Monday, November 3, 2008

Book of Love (Dar Williams)

So... here's the report on the Dar-part of my long weekend in Atlanta... :-)

We arrived at Eddie's Attic a bit before 6 p.m. (when the doors were supposed to open) and met up with my college friend Steve (who I hadn't seen in over a year) and his new wife Betty (who I'd never met) - Steve has joined us on Dar excursions in the past, so it was already shaping up to be a dear and comfortable evening. There was a young woman in a wheelchair waiting in line... and my mom, with her ongoing health issues, is now on oxygen - Eddie (the owner) and Bob (another employee) came out to carry/escort the young woman and Mom up the long flight of stairs so they could get settled before they allowed the rest of the crowd to enter (very thoughtful and classy).

Our reserved table was about three rows back (what a wonderful, intimate listening room!), with Steve and Betty right behind us… and I had a chance to catch up a bit with Blair, there with her husband Jason (impossible to believe her Nora is already 2 years old!) - we ordered drinks and dinner and, while we were waiting for the food to arrive, Betty and I decided to check out the merch table before the show started.

I was trying to decide which T-shirt to buy (I finally settled on the short-sleeved blue with the tree coming out of the writing woman’s head – okay, that sounds strange, but it’s very cool) – the fine print on the care instructions tag reads: “Take care of your shirt and the earth: wash cold and hang dry. Take care of yourself: eat good food and make sure to rest sometimes.”… and being bamboo/hemp/organic cotton… it is, as Amy W. noted in a previous post, amazingly soft… :-)

But I digress: as I was chatting with the merch girl (hi, Orrie!), who already had a semester off school and decided to quit her job at Starbucks to take advantage of the opportunity to tour with Dar… I heard someone behind me say, “There she is…” and it was Dar! – we hugged and chatted and I had the occasion to remind her of a song request I’d e-mailed to Patty to pass on… as well as discuss a potential Florida show (fingers crossed!). I asked if she’d be doing a meet-and-greet between shows, since we were only staying for the All Ages first one (and sweet sharon goldberg had sent me Promised Land posters, which I hoped to get signed) – she said she wasn’t intending to be visible at that time, but told me where we could find her. We said goodbye and I purchased my shirt and went back in, just as Eddie was introducing Dar…

The set list was pretty much as I’ve seen posted here for previous shows – Heather Lloyd (who has another musical incarnation at was terrific on djembe and harmony vocals, subtle when called for and strong when required. Bryn Roberts was equally captivating on keyboards and harmony vocals – I especially loved watching him watching Dar tell her always-charming between-song-stories, and delighting in the audience reaction.

Since it was the early show, there was no opening act but, since the tour up to this point had included Shawn Mullins (and he’s an Atlantan), he sang a few songs with Dar and then showcased one of his tunes, Beautiful Wreck, on which Dar harmonized – Dar quipped afterwards that it wasn’t a good song to have eye contact on… “you’re a beautiful wreck”… “no, *you’re* a beautiful wreck”… :-)

And the moment came where Dar began the story of Vince Gill and Amy Grant having a baby… so I knew what was to follow… and she then said, “this song is a request from Susan Moss to her mother Connie” (it was from Mari and Julia too), nodded in Mom’s direction, saying “it’s good to see you again” (they’d met a few years back at The Variety Playhouse) and proceeded to play The One Who Knows, at which point Mari and I started to weep… and Julia looked at each of us, wondering what was going on. Mom semi-gasped an “oh”… then “thanks, Dar”… then grabbed my hand… then *she* started crying – Dar followed this with The Babysitter’s Here, which we’ve always considered “Julia’s song”. Someone later asked if we were four generations – I said no, only three but that, since I was 13 years older, I’d always considered myself Mari’s second mother anyway (which Mari can confirm)...

The audience was enthusiastic (our show as well as the next was sold out) and Dar was relaxed, in stunning voice and appreciative of the warm reception – we filed out as they prepared for the second show and spotted Dar in a corner of the bar area, whereupon she nodded to us (Mari, Julia, Betty and me) to come over, where we chatted some more, she signed our posters and Julia had a chance to tell Dar she did a book report on Amalee (which I’d given as a birthday present a few years ago). The second show was fast approaching and we reluctantly said goodbye, chattering excitedly and sighing blissfully on the 45-minute drive home.

Thanks, Mom, for raising us to be Ones Who Know… thanks, Mari, for all the driving (and *so* much more!)… and thanks, Julia, for being the coolest kid ever – thanks to Dar for providing us with yet another occasion to make memories… <3

P.S. And another Star Maker Machine post - yay!

POEM: Autumn Quince by Jane HirscLhfield

How sad they are,
the promises we never return to.
They stay in our mouths,
roughen the tongue, lead lives of their own.
Houses built and unwittingly lived in;
a succession of milk bottles brought to the door
every morning and taken inside.

And which one is real?
The music in the composer's ear
or the lapsed piece the orchestra plays?
The world is a blurred version of itself --
marred, lovely, and flawed.
It is enough.

QUOTE: "Never make your home in a place. Make a home for yourself inside your own head. You'll find what you need to furnish it - memory, friends you can trust, love of learning, and other such things. That way it will go with you wherever you journey." ~ Tad Williams


  1. what a life affirming story Susan...and a wonderful trip!

  2. Hey, Catherine ~

    It was indeed a most delightful trip and gathering - it meant so much for all of us to experience this Dar show together... :-)

  3. How exciting . . . I've discovered your blog.

  4. Hey, Gaaaaiiiillll... :-)

    Welcome - it was a probably only a matter of time, eh?

    My blog is out there... but it's under the radar, if that makes a bit of sense - I don't publicize... but it's always a pleasure when someone (especially a friend) stumbles across...

    I just sent you an End of the Summer card (months late) - hope you and Jenn are well... <3

  5. Hee! “Heather Lloyd was… subtle when called for and strong when required.” - this has got to be one of my favourite descriptions of my partner ever. I'm glad I got to see her performing on her last night with Dar, it was the first time I'd watched Heather from more than a range of 10 feet - was amazed by her power and grace (up close she's more sort of... sweaty...). She is my jaguar. (on drums) - thank you. (rob)

  6. Hey, Rob ~

    How sweet of you to stop in and comment - I hope you could tell I was mightily impressed by Heather, her musical profiency and her onstage poise.

    Would you keep me posted if the two of you (or full band) ever decide to come to Florida? - I might be able to help with some gigs... :-)

  7. ah, yes, the power and passion of Heather Lloyd....her drum work and vocals are extraordinary, no?? Then there's the songwriting...whew!
    Susan, you *should* keep track of ilyAIMY and try to see them when they make it your'll be mighty glad you DID!!!

  8. Hey, Suzibird ~

    Thanks for stopping in to comment - I definitely look forward to crossing paths with Heather/ilyAIMY again...

    Off to scope out their recordings/tour calendar now - am seeing Dar again February 3 (in my home state, this time) and will let her know how much I enjoyed Ms. Lloyd's musical presence... :-)

  9. :) I was hoping you would....on both counts!

    Be well.....