Last night I went there to see Dar Williams, in the company of a former colleague from a long time ago and some of her friends. They were all big-time fans who have all her albums, while I only have a few bootlegged tracks which I liked enough to want to see her live.
The support act was Lynne Hanson, a Canadian who sang wry songs about love rather well before graciously exiting to make way for, as she put it, 'your favourite singer in the world'.
I'd been assured that Dar was good value live. And she was.
Her modern-folky numbers are full of clever rhymes, ideas and references; intelligent and original yet easy to get on a first listen. She led up to a song that used Mont Saint-Michel as a metaphor (see?) with a description of the high school French classes that inspired it. I can't do the accent over the internet, but it was killingly funny and you should have been there.
'The Babysitter's Here' is a favourite of mine and, it seemed, of everybody else. We all went 'yay!' at the first few notes, and the whole audience joined softly in. The story is told from the point of view of a small child, and Dar managed to sing it like that child, but at the same time laugh at herself with knowing, adult wisdom.
Spotify links below to the two songs that made me a fan. If you like Joan Baez you'll probably like these:
When I Was A Boy
The Babysitter's Here