Holly Williams carries on family tradition

  The Tennessean

Saturday morning at the Pilgrimage Music and Cultural Festival, a crowd gathered to watch Holly Williams perform, but for her, there was one special person in the audience: her year-old daughter, Stella June Coleman, who donned ear protection headphones to watch her mother and father Chris Coleman perform on the festival’s Midnight Sun stage.

Williams has music in her blood: she’s the granddaughter of the legendary Hank Williams and daughter of Hank Williams, Jr., and is a talented singer-songwriter who has released three full-length albums in the last 11 years.

Though ominous clouds threatened to open up throughout her set, the crowd stayed put as Williams delivered story songs about her family, including “Gone Away from Me” and “Waiting on June,” in her soulful alto. During her hour-long performance, Williams strummed a guitar that sported signatures from Kris Kristofferson and John Prine; she paid tribute to the latter with a cover of one of Prine’s best-known songs, “Angel from Montgomery.”

Meanwhile Stella June, who spent the set in the arms of her paternal grandfather in the front row, seemed captivated by her parents’ music; in a fitting salute to family tradition, they ended their performance with a rousing rendition of Hank Williams’ “I Saw the Light.”
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Holly Williams

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