Stockyard Sessions: Wynn Williams On How He Connects With the Audience and More


Weatherford native Wynn Williams started rodeoing in high school, he went to learn to bulldog one day after football practice in the Texas heat, when he was already dog tired.

“Being a rodeo competitor, it really taught me a lot about how to lose and how to take care of something other than myself,” he said. “I really feel like I developed a lot in that short period of time.”

And believe it or not, chucking steers, helped developed him as a musician as well.

"(In rodeo), you go from one run to the next and that has really benefited in my music career. Because you know, we’ll go from playing a show to a few thousand people, which is amazingly energetic and gives us a bring adrenaline rush and then we’ll go play for 100 or 200 and it’s kind of a shock and I have look back to my rodeo time and channel that and think ‘this is an opportunity to grow with this kind of show.’”

When Williams was about 16, he started on a stage many do - his school’s talent show. That lead to local restaurants, which lead to playing around College Station while at Texas A&M, which lead to full band shows.

In the midst of a tour where it feels like he’s hitting every map dot in Texas, Williams took some time to talk with The Cowboy Channel about what his live shows are like, why he loves meeting people at show and more.

TCC: What’s your broad musical background?

WW: I grew up in kind of a musical family, my grandfather, he was a musician, he was a singer, he had a band and he actually played in the Stockyards. As a young kid, I can always remember music being inundated in my childhood. I was in choir all four years of high school and loved it. I started performing when I was in high school, I did the talent show, and that’s the first taste I got playing in front of a real crowd.

TCC: What was that feeling like the first time you performed?

WW: It’s an adrenaline rush like you couldn’t imagine, it’s hard to describe the feeling. I’ll put it to you this way, I am very fortunate that I’ve never gotten nervous for a performance, I just get really excited. I sang “Why Don’t We Just Dance” by Josh Turner and that was my first taste of really performing for a crowd my sophomore year and it was incredible.

TCC: How have you refined your skills as a performer over time?

WW: I think probably everybody across the board is relatively shy on stage, maybe in hands in pockets, not knowing what to do with your hands, things like that. As I continued to grow as an artist, I started to figure out who I am and what I wanted to portray on and off stage. So, it’s kind of just a matter of being authentic and being myself. We get up there and we bring a lot of energy to show and it’s our job to go up there and perform and entertain. And I try to do that every single time, no matter where we are.

TCC: What are some of the finer details you’re trying to get right when trying to bring the same show every night?

WW: We just try to be consistent across the board. Everybody just shows up, my band, and they do their jobs and we try and refine that and get 1 percent better every time we go out there. And that’s really the best you can do.

TCC: How does a show differ when it’s for 15 people vs. 1,500 people.

WW: With a big crowd, it’s pretty rapid fire, you try to keep the energy up. But you kind of do the same thing with a crowd, as well. With a small crowd, it can die down pretty quick. But sometimes if I have a smaller crowd, I’ll do a few more acoustic songs and maybe take that opportunity to try out a brand new song. So, you kind of just have to feel the crowd out and see what they’re digging and see what they’re not digging.

TCC: You go out to the merch booth after every show and you mentioned that really perks you up, do you think that helps you, getting to see the faces from the crowd and find out what your music means to them?

WW: Absolutely, 100 percent. It helps me judge how I’m doing as a performer and entertainer, but also like you said, I get to hear stories and connect with them on a little deeper level so I can maybe tailor my artistry, my songwriting to what my crowd is going to want to hear.

TCC: What does it feel like when someone tells you a good story about what one of your songs really means to them?

WW: I’ve heard a ton of stories about various songs I’ve written over the years and every time someone shares something personal with me, it’s a special moment for me. I am very thankful they’re able to open up and have that conversation. Sometimes it’s simple as ‘hey man, I really like that song, it reminds me of my wife.’ And I say, ‘well, I wrote it about my wife!’ And then other songs that are a little bit heavier, getting someone to be a little bit vulnerable and talk about something that really has a deep meaning to them, it’s very rewarding and I don’t really take it lightly. I’m pretty proud that my songs are able to connect with someone like that.

Some answers have been condensed for clarity. You can listen to Wynn’s music here, follow him on social media here, and get updates on his tour and more here. Special thank you to Joey Hollis.