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Review: music

Dar Williams

Dar Williams

CCA, Glasgow

Rob Adams

YOU get more than just songs in a Dar Williams gig. That's probably true of the majority of singer-songwriters, but Williams has a way of sharing quite a lot of her life with her audience so that her time on stage isn't so much a performance as an illustrated conversation.

This can mean that there's more detail than really required on the light fittings and dimmers her husband installed in the house he built for the couple and their family, added to some breathless expositions on life in a college town and New York City dwellers' obsessions with the best places to source wine, olive oil and coffee.

Set against those here, however, were a sincere eulogy to Williams' recently deceased neighbour Pete Seeger, as well as a charmingly self-deprecating memory of a lesson from Joan Baez on the perils of introducing, with naïve glee, a song called The Christians and the Pagans in pre-peace agreement Belfast.

The songs themselves, and the singing of them, also proved a mixed success and her guitar playing was bit too bashy for some of her material. Williams has a liking for sliding up to falsetto lines and doesn't always pull them off comfortably. While it would be good to report You're Aging Well, from her first album some 20 years ago, is doing as the title suggests, it sounded as if it had seen better days.

She was on strong ground with her cover versions, though, revelling particularly in Fred Eaglesmith's Wilder than Her and bringing opening act, Belfast duo Malojian, back for a harmonious version of Fred Neil's Everybody's Talkin'.

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