In a new video posted to EmiSunshine’s YouTube page, Holly Williams sits down with the 11-year-old singing sensation for a soul-stirring rendition of Hank Williams’ immortal “I Saw the Light,” bridging the gap to a new generation of roots music. It’s the first installment of the youngster’s new series, EmiSunshine’s Americana Corner, and the pint-sized East Tennessee native steals the show.
Singing crystal-clear harmony, Emi’s voice is steady and strong, and even though she’s probably too young to fully understand the gravity of the classic’s lyrics – which are 57 years older than she is – she sounds right at home. Williams has been singing her grandfather’s gospel standard in her own shows for years, but adding a child’s innocence to the tune gives it a whole new, ethereal dimension.
A fearless harmonizer who’s been doing it naturally since the age of 10 months old, EmiSunshine wrote her first song at five and had recorded two albums by the time she turned seven. Since then, she’s begun touring, with her family as a backing band, and has made appearances on the Today show, the Grand Ole Opry and at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. She recently released an uplifting original song called “I Am Able” as a companion to the book The Ables, which teaches lessons about bullying and diversity through a Sci-Fi lens.
EmiSunshine’s new video series also lets her interview her guests, and the full-length clip posted on YouTube includes an adorable Q&A session where fans learn what Williams’ favorite breakfast food is (sausage biscuits and gravy), and also that the third-generation singer is preparing to record a new album in August with producer Dave Cobb (Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson). Her previous release, the critically-acclaimed The Highway, included “Waiting on June,” the touching story of her other grandparents, Warren and June White.