William Lee Golden and The Goldens burn out Nashville
Shelley Ridge for Country Music News International
It was a sold out house at 3rd & Lindsley on a Thursday night when William Lee Golden and The Goldens invited everyone to come and dine at their musical smorgasbord.
The occasion was a multi-album release party where the introduction was made by none other than William Lee’s fellow Oak Ridge Boys member Richard Sterban, who praised the Golden family for their great project. The family star constellation consists of William Lee, his sons Rusty, Craig and Chris, and his granddaughter Elizabeth on fiddle. For this particular project, they have also invited their friend Aaron McCune, who sings a baritone so low it must come from the bottom of a West Virginia coalmine. After the introduction, William Lee Golden and The Goldens slided the show off in driving gear with Eagles’ “Take It Easy”, practically half a century after the original was released. Speaking of time, the reason this triple CD project was born was because of time and circumstances two years ago – in 2020. Song number two ignited the audience to start clapping along cheerfully to the Johnny Cash classic “I Still Miss Someone”. And classics galore was what they served this night to the very enthusiastic and appreciative audience who all sang along to the timeless “Me and Bobby McGhee” and “Take Me Home Country Roads” – where also the full house got the opportunity to be the house choir – a choir who sang strongly enough to have the notes echoing and bouncing all the way from Nashville to the Appalachians and the Rockies. The setlist treated us with mostly up-tempo songs, but also some heartfelt ballads. William Lee’s sons got to showcase their charismatic artistic talents for instance in “Peaceful Easy Feeling” (Chris), “Hollywood Nights” (Rusty), and “Multi Colored Lady” (Craig). The family friend McCune put a very special down-to-the-basement flavor to Merle Haggard’s “The Way I Am”. We in the audience also got to indulge in a song not included on the albums in “Hillbilly Highway” with heavenly hillbilly harmonies sprinkled tastefully throughout. But that was only part of the icing on the cake, because the Golden family honored Hank Williams with Jambalaya, Kris Kristofferson with “Why Me Lord”, Lefty Frizzell with “Long Black Veil” and William Lee Golden’s fellow Brewton, Alabama native Hank Locklin with “Send Me the Pillow You Dream On”.
The venue was absolutely perfect for this occasion with its homey feel – it has rustic décor like a saloon, but it still has a cozy feel to it like a salon – and when you get pampered with friendly staff and good food at the same time you’re listening to seasoned performers, contentment is reached. And since it was St. Patrick’s Day, they had special menu offerings to please the taste buds. And speaking of Irish, the very well known song “You Are My Sunshine” got an Irish flavor to it with the tasty acoustic guitar and fiddle intro.
Those who waited for Oak Ridge Boys hits were not waiting in vain, because what would a concert with William Lee Golden be without “Thank God For Kids”? The Golden family also served us the joyous “Bobbie Sue” and the ever so beloved “Elvira”, before transforming the place to a country church delivering the gospel medley “Will The Circle Be Unbroken/I’ll Fly Away”.
All in all, we felt like we had been served a full course meal with some bites of country, some bites of rock, a couple bites of gospel, and a whole lot of soul.
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