Dar Williams – I’ll Meet You Here
Dar Williams’ first CD in 6 years shows a maturity that’s compelling. Dar has been a favorite of mine, excellent & versatile. Living in NY’s beautiful Hudson Valley, Dar has pieced together her 12th LP.
Performing since 1990 her songs were always good, but good, here & there. Not this time. Every song is a grand slam in its own way. From start to finish. At times there’s the vocal warmth of Christine McVie (Fleetwood Mac), Christine Collister & Mary Black.
Maybe Dar (acoustic guitar/vocals) has finally found her niche. I feel she’s gone beyond anyone’s expectations. I’m not surprised. She just always came across as genuine. Her songs weren’t always commercially viable, not complicated, not always commercial, but they were indeed always about something.
“Time, Be My Friend,” (produced by Larry Campbell in Woodstock, NY) is a memorable outing. Williams’ voice is stunning. She’s not Aretha Franklin or Barbra Streisand but she doesn’t have to be. Neither could write a song like Ms. Williams. She’s in a word…singing with full attractiveness.
“You Give It All Away,” & “Let the Wind Blow” maintain the momentum. If these were a tapestry or quilt – each would be a stitched unique pattern, with its own color, its own tale, all unified as one.
The 10-cut I’ll Meet You Here (Renew/BMG-Drops Oct 1) — except for track 1, was produced by Stewart Lerman (acoustic & gut string guitar). Williams writes personal songs, not as shrouded in a Joni Mitchell lyrical-abstract-poetry way. Dar is open, conversational, everyday language. Perhaps while Joni wrote convincingly with oil paint language, Dar is more successful with watercolor words. They run together in a pastel way.
“Little Town,” is especially poignant. A centerpiece, as a quiet confession. A tune with music & lyrics veterans like Gershwin, Porter, & Hoagy Carmichael would’ve adored. Dar is a musician, but she also plays pen & paper. Not always an easy instrument to play.
“Berkeley,” has a clever reference to the Beat Generation. A nice touch since many passed away. Ferlinghetti as recent as Feb. 2021 at 101. Excellence is threaded through “Today & Every Day,” “I Never Knew,” “Sullivan Lane,” — beautiful songs. I’m inclined to suggest this may be one of Dar’s best records.
The closer “You’re Aging Well,” has many Joni Mitchell vocal inflections & tones. The song was covered earlier by Joan Baez.
Players on the CD: Doug Yowell, Denny McDermott (drums), Gail Ann Dorsey (bass/vocals), Paul Socolow (bass), Larry Campbell (acoustic/electric/baritone/pedal steel guitars), Steuart Smith (electric-acoustic guitars/hammered piano, Fender Rhodes, mandolin), Bryn Roberts (B3/piano/keys/Juno60/Fender Rhodes), Steve Elson (saxes), Ben Butler (acoustic-electric guitars), Dave Eggar (cello), Erik Della Penna (electric guitar), Entcho Todorov (viola), Dave Mansfield (violin), & The Sweet Remains (vocals). Color image courtesy Ebru Yildiz
The 37-minute CD available @ Amazon + https://www.darwilliams.com/
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