Don Williams has been crooning country songs since the early '70s; long enough to have already had at least one "Farewell World Tour," which he did in 2006. Reflections is his second release since un-retiring in 2012.
Williams has one of those rich, smooth country voices that sounds like it could have come from a man a third his age. If you're a fan of slow- to mid-tempo easy listening music, it's probably perfect.
Herein lies the problem. Songs like Townes Van Zandt's "I'll Be Here in the Morning" and Merle Haggard's "Sing Me Back Home," both appearing on Reflections, would sound so much more gut-wrenching delivered by a man with some grit in his voice. On this record they just kind of purr out of the speakers. I want them to gargle and growl a little. I'm not saying everyone needs to live a life that leaves one's voice punished by cigarettes and alcohol, but the country music I love most at least shows signs of road miles, tire wear, metal braids visible between thin layers of rubber.
For fans of Williams, this record is probably the aural equivalent of wrapping up in a thick comforter on a pensive evening. Me, I'd rather be shivering out in the pickup, chasing headlights with the windows down so I don't fall asleep at the wheel.
Don Williams plays the Dennison Theatre Wed., June 18, at 7:30 PM. $39.50 to $55, available at griztix.com.