Tessy Lou Williams was born to sing. Western by birth, star by design. A shining light sequestered beneath the shadow of the majestic Tobacco Root Mountains. Born in Willow Creek, Montana, to Kenny and Claudia Williams of the band Montana Rose, music was not only the family business, but a love shared by her parents, her siblings and the creative community that resided all around this rural Montana town. Writing and music were part of life’s lessons that Tessy Lou absorbed daily. Like clear mountain sunshine. Her music, nurtured through the years by the writers, artist, musicians and the western culture that surrounded her, was whispering in her ear.
This prodigious talent did not come without a price. A paralyzing case of stage fright. Too shy to share her music with all but her closest friend, it wasn’t until Tessy Lou was 19 that she finally overcame her fear of performing, coming to her like a beneficial angel. Her family friend, Scotty Lambert, offered her a weekly spot at the historic Pony Bar. Joined by her father (bass), friends Bryan Paugh (fiddle), and Mike Singer (banjo), all the pieces began to come together. Providence? Destiny? Fate? Whatever it was, Tessy Lou and the Shotgun Stars were born.
Over the next two years, playing all over Big Sky Country, this foursome molded Tessy Lou’s haunting sound, and helped her to solidify her dream. This dream inspired the next big step in her quest. In the winter of 2010, Tessy Lou, Kenny and Bryan made the life-changing move from their home in Montana, to the crucible of music, Austin, Texas.
After the dust settled and the instruments were unpacked, they found themselves a home at Poodie’s Roadhouse. After only a couple of months, they began a weekly show, and Tessy Lou and the Shotgun Stars were quickly adopted into the Texas scene by music lovers, local musicians, and venues alike. It was at Poodie’s Roadhouse that Tessy Lou and the Shotgun Stars were discovered by Warehouse Records.
Between 2011 and 2014, under the guidance of their supportive team, Tessy Lou and the Shotgun Stars recorded and released two full length albums, (“Leaving Montana” and “Somewhere In Texas”), and numerous videos. Following the second album, they joined forces with engineer/producer Tommy Detamore to record and release multiple single songs under the title, “Texas Sessions”. By 2016, Tessy Lou and the Shotgun Stars had performed in so many of the legendary music venues of Texas. While maintaining a tour schedule that included numerous states as well as other countries, in the fall of 2016, with that ever burning desire to grow as a singer and songwriter, Tessy Lou began a collaboration with famed Nashville producer Luke Wooten. Nashville, another musically inspirational town, allowed her to reach new heights. Her voice, and her songs, are sublime.
This musical pilgrimage toward her dreams for Tessy Lou, from the tiny town of Willow Creek, to Austin and Nashville, continues. Tessy Lou and the Shotgun Stars are living new songs and new dreams. Wherever the music takes her, she anxiously looks to the next adventure. So, keep your eyes and ears open for new music and tour dates from Tessy Lou and the Shotgun Stars.