Don Williams had an impressive run of Top 10 country hits from 1974 to 1991 including "Tulsa Time," "Amanda," "I Believe in You" and "Love is on a Roll."
The singer/songwriter affectionately called "The Gentle Giant" due to his relaxed, sonorous vocals and imposing size, gradually slowed down his recording and touring schedule before embarking on a "Farewell Tour of the World" in 2006.
He was rightfully inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2010 but still remained pretty much inactive in the music business.
Until last year when Williams, who performs Friday at the Manatee County Fair, emerged with the excellent new album "And So it Goes" on the venerable Americana label Sugar Hill Records.
Featuring a smart blend of originals and outside material, the collection finds the 73-year-old Williams in remarkably strong voice singing about "Infinity" while also turning to the classic theme of romance on such songs as "Heart of Hearts."
On "I Just Come Here From the Music," Williams, with help from angel-voiced Alison Krauss, offers a poignant story of a recently single man struggling to build the courage to talk to a woman at the bar. It's a beauty worthy of a manly tear or two.
Details: 8 p.m. Jan. 18, Main Stage at Manatee County Fairgrounds, 1303 17th St. W., Palmetto Admission: $8 for ages 13 and older, $7 for age 55 and older, $5 for children ages 6 to 12; free for kids age 5 and younger. Parking is $5.Information: 941-722-8951 or www.manateecountyfair.com