Less than a year after Don Williams announced his retirement, the so-called Gentle Giant looms large over an upcoming tribute album featuring John Prine, Jason Isbell and Garth Brooks.
Gentle Giants: The Songs of Don Williams will be released May 26th, one day before Williams' 78th birthday. Produced by Garth Fundis, who began working with Williams during the 1970s, the 11-track album rounds up country-pop chart climbers, Americana all-stars and iconic songwriters. More than a half-dozen songs feature vocals from a female singer, and three are performed as duets, with the album's participants – including Pistol Annies, Chris and Morgane Stapleton, Lady Antebellum and Alison Krauss – all putting an updated spin on Williams' country classics. Most of the album's proceeds will be donated to MusiCares.
Williams was still touring behind 2014's Reflections when a hip operation forced him to postpone a run of shows in early 2016. One month later, he canceled the run entirely, explaining, "It's time to hang my hat up and enjoy some quiet time at home." It's not the first time Williams has retired from the biz – he took a four-year break during the late 2000s, eventually reigniting his career in 2010 – but the singer has so far remained out of the public eye since last year's announcement.
Gentle Giants: The Songs of Don Williams track listing:
1. "Tulsa Time" - Pistol Annies
2. "I Believe in You" - Brandy Clark
3. "We've Got a Good Fire Goin'" - Lady Antebellum
4. "Some Broken Hearts Never Mend" - Dierks Bentley
5. "Amanda" - Chris Stapleton feat. Morgane Stapleton
6. "Till The Rivers All Run Dry" - Alison Krauss
7. "Love Is On A Roll" - John Prine feat. Roger Cook
8. "If I Needed You" - Jason Isbell & Amanda Shires
9. "Maggie's Dream" - Trisha Yearwood
10. "Lord I Hope This Day is Good" - Keb' Mo'
11. "Good Ole Boys Like Me" - Garth Brooks