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Dar Williams says 10 years of recording is "a terrific feeling"

for Journal Register Newspapers

Posted: Thursday, November 17, 2011

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Dar Williams is, for the most part, happy with the seven albums she recorded before her latest set, "Many Great Companions." But the chance to re-record some of that material, acoustically and with friends such as Mary Chapin Carpenter, Patty Larkin and album producer Gary Louris of the Jayhawks, also provided an opportunity to show how her relationship with the songs has changed over time.

"I'm a touring artist, and that's a different thing than a road person," explains Williams, 44, who resides in upstate New York with her husband and seven-year-old son. "When you perform something literally thousands of times, it changes in your mind and it changes in your performance.

"I realized the intimacy of live performance really suited these songs, and I wanted to re-record them in a simpler form. And it seemed like after seven albums was a fine point to do that."

Williams has already recorded her next album, tentatively titled "Gods on Earth," for April release and she's also working on a children's musical. But "Many Great Companions," which is packaged with a best-of disc from her previous albums, has given her a rare chance to enjoy what she's accomplished to this point.

"The album gave me a sense of like, 'Whoa, people who do greatest hits albums have been out there for awhile -- and I have," she says with laugh. "There's a sense of tread, which is absolutely a good feeling. If it felt like crap, I think it would be a terrible feeling.

"But I feel like this music really amounted to something. I've accomplished something, you know? That's a terrific feeling."

Dar Williams performs at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 18-19, 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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