Williams Honor may be a new duo, but it features two musicians who will be familiar to many fans of the Shore music scene: Reagan Richards and Gordon Brown. Richards is a vocal powerhouse who has worked with a lot of different people, and has a knack for stealing the show at any event she is part of. Brown was a member of the bands Mr. Reality, Highway 9 and Samhill, and has carved out a place for himself as a central person on the scene via his Wave Gathering organization and his Writers in the Raw shows and seminars.
Together they form Williams Honor, with Richards handling the lead vocals, Brown the guitar and backing vocals, and both contributing to the songwriting. Their self-titled debut album came out on Oct. 1, and they will celebrate with a show at Tim McLoone’s Supper Club in Asbury Park, Oct. 3.
They call themselves a country duo, which I take is an indication of how broad the country label has become. I look at their music as mature pop-rock music, with a mixture of acoustic and electric instrumentation. Where the “country” comes from, I’m not really sure, except maybe as shorthand for “music that’s made for adults and not for trend-hopping teenagers.”
Whatever it is, it’s very good, where the mood is easy-going (“Don’t Wanna Let You Go”) or haunted (“Say Goodbye”), the lyrics deeply serious (“Mama Please,” which is about child abuse) or more light-hearted (“You’re the Kind of Guy (That Taylor Writes About),” which was, in case you were wondering, inspired by the breakup songs of a certain young pop-country megastar, and feels like a novelty hit waiting to happen). If I had to pick a favorite track, I’d probably go with “All Your Heart,” a ballad with a stately, almost timeless feel.
The album release party for Williams Honor is part of a show that is billed as “One More Night With Reagan Richards” and takes place at Tim McLoone’s Supper Club in Asbury Park at 8 p.m. Oct. 3; visit timmcloonessupperclub.com.
For more information on the band, visit williamshonor.com.