By Chuck Cox
Dar Williams is one of those names that has popped up on my radar from time to time over the last 15 years or so, but I can’t honestly say I had ever heard much of her extensive catalogue of songs.
After making a spur-of-the-moment decision on Friday to go see her at the Kessler, I quickly discovered I had been short-changing myself.
Williams’ witty banter between songs — which ranged from discussions of Hooters, Greek mythology, and dreams about performing an opera with Shawn Colvin — was worth the price of admission alone. But the music she churned out was even better.
Williams, who hails from New York, has been steadily putting out albums since 1990, and hearing her perform a few of those tunes acoustically was absolutely blissful. Whether she was playing slow songs, like “The Babysitter’s Here,” or rousing tunes, like “Christians and Pagans,” Williams was on point all night. She also told a funny story about playing for some kids at Trinity Valley and having the principal ask her to play the latter.
Williams really is an incredibly gifted writer and singer. And after seeing her live, I was quickly on iTunes buying some of her CDs once I got back home. She also did a couple of songs with opener Alex Dezen, of the Damnwells, and his sister, Cameron Dezen Hammon.
Alex, who also played acoustically, was also fantastic. He played some cuts from his forthcoming set of four EPs that will be released this year. And with his sister singing with him, he did a nice cover of the Eurythmics’ “Here Comes the Rain Again.”
Williams’ show at the Kessler was her first in Dallas since she played at the House of Blues four years ago. Hopefully, she’ll be back before four more years come and go. I know I’ll be on the lookout the next time she does.