CD The Honesty Room (CD 1070506),
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The Honesty Room
1. When I Was a Boy
3. Great Unknown, The
4. When Sal's Burned Down
5. Babysitter's Here, The
6. You're Aging Well
7. Traveling Again (Traveling I)
8. In Love But Not at Peace
9. Mark Rothko Song
10. This Is Not the House That Pain Built
11. I Love, I Love (Traveling II)
12. Flinty Kind of Woman
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 2816
David Seitz; Huck Bennert; Mark Alan Miller; Mark Miller; Norman Blain
Personnel: Dar Williams (vocals, acoustic guitar); Mary Annis (spoken vocals); Adam Rothberg (acoustic & electric guitars, dobro, accordion, organ, xylophone, bass, congas); Mark Dann (guitar, bass); Max Cohen (guitar); Craig Eastman (mandolin, violin, viola); Rebecca Koehler (violin); Gideon Freudmann (cello); Tom McClung (piano); Rico Spence, Guy DeVito (bass); Dave Noonan, Dave Klock (drums); Jaime Morton, Linda Ridley, Judy Bauman (handclaps); Katryna Nields, Nerissa Nields (background vocals).
Producers: Dar Williams, Adam Rothberg, David Seitz, Brooks Williams .
Recorded at Shoestring Studio, Belchertown, Massachusetts; Wendell Recording Studio, Wendell, Massachusetts; Wellspring Studio, Newton, Massachusetts; Guy DeVito's Studio, Shutesbury, Massachusetts.
Composer: Dar Williams.
Personnel: Dar Williams (vocals, acoustic guitar); Adam Rothberg (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, dobro, accordion, organ, xylophone, bass guitar, congas); Mark Dann (electric guitar); Craig Eastman (mandolin, violin, viola); Rebecca Koehler (violin); Gideon Freudmann (cello); Tom McClung (piano); Dave Noonan (drums); Jaim Morton (hand claps).
Recording information: Shoestring Studio, Belchertown, MA.
Unknown Contributor Role: Mary Annis.
Upon the release of this debut album, Massachusetts native Dar Williams quickly won comparisons to Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell. Such assessments are complimentary, but Williams doesn't take herself quite as seriously as those seminal soprano folksingers. Williams has a wicked sense of humor. She delivers her witty story-songs in a conversational manner, accompanying her clear, high voice with clean acoustic guitar. Sisters Katryna and Nerissa Nields provide backup vocals on several songs.
Williams is blessed with an excellent memory of her childhood experiences and with a vivid imagination. In "When I Was a Boy," she sings about her adolescence as if she had grown up male. This plaintive and introspective, yet subtly humorous, song typifies about half of the Williams oeuvre. The other half consists of fast-paced, overtly funny recollections and imaginings. "The Babysitter's Here" is a hilarious ode to a babysitter on whom Williams had a crush while growing up. But such is Williams' cleverness that one can never be too sure what is fact here and what is fiction.
Entertainment Weekly (3/24/95, pp.64-65) - "...Folk singers aren't supposed to display humor and lyrical poise until they're a bit long in the tooth. But Williams achieves that and more on her debut....she's savvier than most strummers [and] she's one of folk's heaviest hitters..." - Rating: A
Q (10/99, p.157) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...[her songs] are intensely melodic, wisecracking and rumbustious, replete with strings, organ, congas, electric guitar and, on 'Alleluia,' a heavenly choir..."
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