A showcase for William Prince’s noble baritone

“Stand in the Joy”, William Prince (Six Shooter Records)

Singer-songwriter William Prince recently performed a few songs at a solo set in Nashville, Tennessee. As he faced an admiring audience, he allowed himself a small smile.

“I won’t lie,” he said. “This is going as well as I had hoped.”

A Canadian who is fluent in Americana, Prince’s career is building. From performing at cafes in Manitoba to making his debut at the Grand Ole Opry in February. Now comes a beautiful new album, Stand in the Joy, which showcases his noble baritone and ballad.

Built like a lumberjack, Prince has a disarmingly warm, smooth delivery that’s so commanding he doesn’t have to, and rarely does, raise his voice. He and top producer Dave Cobb keep the pacing modest and accompaniment uncluttered, with acoustic guitar as the instrumental anchor.

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Raised on a Peguis First Nation reservation, Prince draws on his roots as material. He sings about the rumbling reaper, staves off heartbreak with drinks and a six-string, and the loneliness that “rips you apart and more.” There are also tunes that reflect on new love, the rewards of compromise, and simple kindness.

“I can’t believe I woke up again,” Prince marvels at “Take a Look Around,” his voice coming from his chest where the heart is.


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Brian Ashcraft

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