Dar Williams to perform at the Newton Theatre

| 15 Feb 2012 | 10:19

Newton — Dar Williams has evolved over her career, from a upstart neo-folkie to a seasoned artist who's also a community-involved wife, mother and "involved neighbor," as she puts it. Williams brings her experiences via her work to the Newton Theatre on Thursday, Dec. 1 at 8 p.m. Her latest release, a two-CD set called “Many Great Companions,” generously and comprehensively pairs a career overview with Williams' latest recording project. The first disc contains luminous, newly recorded acoustic performances of a dozen of Williams’ most sharply drawn and resonant songs; the second cherry-picks 19 of her classics, along with her uplifting take on Ray Davies’ Kinks gem “Better Things,” which fits in seamlessly with the originals. On the new tracks, Williams is joined by Gary Louris of the Jayhawks, who doubles as producer, sometimes in tandem with the artist. Also making memorable appearances are Sean and Sara Watkins of Nickel Creek fame, fellow singer/songwriters Mary Chapin Carpenter and Patty Larkin, and the trio MotherLode Trio. In her work, she says, “There’s the true line of curiosity about living in this world, and I put an importance on observing things right now, which engages me" said Williams. "But my subject matter has changed over the years. Early on, I did a lot of quick sketches juxtaposing the different environments I found myself in. Whereas, now, as I get older, there’s more of a theme of what it means to root yourself and belong to something.” Williams’ growth as a person over her 15-year career has gone hand-in-hand with her evolution as an artist. Raised in Chappaqua, N.Y., and educated at Wesleyan University, Williams spent 10 years living in the thriving artistic community of Northampton, Mass., where she began to make the rounds on the coffeehouse circuit. Joan Baez, an early fan of her music, took Williams out on the road and recorded several of her songs. In 1995, two years after self-releasing "The Honesty Room," she signed with Razor & Tie Entertainment, beginning a long and mutually beneficial relationship. Along with her six studio albums, she’s also released the on stage document Out There Live (2001) and the DVD Live at Bearsville Theater (2007). If you go Dar Williams The Newton Theatre 234 Spring Street, Newton Thursday, Dec. 1, 8 p.m. www.thenewtontheatre.com Tickets: $34, $29