Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Summerday (Dar Williams)

Can't believe it's taken me over a week to get around to posting my review of Dar's show at Eddie's Attic in Atlanta Saturday, August 15 - then again, it's not like I've been sitting around eating bon-bons. In the last nine days, I've driven a 16 ft. Budget rental truck across state lines (686 miles/15 hours from Georgia to Florida), transitioned my youngest child back to college and reclaimed my home from three-months-of-bachelorhood status - then there's my concert series planning, of which I'm woefully behind!

Dar was with the same keyboard player (Bryn, a young man) as last time, as well as a multi-instrumentalist (Jordan, a young woman), and both added lovely embellishment in the form of harmony and musicianship - her setlist spanned her career, and she played a few we don't get to hear that often (Calling the Moon, If I Wrote You, The Hudson). She was funny, she was bright, she was *on* - her husband Michael and son Stephen were there... and Dar announced that Michael is heading out this week to Ethiopia to pick up their newly-adopted daughter (she had told me last November but, since it was said in confidence, as opposed to from the stage this time, I kept quiet...... :-)

Stephen Kellogg (minus the Sixers, who many of us remember from Falcon Ridge a few years ago) was adorable as the opening act and I loved hearing his well-crafted songs in stripped-down singer-songwriter mode - he was only alloted 4 tunes, but he absolutely won over the crowd and appeared to sell a good many CDs at the break between shows!

The Dar show was all I hoped for and more - I had e-mailed through her management earlier that week, requesting Blue Light of the Flame for mom. Dar did a most lovely job, prefacing it with some really sweet words about mom having been there last November "with her smile and her oxygen" - she then dedicated the song to Connie, Susan and her family. She also said some nice things about me and my concert series, but seriously, as soon as she starts talking, my heart begins pounding, the blood rushes to my ears and I can't hear a thing - however, somewhere in there she did say "I love Susan Moss"... I swear!

I adore the fact that Dar's stories are never the same, no matter how many times I've seen her - so entertaining... and it was fun to experience it through Kevin, my sister's boyfriend (as it was his first time seeing her) and Julia, my sister's 12-year-old daughter, who is indeed now The Babysitter...

So... Dar came out for an encore and said, "this is a request from someone who's not here to someone who is here, who I will not name"... and started telling the story of how she sang Over the Rainbow with the New York Gay Men's Chorus a few years ago (telling a funny story about Dorothy's braids vs. pigtails), and did the most gorgeous rendition of the song, adding a "Pete Seeger community inclusive spin" (her words) of "if happy little bluebirds fly, why can't you and I?" - when she finished, she looked right at me and said, "that was from sharon goldberg" (thanks, sharong)...

As we were leaving, I was approached by Carolyn, Dar's tour manager who said, "are you Susan? - Dar wants to see you"... and led us behind a curtain where we could hug and chat - really, it was amazing. I had brought her a book Mari and I had given mom for her 70th birthday... and we both signed it again for Dar - amazing night (and much love and thanks to my sister for reserving the table and allowing me to be their fourth!)...

She wasn't looking
when they took this picture:
sitting on the grass
in her bare feet
wearing a cotton dress,
she stares off to the side
watching something on the lawn
the camera didn't catch.
What was it?
A ladybug? A flower?
Judging from her expression,
possibly nothing at all,
or else
the lawn was like a mirror,
and she sat watching herself,
wondering who she was
and how she came to be there
sitting in this backyard,
wearing a cheap, white dress,
imagining that tomorrow
would be like all her yesterdays,
while her parents chatted
and watched, as I do
years later,
too distantly to interfere.

QUOTE: "Summer afternoon, summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language." ~ Henry James


  1. That sounds like the greatest night ever. Reason #435948 both you and Dar are awesome.

  2. What a wonderful evening...thank you for sharing. We love you too!! Kate

  3. Hey, Amy ~

    Dar is way ahead of me on the Awesomeness Scale... but I can't begin to tell you how sweet it was to bask in the glow of her attention/affection - she knows how dear she is to me... and the reciprocity felt so special...

  4. Hey, Kate ~

    It was such an incredible evening - in the midst of our sadness of mom not being physically present, there was a reassurance that she was able to transcend time/space/energy fields/kinesthetic boundaries to be there in the proverbial spirit, you know?

  5. it was a pure Dar... she does not do anything she doesnt want to do. She did for you and having a piano helped. I am glad that she accommodated my request. Many times she doesn't. Hearing her sing a new song is a special moment, knowing she would sing a particular favorite of yours made it more special.
    dont let Dar fool you, its all Dar...

    we do what we can to ease the pain of friend even it is a 3 minute song.

    Dar did what she could. I did what I could do

  6. Hey, sharon ~

    I remain grateful to you both for the surprise and solace of hearing Over the Rainbow up-close-and-personal from my favorite singer-songwriter, knowing you were the catalyst - at first I thought I'd weep... but it was so absolutely magical (the song and the moment) that smiling (broadly) was the only option... :-)

  7. It was definitely a magical evening and so meant to be. LOVED that we were able to see the show together and SO GLAD you could be our fourth! Would not have had it any other way. YAY Dar. YAY Sue...

    Much love,


  8. Hey, little sister!

    I love it when you stop in for a visit - it's the next best thing to being there... :-)

    So glad indeed Dar could be the icing on my Georgia stay - despite the ongoing grief, we know we were lucky to spend such quality time with mom... and to hear Blue Light of the Flame dedicated to her (and us) was beyond special (I miss you... <3 )

  9. Such a magical evening, Susan, surely a gift from your Mom. xoxox

  10. Hey, M ~

    Oh, what a lovely perspective on our perfect evening! - a gift from mom, indeed... <3

  11. Susan...psst..I posted a little challenge for you on my blog! :)

  12. Hey, M ~

    Looks like fun - I already checked yours out (good choices!)...

    I'll give it a go tomorrow - will "sleep on it" this evening... :-)