Dar Williams, Friday, October 16th 7PM and 9:30PM Iron Horse
One of the most acclaimed singer-songwriters of her generation, Dar Williams has been engaging audiences with her musical artistry since the early 1990s when she rose from the Northeast coffeehouse circuit to the national spotlight. Dar’s most recent album, Promised Land, produced by Brad Wood (Pete Yorn, Liz Phair, Smashing Pumpkins), features 12 reflective songs that introduce a new pop sound to her repertoire. Lending support on the album are such renowned artists as Suzanne Vega and Marshall Crenshaw. Williams infuses intelligent songwriting with comforting melodies. A new generation of pop-folk enthusiasts lauds her as one of the genre's central figures.
Erin McKeown, Saturday, October 17th 7PM Iron Horse + Among the Oak and Ash
Ten years into a dynamic career marked by 7 LPs, 2 EPs and a live concert album, Erin McKeown delivers Hundreds of Lions, her first collection of original songs since 2005’s We Will Become Like Birds. Although Erin started writing songs while still in high school in hometown Fredericksburg, Virginia, she really began earning her chops while attending Brown University, releasing two albums before graduation and gigging on weekends whenever and wherever possible. She hasn’t slowed down, famously averaging 200 live shows a year. As a multi-instrumentalist, Erin’s become in demand as a session player, recording vocals, piano, bass lines and of course guitar tracks for other artists’ records all while steadily working material that became Hundreds of Lions. At the center of the album, the song “The Lions” brims with bright piano, cathedral spire atmosphere and traces of carnival-noir pop as Erin sings, “There’s a risk, there’s a twist, in anything worth doing,” with a voice clear and strong as glass ribbon.
Antje Duvekot, Sunday, October 18th 7PM Iron Horse + Peter Bradley Adams
The Valley Advocate recently reviewed Antje Duvekot’s latest album, The Near Demise of the High Wire Dancer, calling it one of the best records of 2009. “It is moody, introspective, dark, exquisitely crafted and brilliantly produced by Richard Shindell. Duvekot plays the tightrope walker on a life's thin wire and wears danger like a wispy carnival gown. When she describes a relationship as having "no safety net when I fall right out of the sky," it's how she sees life in general. "Long Way" is a double-edged song whose geographical journey is mere backdrop for an amble into the emotional unknown. Poetic writing and atmospheric arrangements enhance the tension in songs that blur the line between hopefulness and helpless illusion. With vocals that are a mash of Patty Griffin's tones and Kate Rusby's gentleness, Duvekot crosses the wire. Take a bow, Antje.
Tickets for all IHEG shows are available at the Northampton Box Office. Charge by phone 586-8686. Order online at www.iheg.com.