Review: Dar Williams, Bodega, by Peter Palmer
It might not be the obvious place to further your classical education, but the Bodega can be recommended when American songwriter Dar Williams is performing there.
Her younger compatriot Anais Mitchell clothed ancient Greek myth in modern dress in her folk opera Hadestown. Since her last city appearance, Williams has done much the same in an album called In The Time Of Gods.
Take Hermes, a messenger, who morphs into a nocturnal biker; or Vesta, goddess of the hearth, who offers up a tender new love song.
I Am The One Who Will Remember Everything, Summer Child and the particularly impressive Storm King – inspired by mountains flanking the Hudson River – also figured among what their creator calls fairy tales for grown-ups.
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Atmospheric or pulsating, her keyboard partner supplied an astute contrast to the guitar accompaniments. Mythological characters aside, the changing seasons were a recurrent theme.
The styles ranged from lyrical to declamatory, with pleasing popular hooks. And although Williams' texts aren't the simplest, the audience enjoyed chances to join in.
Considerately, the visitor slipped in a word of praise for Loughborough support act Lisa de 'Ville, whose electrifying voice launched the evening.