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(Older reviews archived alphabetically by artist name.)

  Promised Land  
  Dar Williams  
  Razor and Tie  
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Ms. Williams started her career on the coffeehouse circuit in the Northeast and has since risen to the national spotlight. Having just been introduced to singer/songwriter Dar Williams, I can honestly say that I was pleasantly surprised with her sound. Her latest CD, Promised Land, is her first original album in three years. Promised Land contains a cover of "Midnight Radio" from the rock musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and a cover of the Fountains of Wayne song "Troubled Times". Ms. Williams provides the listener with a mellow sound similar to Sarah McLachlan, mixed in with entertaining songs that have the lyric similarities to Jason Mraz in covering a range of topics from social to political.

According to Williams, Promised Land brings a rejuvenated sound that can be credited in part to working with a new producer and group of musicians, including Better Than Ezra drummer Travis McNabb and guitarist Greg Leisz, who has worked with a range of artists including Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, and Sheryl Crow. A few more guest musicians include Ms. Williamsí friends Marshall Crenshaw, Suzanne Vega (who provides vocals on "Go To the Woods"), and Gary Louris from The Jayhawks.

On this album, Williams writes about doing your best to take the high road in past relationships on "The Easy Way", and in "The Business of Things" she writes about what I believe to be the breakup of a friendship and a business that they were in togetherónever do business with friends!

Overall, while Promised Land most likely wonít get you into your cardio groove at the gym, it will definitely be great paired with a good glass of wine after a hectic day.

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     Concert: Thu.11.Sep.08


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