New Philharmonia Orchestra Presents An Evening with Dar Williams
June 15, 2013
"Dar Williams, one of America's very best singer-songwriters . . . Her songs are beautiful. Some are like finely crafted short stories. They are, variously, devastatingly moving, tenderly funny, subtle without being in any way inaccessible, and utterly fresh—not a cliché or a clunker in her entire songbook." -The New Yorker (Nov. 2011)
"Seasons change, but Williams remains both ambitious and pleasingly plainspoken." -Rolling Stone
"A new generation of pop-folk enthusiasts lauds her as one of the genre's central figures." -Paste Magazine
"One of our most thoughtful singer-songwriters." -New York Daily News
Newton, MA - Beloved singer-songwriter Dar Williams is coming to Newton to make her debut with orchestra! Newton's New Philharmonia Orchestra, under the musical direction of Ronald Knudsen, will present "An Evening with Dar Williams" in concert with the New Philharmonia on Saturday, June 15, at 8:00 P.M. at the First Baptist Church in Newton [848 Beacon Street, Newton, MA 02459]. Reserved seat tickets at $35.00, $50.00 [premium seating] and $100.00 [premium seating with after-show reception with Dar Williams] are on sale now on line at http://www.newphil.org or by calling: 617-527-9717. The First Baptist Church in Newton is wheelchair accessible. For more information about New Philharmonia go to http://www.newphil.org.
The June 15 concert is a fundraiser for New Philharmonia's Community Engagement Program and it is also Dar Williams's first concert with a symphony orchestra. Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra Concertmaster Joseph Scheer, who happens to be Dar's brother-in-law, arranged Dar's music for orchestra and especially for this concert. The New Philharmonia Orchestra, founded in 1995, is a 75 member non-professional regional orchestra based in Newton. “Music of, by and for the people” wrote The Boston Globe. This statement encapsulates the spirit of the organization.
Dar’s first album of original material in four years which was released in April 2012. The CD was produced by Kevin Killen (who has worked with such giants as U2, Elvis Costello, and Peter Gabriel), and features special guests Shawn Colvin and Larry Campbell, and a remarkable set of musicians including Charley Drayton, Gerry Leonard, and Rob Hyman. Williams presents 10 original compositions on In The Time Of Gods, which explores many of today's most challenging social issues told against the parables of Greek mythology. The inimitable collection of songs includes some of the richest and most evocative writing of Williams' career. She has just kicked off a national U.S. tour in support of her new CD.
In The Time Of Gods covers many relevant topics such as retaining one's moral compass, our personal responsibility in aiding to change the world, the politics of power, and following a guiding light in the midst of chaos. The ceaseless turmoil in the world today is of great concern to Williams who is also a wife, mother and community activist. Williams was inspired to return to the stories she was told as a child to see if the gods of the Parthenon would speak to her while penning songs for her latest release. As it turned out, these stories and characters helped her make sense of our eccentric world and shaped the scope of the album. Standout tracks on In The Time Of Gods include the album opener "I Am The One Who Will Remember Everything," "I Have Been Around The World," "Crystal Creek," "Summer Child," and "You Will Ride With Me Tonight."
"It was very intriguing to work with Kevin Killen and the musicians he handpicked for my latest album," says Williams. "Kevin really was the alchemist behind the record. Ron Hyman and I co-wrote four songs, so a lot of the album is based around our relationship. There really is an epic setting for the album, I'm at a point in my life where I feel like people are flying higher and falling harder. There is a grown up fairytale feeling to In The Time Of Gods. It sparkles with simple and beautiful layers, and it's muscular in places and very lyrical in others. It was a great service to my storytelling to have these fine musicians giving the arrangements so much strength and sophistication."
The great achievement of Williams' new album is it gracefully reminds us that wherever we are, whenever it may be, we are always living In the Time of the Gods. It's not to say we are living in 400 BC Greece, but rather, as Williams notes, "We are evolving in time. And that's what you're allowed to do with mythology – let it evolve and show who your Parthenon is now." Her latest narratives borrow from classic Greek archetypes, but she beautifully shows how flexible and expansive they are by easily weaving in her own personal experiences and insights. Williams portrays a spellbinding contemporary interpretation of these classic ancient themes.
One of the most lauded singer-songwriters of her generation, Dar Williams has been captivating audiences with her sheer elegance and honesty in her folk-pop songwriting since the early '90s. As documented on her last album, the 2010 two-disc retrospective Many Great Companions, Williams’ growth as an individual over her almost two-decade-long career has gone hand-in-hand with her evolution as an artist. She has toured with such distinguished artists as Joan Baez, Patty Griffin, Ani DiFranco, and Shawn Colvin, and recently became a regular contributor to the Huffington Post's Green Blog. A dedicated environmentalist, Williams toured throughout the northeast visiting children's camps and planting bee gardens in summer 2011.
Williams has released one live album - Out There Live (2001); seven studio albums - The Honesty Room (1993), Mortal City (1996), End of the Summer (1997), The Green World (2000), The Beauty of the Rain (2003), My Better Self (2005), and Promised Land (2008); one live DVD - Live at Bearsville Theater (2007); and Many Great Companions (2010). In 1995, two years after self-releasing The Honesty Room, she signed with Razor & Tie Entertainment, beginning a relationship now in its 18th year.