Dar Williams intended to pursue theater. Instead, it was her hobby — playing the guitar — that bloomed into a career now entering its 15th year.
After moving to Boston, Williams launched herself into the its folk scene with regular coffeehouse performances and recorded demo tapes. She captured the attention of Joan Baez, who decided to bring Williams on tour and record. Since then, Williams has released a long and celebrated list of albums full of nuanced folk narratives. On her latest double album,Many Great Companions, she explores old and new by revisiting her earlier works and topping them with new ones.
Allison Moorer is another songwriting powerhouse who was raised on a musical diet of George Jones, Tammy Wynette and other country legends. The younger sister to Shelby Lynn, Moorer had her big break with the ballad "A Soft Place To Fall," which was featured on The Horse Whisperer in 1998.
Moorer's latest is the pop-influenced Crows, a 14-track collection that departs from her usual country sound. The result is a masterful mix of influences and ambiance, from cool jazz to Brit-pop.
In this segment from World Cafe, hear Williams and Moorer perform on the Cayamo Cruise, an annual cruise featuring some of the world's best roots and folk musicians. (link)
Playlist - HOUR ONE
Indigo Girls "Uncle John's Band" Deadicated
Paul Simon "The Afterlife" So Beautiful or So What
Vampire Weekend "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa" Vampire Weekend
Allison Moorer & Dar Williams "Mark Rothko's Song" Recorded Live for the World Cafe
Allison Moorer & Dar Williams "Alabama Song" Recorded Live for the World Cafe
Allison Moorer & Dar Williams "This Earth" Recorded Live for the World Cafe
Allison Moorer & Dar Williams "Goodbye to the Ground" Recorded Live for the World Cafe
Allison Moorer & Dar Williams "Comfortably Numb" Recorded Live for the World Cafe
Allison Moorer & Dar Williams "A Change Is Gonna Come" Recorded Live for the World Cafe
Playlist - HOUR TWO
Van Morrison "Caravan" Moondance
Sufjan Stevens "Chicago" Come On Feel the Illinois
Iron & Wine "Tree by the River" Kiss Each other Clean
Tune-Yards "Bizness" w h o k i l l s
David Byrne "Like Humans Do" Look Into the Eyeball
Diego Garcia "You Were Never There" Laura
The Zombies "Time of the Season" Zombies Greatest Hits
The Decemberists "Down by the Water" The King Is Dead
Bell-X1 "Sugar High" Bloodlees Coup
Joseph Arthur "Honey and the Moon" Redemption's Son
TV on the Radio "Keep Your Heart" Nine Types of Light
Matthew Sweet "Looking at the Sun" Girlfriend