bad, the interesting, etc., and our continued love of every aspect of it. You never know what to expect, but you keep on going because that’s what we do!
“Pathway of Teardrops”
I first became truly aware of this song when I heard Val Storey, Larry Cordle, and Carl Jackson sing it at the Station Inn in Nashville with their New Monday band. Their harmonies on this song just about killed me the first time I heard it. I was sitting there listening to them sing it one night with Luke and we both agreed we should put a version of this on the album. It’s a true country song that embodies everything I love about country music!