Zach Williams and the Reformation

Back in the ‘70’s, the music world was literally rocked by a bunch of great bands from the South—groundbreaking acts like the Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Molly Hatchet. Bands like this were spawned from a combination of Southern roots and from rock powerhouses such as Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones and Joe Cocker. And now, almost four decades later, a group of young rockers from the hills of Northeast Arkansas look and sound like they stepped off of a bus that’s been in time travel since 1975. That band is Zach Williams and The Reformation (ZWR).

Like with other Southern rock bands, ZWR effectively combines rock & roll, R&B, soul and blues, instantly drawing comparison to all of the bands mentioned above and more. Zach Williams, the group’s soulful vocalist and primary songwriter, has channeled the trials and tribulations of everyday life into the writing process.

Williams put a band together in 2008 from some other young but veteran players from the local scene, and the result was almost magical. ZWR recorded some tracks at Young Avenue Studios in nearby Memphis, Tennessee, which became the band’s debut, Electric Revival (2009). They proceeded to tour regionally to record crowds almost as fast as the band was put together, and ZWR’s following has continued to grow in the two years since releasing their debut. They also made U.S. tour stops in places like Illinois, Texas, Arkansas and Tennessee while also touring abroad in Europe, and playing for the Armed Forces in Japan and Guam, a memorable and rewarding experience for the young rockers, whose sights are set even higher.

Two years later, ZWR returned with A Southern Offering. Whereas Williams wrote all of the music and lyrics on Electric Revival, he handled the lyrics for their sophomore effort while the band wrote most of the music. Produced by famed rock producer Kevin Beamish (REO Speedwagon, Stevie Wonder, Elton John) and recorded at Nashville’s legendary Black River Studios, A Southern Offering was generating praise and accolades just about as soon as it was released.

Working with Beamish on A Southern Offering proved to be a highlight for ZWR, and the band recorded most of the album live in just six days. As with their debut, Williams’ soulful vocals shine through on tracks like “Motels and Highways,” “Fools Moon” and “The Fix,” but the writing contributions from the other members make this a deeper and more robust effort.