Monday, October 9, 2017

Dar Williams Signing, Singing and Reading at Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore

Dar Williams, an acclaimed singer and songwriter, who has traveled the country performing her thoughtful, insightful songs, will appear Tuesday October 10 at 7PM at the Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore, 413 Main Street Middletown, to talk about her new book, "What I Found in a Thousand Towns."

The book is an exploration of towns that work, and Williams' insight into the factors that make a successful town.  A primary chapter in the book features Middletown, and Williams' exploration of the town/gown relationship here.

Williams will read from her book, and sign copies for attendees, but the reading is something closer to a cross between a community forum and a hootenanny.  Williams intends to bring her guitar, sing some of her songs ("When Sal's Burned Down," is about a long-lamented Middletown tavern), and encourage attendees to sing along.

Williams is familiar with Middletown. She is a 1989 grad of Wesleyan and has returned often as an instructor at the university.  She has recorded and released thirteen solo albums, and an additional album with the group Cry, Cry, Cry (Williams, Richard Shindell, Lucy Kaplansky).  In addition, she has appeared on several compilation and tribute albums.  Williams has toured internationally, and has appeared at concert halls, listening venues and festivals here, and in Canada and Europe.

This is a free event.  No ticket or reservation is necessary.


Anonymous said...

Would love to see comments on this Dar Williams event. Was it well attended? Did Ms. Williams sing? Was she using a mic or speaking "au natural"? What did she have to say about Middletown? Would like to see your responses.

I attended "Remote Control," the film Wesleyan's Center for Film Studies, jointly sponsored by Wesleyan, Russell Library, and MXCC as part of the Middletown International Film Festival. Thanks.

Tree Fanatic said...

We arrived about 5 minutes late for an event that seemed to have started right on time. All of the downstairs seating was filled, and staff were arranging comfortable seating on the main floor, which we took advantage of. Dar was articulate and informative, telling her story of learning much about the death and rebirth of the kinds of towns and cities where her music is appreciated (she admitted that college towns are frequent venues for her kind of music.)

I found her commentary interesting, since she offered insight into places I've never been, as well as into Middletown, which I flatter myself that I know pretty well. Her singing was a high point, un-miked comments from the audience were the low point. She strongly urged participation in local government and in doing good in general, as opposed to doing well by feathering one's own nest to the exclusion of the community.

Her book sounds worth reading, not to mention giving to young people who need a gentle shove in the right direction.