Dar Williams – Promised Land


Band: Dar Williams
Album: Promised Land
Genre: Folk
Label: Razor & Tie

1. It’s Alright
2. Book of Love
3. The Easy Way
4. The Tide Falls Away
5. Buzzer
6. The Business of Things
7. You are Everyone
8. Go To The Woods
9. Holly Tree
10. Troubled Times
11. Midnight Radio
12. Summerday

I know not too many of you took advantage of our free Dar Williams tracks about a month ago and I’m here to tell you that you may regret that in the near future. Those were the first songs UTG heard from this female folk legend in the making, but we were instantly floored. Think Sheryl Crow, Ani Difranco, and Melissa Ethridge after being tossed into a blender with a degree in literature and you get the bulging genius that is Dar Williams. If you need more convincing outside of those 2 free tracks, look no further than her stunning album, Promised Land.

Williams is not one to throw her words, emotions, or thoughts around loosely and that is more than evident in each spin of Promised Land. Having toured with everyone from Shawn Mullins to Ani Difranco, it should be evident the amount of hard work and originality found in her work as both these artists live to please themselves and hope people will follow along. There is more heart in each of these songs than I’ve heard in a long time and I’m nothing short of flabbergasted that her name isn’t more prevalent in the music scene. Maybe it’s due to the fact that Williams, unlike many musicians, creates to create and not to be the next big thing. she doesn’t shell herself out to corporations or embark in neon clothing laced tours. No, Dar prefers to go with her own attitude and it’s flooring.

Now, I haven’t been too descript up to hear, but let me sell this album that I know most of you have never heard of in about seven minutes. Seriously, give me 2 songs to sell you on Dar Williams and if you disagree, that’s fine, but at least you tried something new. Fo starters, “Book of Love,” a mildly paced tale of emotion thick music that has the soul of Etta James in it [not in how it sounds, but the feelings it expresses]. Second, my favorite track, “Buzzer.” This is based on the historical testing that asked people to “electrocute” [though it was fake] another person they couldn’t see for money. The tests were meant to see what humans would do to others and have been considered groundbreaking for many years. These tracks, which appear very close on the disc will sell this album to you, no doubt.

What more can I say? I love Dar Williams and her music. I’ve not heard something this refreshing in months and I can’t wait to hear more of it. Forget the scene, forget the attitude, and embrace hard working musicians with something to say. It’s not all flash, and it never was meant to be. Music is about emotion and thought provocation. Dar Williams offers that and so, so, so much more.

*Written By: James Shotwell*
Grade: 9/10

James Shotwell
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