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Interview:
Dar Williams happy to hit 20 years in the music biz
 

By GARY GRAFF
@graffonmusic, Facebook.com/Gary Graff on Music

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When Dar Williams released "In the Time of the Gods" during 2012, it seemed like an inventive blend of addressing social issues via stories and characters in Greek mythology.

But over time the singer-songwriter says she's discovered something else about the project.

"It turns out it was very much a product of the recession," explains Williams, 46, who resides in Cold Spring, N.Y. with her husband and their two children. "I think the reason I was choosing these songs about chaos came from watching people have to make very important choices around me, not just in the news. Our lives were really affected by it, and then we had two hurricanes during that time as well, so it's a lot of, 'What fresh hell is this?'

"And I got a lot more out of writing an album that had to do with these sort of timeless, epic stories than I would've gotten out of writing songs that just said, 'Woe is me.' It would be nice if it weren't the case, but we will always have to struggle with how we create civilization in the midst of chaos, and what that looks like. So that's what this album is really about."

This year, meanwhile, marks 20 years since Williams' debut album, "The Honesty Room." She says it feels like "20 minutes, but 20 great ones," and mostly she's happy that music worked out better than her planned career in the theater.

"I do look back and realize it's been a long road," says Williams, who's planning to collaborate with several friends, mostly producers, for her next album. "But I assumed when things started to go well that I would still be psyched about it 20 years later. I never thought I'd lose my happiness or that it would get weird, and with a couple of exceptions where you'll see pictures of me looking very blonde and very confused, I feel exactly the same way now. I was thrilled to be making a living in music, and I'm still thrilled to be making a living in music."

Dar Williams and Lucy Wainwright Roche perform at 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Nov. 7 and 8, at The Ark, 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor. Tickets are $35. Call 734-761-1451 or visit www.theark.org.

Web Site: www.theark.org

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