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David Williams - Where The Dark Road Starts

Where The Dark Road Starts

David Williams

Trapdoor Records

Available from David Williams' web site

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Carey Driscoll
(CareyDriscoll@PeoplePC.com)

The description of this album on David Williams's web site- "Songs of love, acoustic blues, folk, and swing tunes that tackle the dark side of love" - pretty well says it all, at least in terms of the styles of the music. But there's a lot more to be said, so I'll get right to it.

What definitely needs to be said is that it's a very good album, and that it includes some of the hottest Django-style playing you'll find anywhere. The songs are uniformly well crafted, ranging in style from jumpin' jazz to old-time blues, from the big band style of the '30s to the solo acoustic singer-songwriter genre. Despite the fact that such a variety can, in the hands of some musicians, result in a very fragmented album, Williams and his cohorts turn it into a definite positive - an eclectic, but smoothly so, variety of music that you'll listen to again and again.

Williams, holding a Ph.D. in English, has taught creative writing as a visiting artist at a number of universities and is a long-time gigging musician. Both of those backgrounds contribute to the quality of this recording. He's a member of The Hot Club Of The Rockies, and plays numerous stringed instruments. His guitar playing, whether in the hot-licks, gypsy-jazz stylings of Django Reinhardt or tastefully executed blues riffs, is top-notch. Some of the songs on Road are solo, some contain members of Hot Club and on others Williams has overdubbed himself on multiple instruments. In addition to his instrumental skill, he has a very listenable voice, with occasional hints of Leon Redbone or early Tom Waits, but, to my ear, more enjoyable than either.

This is an engaging CD that I'll play with regularity. The mix of uptempo jazzy songs and slower ballads makes for a very enjoyable hour-plus of music, and there's literally not one song that makes me want to hit the "skip" button. There are precious few albums about which I feel that way.

Williams' CDs are available from his web site as well as from CDBaby.com and Amazon.com. Especially for independent artists, I always recommend buying directly from them whenever possible. In that way, the artists benefit more for their work.

Song Titles:

  • I Ain't Gonna Love Nobody
  • Complicated Women
  • Who Let That Django Jazz Into the Room?
  • Couldn't Say I Wasn't Loving You
  • Gypsy Road
  • We're Only Dreaming as that Muddy Water's Rolling By
  • Waltzing with the Big Fat Moon
  • GD Love Again
  • Panama Hat
  • Takes a Little Bit of Trouble
  • Everybody's Happy in Love
  • Who's Gonna Love You?
  • Halfway Between the Moon & Sun
  • Iowa Girl
  • Until I Ran With You
  • No One Can See This Blue
  • Night Hawk

Edited by: David N. Pyles
(dnpyles@acousticmusic.com)

Copyright 2003, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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