Dar Williams is something of a legend. She lives in this special reserved space in my music mind, occupied by few, whose names are said with inherent pride, whose music is deeply coveted, and whose work is held up as an example for all. Histrionics? A little, but not far off the mark. In my case, this mostly plays out on regular basis that when I hear “Dar Williams, such and such,” I think, “Man, Dar Williams is great,” or, if I see news or a link to her music, I’m very inclined to click. Small, but significant gestures in an ordinary life. I think many people out there are right with me in my Dar Williams’ feeling.
On her ninth album, Emerald released last year, Williams continues to be a songwriter of now. Of course, this is reflected in what she sings about and what is presented on her albums, but also what she stands for and chooses to do with her creative energies. For Emerald, Williams moved on from her long-standing record label business relationship to pursue an independent route, more than successfully dealing directly with her fans and supporters via a Pledge Music campaign. Emerald is also insanely collaborative featuring a wide range of artists like The Milk Carton Kids, Richard Thompson, Jill Sobule, members of the Hooters, and that’s only naming a few. The result is a record of power and musing, but also joy and charming wit.
Fresh off her album release, Dar Williams, accompanied by Jill Sobule on “FM Radio” (a song they co-wrote), brought the music of Emerald to the WXPN Studio for a Folkadelphia Session.