Review: Alex Williams' 'Better Than Myself' Is Modern Outlaw Country

Our take on the debut from the 25-year-old storyteller

Alex Williams' debut LP is 'Better Than Myself.'

With steel guitar by country-rock vet Dan Dugmore, harp by Willie Nelson main man Mickey Raphael, muscular rock guitars and a handsome bourbon baritone, Indiana longhair Alex Williams casts himself squarely in the outlaw mode Chris Stapleton has rebooted with his debut LP. The 25-year-old rides hard for stoners: "More Than Survival" finds him justifying his Wednesday night buzz; "Little Too Stoned" declares solidarity with "a fucked up generation/Like our nation's never known" while Dugmore's steel blows smoke rings. But "Old Tattoo" is the standout, dialing back the bad ol' boy postures to address a dead grandfather, a deep meditation that shows a real storyteller getting his legs.