New to Nashville, Sam Outlaw Covers Don Williams in New Recording

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Sam Outlaw will be making his Grand Ole Opry debut in Nashville, Tennessee, on May 3, 2019. In the meantime, he’s recently moved from his Los Angeles, California, home to Music City to continue on his positive career path in the country music industry. In celebration of this move, Outlaw has recently shared the first song he’s had the pleasure of recording in Nashville, a cover of “Love Is On A Roll” by Texas country singer Don Williams.

Known as the “Gentle Giant” in country music, Don Williams passed away in September 2017. His catalog of hits has long been a treasured collection by his fans. For years, he was a musical mainstay in Texas, forming a band and doing odd jobs in between to earn a living for his family. In 1971, he got his big break in a move to Nashville, with a record deal that saw such hits as “It Must Be Love,” and “Tulsa Time,” being recorded. His later collaborations with other artists included Vince Gill, Allison Krauss, and Keith Urban. But up until now, new releases of country covers for his hits appear to have been non-existent.

The post for Outlaw’s cover of “Love Is On A Roll” was shared on Facebook by the official Don Williams page, generating some uptake by fans of the former country gentleman on behalf of the Nashville newcomer. The video for Outlaw’s remake is available above, shared on YouTube for your listening pleasure in late March of this year. The song was originally written by John Prine and Roger Cook, and its first appearance on the country scene came on Williams’ “Yellow Moon” album from 1983. It made it all the way to number one on the country charts, becoming his 14th chart-topper. In case you’re wondering, as a country fan, whether Sam Outlaw could do the song justice, just have a listen. Kelly Dearmore, a writer for the Dallas Observer, did a review of this new country artist based simply on his name. What he had to say was this: “…Outlaw’s musical style isn’t one that warrants a side-by-side comparison to the grizzled legends that made the term ‘outlaw’ mean something 40 years ago, when it was merely a marketing ploy intended to sell a few records. Regardless, a newcomer to the country scene busting out an album that’s a pure winner straight out of the gate is certainly a feat. As has been reported by the folks I had previously ignored, there is a gorgeous, warm California vibe to the album, and that’s just as the Cali-born artist wanted it. An artist seeing a specific vision through to a successful final product is both a tall task and an admirable one.”

So, before you quickly turn your nose up at the fact that his name sounds like a bit of a cliché and you don’t like the fact that he’s from California, remember that it takes a lot of guts to put yourself out there. Singing the hits that your heroes released, like this one, is an honor and tribute to the Texas legend. That Williams’ former version sees new light and new sound from someone who plans to bring it the kind of heart this generation needs to hear is even better.