Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Moon: Calling The Moon

Dar Williams: Calling The Moon


I saw singer-songwriter Dar Williams on the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival mainstage just a few nights ago, and to be honest, the stage lights kind of swallowed her up, there in the darkened cowfield. Maybe it's just my preference for smaller venues and closer seating, and I will admit that the majestic annual tradition of bringing her friends and family on stage to see the thousands of lit, waving audience lightsources during her encore was as powerful as always. I just think the intimacy which Dar brings to her live one-voice-one-guitar performance doesn't translate to such a huge crowd.

This is nothing against Dar, mind you. As I discussed in a more substantive post on Dar Williams over at Cover Lay Down way back in December, though it took me a while to warm to her feathery voice with its unique break, I've fallen in love with her work over time, and consider her one of my favorite singer-songwriters. Though she got her start in the coffeehouse scene, these days, Dar Williams' feet are firmly planted in the same worldchanging folkpop soil as Shawn Colvin, Ani DiFranco and Jonatha Brooke, and she shines in her element. She writes a mean hook, and deserves more radioplay than she gets for it.

Still, in my quietest moments I prefer her earlier, more introspective ballads, and this is one of the best of 'em, thick with empathy and attuned to the natural world as a reflection of the internal self, a perfect introduction to that which makes Dar's fanbase so strong and cool and committed, all at once. Here's hoping this timely track makes you a believer in Dar, and in the power of the moon, as well.

Want more? Today's bonus coversong comes from Dar's fellow musician and Cover Lay Down fave artist Richard Shindell, a great performer who is never afraid to tackle a song with strong feminine and pagan overtones.

Richard Shindell: Calling the Moon (orig. Dar Williams)


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