|Dar and Jill getting ready to rock "Iowa" (with Bryn Roberts)|
Every artist has a turning point, Dar Williams believes.Dar played the Common Ground many times, and I was at every one of those gigs. So yeah, we go back a ways. I bought "The Honesty Room" (the original Burning Field Music version) at Roaring Brook Nature Center, where Dar was a spotlight Open Mic performer, having not even risen to the level of head-liner yet, and she inscibed my copy "Thanks for listening....and for playing"
For her, it came one night at the Common Ground cafe in Bristol.
``I was going to quit,'' she recalls. ``I was going to get $100. Was it worth it to present my songs, my blood, sweat and tears before another crowd of beer and cigarettes?''
But something strange happened. ``I mentioned what inspired a song -- the Mafia in Middletown -- and heads turned around. People were listening.''
Sometimes, for a struggling folk artist, that's all you need.
``That gig gave me the faith,'' Williams said at a Connecticut Songwriters Association meeting in East Hartford recently. ``As a performer, that's what you need: The faith things are going to work out.''
So this 20th Anniversary concert was a trip down memory lane, as Dar played each song from The Honesty Room, in order.
- When I Was a Boy
- The Great Unknown
- When Sal's Burned Down
- The Babysitter's Here
- You're Aging Well
- Traveling Again (Traveling I)
- In Love But Not at Peace
- Mark Rothko Song
- This Is Not the House That Pain Built
- I Love, I Love (Traveling II)
After the main event, Dar played a handful of other "oldies but goodies" - mostly from Mortal City: (As Cool As I Am, February, Iowa, The Christians and The Pagans). It was a hometown crowd for Dar (who lived in Northampton at the start of her career, and recorded THR in the area), with a special cameo by the young woman (then 5, now 25) whose "we both eat spinach, just sometimes, not all the time" tagged The Babysitter's Here recording.
I'd say that caps a pretty awesome year of music (which I will recap over the coming weeks) but you never know when and where I might find something awesome to go listen to between now and Dec 31.....