Guest Room Sessions: Rob Williams, ‘The Old North State’
In The Boot's latest installment of the Guest Room Sessions, singer-songwriter Rob Williams is performing "The Old North State," an homage to his family's home state of North Carolina. Readers can press play above to watch.
Although he was actually born in Virginia, Williams has deep roots in North Carolina: Most of his family is from that region. Fittingly, Williams recorded "The Old North State," named after the state song of North Carolina, during a stop in Durham, N.C., while traveling through the state on tour.
"My daddy was from Rocky Mount / My momma from Conway," Williams sings in the song's intro. "They didn't have a dollar between them / That's not exactly true / They might have had a buck or two."
"This song is sort of a tribute to my parents and their North Carolina roots. At the time we made the video, my friend Turtle Zwadlo and I were traveling through the Carolinas playing some shows," Williams tells The Boot. "By coincidence, we recorded this video in guest room of some kind folks who were putting us up for night. So, it's a Guest Room Sessions video of a song about North Carolina shot in a guest room in North Carolina."
Both a songwriter and a PhD-holding academic, Williams released his latest album, An Hour Before Daylight, in October; "The Old North State" appears on that record.