September 25, 2000 |
Dar Williams isn't any fun, even when she tries to be funny. Friday night at the Keswick Theatre, the onetime theater major played the part of a sensitive folksinger, but her I-me-mine giggly patter dwelled on her latest hair color, her Wesleyan days, and her recent trip to exclusive Bhutan. She introduced "Spring Street" with predictable starving-artist pap, while to the left of ax-man Steuart Smith stood eight carefully tended guitars. And she imposed a strict class structure on stage: Her four bandmates received full introductions; the roadies, as befits the help, got first names only.
June 15, 1998 |
A homogeneous-looking crowd of well-dressed people showed up at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts Saturday night for a triple bill of Richard Thompson, Bruce Cockburn and Dar Williams, plus newcomer Maia Sharp. The big difference in the crowd was age: Thirty- and fortysomethings rubbed elbows with a sizable contingent of teenage girls. Little wonder, considering that teenagers play a role in many of Williams' lyric-heavy songs and in her growing audience as well. On Saturday, accompanied by cellist Stephanie Winters and her own four-chord acoustic strumming, Williams delivered two such adolescent vignettes - "The Babysitter's Here" and "Are You Out There.
July 18, 1997 |
She started four years ago on a tiny Massachusetts label, Waterbug Records, singing charming acoustic story-songs in her flexible, clear soprano. With some help from a Web page and a buzz in Internet chat rooms, that first CD, The Honesty Room, was picked up by independent label Razor & Tie. It has sold 53,000 copies - stunning for a folk album on a smallish label. With her newest release, End of the Summer, which hit stores this week, Dar Williams is one of the most recognized, most talked about new artists in contemporary folk.
October 27, 2012
Music Loudon Wainwright III/Dar Williams. Ever since his 1970 self-titled debut album, Loudon Wainwright III has used songs to examine the aging process. Wainwright, 66, tackles mortality on Older Than My Old Man Now, his current CD. - Tom Wilk Loudon Wainwright III and Dar Williams perform Sunday at the Landis Theater, 830 E. Landis Ave, Vineland, N.J. Information: 856-691-1121, www.landistheater.com . Film Close Encounter with Carrie Rickey. Director Robert Zemeckis will chat with critic Carrie Rickey about his latest film, Flight, at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at the Kimmel Center's Perelman Theater.
November 28, 1997 |
The new Philadelphia-based Sliced Bread Records label (co-founded by legendary folk DJ Gene Shay) goes two-for-two with this tasty set of folk-pop by hometown guy John Flynn, produced by Ben Wisch. A seasoned singer/strummer with something to say and a polished way of saying it, Flynn pleads with an anorexic waif not to disappear into "Thin Air" and derides our unquenchable lust for possessions on "Who's Whose," pondering "Do you own the stuff you own or does the stuff you own own you. " When operating in a ballad mode, his achingly pretty tunes and vaguely Western delivery make Flynn come off like a latter-day Gordon Lightfoot with his ode to "Emily [Dickinson]
July 22, 1997 |
"The gods are smiling on public radio," proclaimed Dar Williams from the stage at Penn's Landing, where the second and final day of WXPN-FM's Singer-Songwriter Weekend was taking place in the nicest, least sticky weather in a week. For the most part, the music was low-heat too, perfect for dancing with a toddler on your shoulders, drinking a smoothie, or gazing at boats racing down the Delaware River. Local country-rockers the Rolling Hayseeds started off the afternoon at 3 and, in contrast to the norm with multi-band bills, there was actually a sizable crowd to hear them.
October 6, 2003 |
It would be pointless, pandering, and perhaps even unprofessional to reduce the Keswick Theatre's Saturday-night gathering of first-rate female singer-songwriters to a competitive event. So let's get started. Mary Chapin Carpenter - the bill's best-known participant, with a name up on Shawn Colvin, Patty Griffin, and Catie Curtis - organized the evening as a "guitar pull. " The foursome sat on stage in a row and for 2 1/2 hours took turns playing songs on acoustic guitar. Their roles emerged immediately: Carpenter was In Charge; Curtis, Charming; Colvin, High Maintenance; and the non-C-name, non-earth-tone-wearing Griffin, Creative Little Sister.
March 25, 1996 |
Folk veteran Joan Baez showed that she was more than just an icon at her Friday night Electric Factory performance. She managed to present the music's history and her three-decade career with a sense of relevance and a dose of humor. While many of her younger, would-be counterparts use folk's spare structures as a backdrop for trite, journal-entry confessions, Baez succeeds at transcending the coffeehouse and its Hallmark card PC sentiments. For an hour and a half, she brought the genre back to its original purpose: telling a good story.
June 12, 1998 |
SONGS IN THE KEY OF LIFE Richard Thompson (pictured), Dar Williams and Bruce Cockburn present an evening of real-life songs SATURDAY at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts, 52nd Street and Parkside Avenue. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets: $25-$30. Info: 215-878-7707. ONE WITH NATURE The Please Touch Museum, 210 N. 21st St., continues its June Bugs theme SATURDAY and SUNDAY with a 10:30 a.m. program about springtime butterflies, ladybirds and flowers. Afterward, children will transform themselves into beautiful spring creatures during activity time.
April 16, 1998 |
Living up to its expansive new name, the Mann Center for the Performing Arts will be promoting a whole lot more than the usual 18 classical concerts with the Philadelphia Orchestra this summer. With the aim of increasing attendance from last year's 175,000 patrons to more than 500,000 this warm-weather season, the Mann is upping its operating budget from $2.5 million to $4.7 million, and bringing in big-name jazz, pops and children's shows, too, announced Peter Lane, the facility's recently appointed executive director, at a press conference yesterday.