Holly Williams, daughter of Hank Williams, Jr. and granddaughter of Hank, Sr., has carved out a niche all her own as a great songwriter with a knack for crafting compelling stories set to simple guitar riffs. The epitome of charm; chatting with the Nashville resident feels like catching up with an old friend.
Holly, whose new album The Highway is out today, gets candid about her favorite pastimes, Nashville haunts and how she keeps balance.
What is your favorite track on the new album?
“Waiting on June.” It’s the story of my grandparents and the mark they left on me. They were born and died within miles of each other and were married 56 years. They taught me the importance family and eating meals together.
Between running a store, writing music, touring, and blogging how do you maintain balance?
My grandfather had a rule ‘There can be no work after dark.’ In the summer that meant 7 p.m., in the winter it meant 5 p.m. You have to know when to turn off.
You own a very stylish boutique in Hillsboro Village, what do you like most about being a shop owner?
It’s nice to come back from being on the road, and get to just be an employee at H. Audrey. I love styling people and helping them find the perfect look.
What is your favorite pastime?
When I got married in 2009, I became obsessed with cooking. My best dish now is cinnamon-braised short ribs with caramelized shallots, garlic and ciabatta bread. It takes about three hours. I love the aromas of slow cooking.
Describe your perfect Nashville day.
I try to do this at least once a month: I drive 40 minutes to Leiper’s Fork with my husband and we let our dog run through the creeks and hills, then go for lunch at Joe Naturals. In the afternoon, we head back into town to see the newest designs at Peter Nappi. Then spend a few hours in East Nashville exploring butcher shops and vintage boutiques. We like to end the day with a margherita pizza with a farm egg on top at CITY HOUSE Nashville.
How does one pull off the Nashville look?
Don’t wear a cowboy hat and fringe. Go with a pair of Rag & Bone jeans, a white T-shirt, leather jacket, riding boots, and layered necklaces. I call it ‘lux casual.’ In Nashville, you don’t need high heels to go out to dinner.
What brings out your Southern belle?
I always have it in me. My mom was the 1966 LSU homecoming queen.
What are you reading right now?
I gravitate toward real stories from real people, like “All Over But the Shoutin’” and anything by Rick Bragg. I’m always picking up these 50-page books from local writers in small towns. The last one was “The Ideas of a Plain Country Woman,” by Rachel Harper and Sally Stephens. It’s about the authors’ grandmother, a school teacher who grew up in Madison, Georgia at the turn of the century.