Dar Williams will headline the ninth-annual Ferdinand Folk Festival on Saturday, September 15, in Ferdinand's 18th Street Park. Dubbed by Rolling Stone, Spin, and Paste Magazine as one of America's most influential singer-songwriters, Williams is a major force in the American folk scene. With 20 albums to her credit, the New England folk veteran has toured with distinguished peers Joan Baez, Patty Griffin, Ani DiFranco, Loudon Wainwright III, Joan Osborne, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Shawn Colvin, and others.
Headlining at folk festivals across the country since the 1990s, Williams has been captivating audiences with her sheer elegance and honesty. Her intelligent, finely crafted songs are "beautiful, moving, and utterly fresh.” NPR’s World Café praises her “smart and serious songs with her trademark wit.” Plain-spoken and heartfelt, inspired and ambitious, Williams is often compared to Joni Mitchell and Joan Baez. By illuminating minute details, she approaches her art with a reporter’s keen eye and a fiction writer’s feel for nuance in confronting “the big picture of how people approach life.”
Williams devotes her spare time to environmental causes, including her "Give Bees a Camp" project, which combines concerts and planting bee-friendly gardens for young students. "I go into schools and summer camps," she says, "do a short concert and hang out with the kids and talk about songwriting. But I also plant flowers and talk about bees. I fill up my car with tubs of beautiful perennial flowers, and the kids get to see this explosion of color. It's nice to help the planet to do what the planet wants to do, and it's great to see the reaction from children. They usually break out in spontaneous applause when they see a bee land on a flower."
In her 2017 book What I Found in a Thousand Towns: A Traveling Musician’s Guide to Rebuilding America’s Communities—One Coffee Shop, Dog Run, and Open-Mike Night at a Time, she examines the elements that build a healthy community—the significance of its history and nature to the uniting power of public spaces and food. The book is a deeply personal and hopeful message about the potential of America's communities. A renowned public speaker, she has raised funds for libraries, public radio, community gardens, and the renovation of old theaters, helping towns to become unique, prosperous, and self-reliant.
Williams' most recent album, Emerald, “deals as bluntly as ever with the shadowy, subtle corners of humanity,” according to Rolling Stone, and was recorded in various studios across the US with friends such as Richard Thompson, Jill Sobule, Jim Lauderdale, the Milk Carton Kids, Lucy Wainwright Roche, Suzzy Roche, the Hooters and others. A sparkling collection of new, original material, inspired collaborations, and some surprising covers such as B.A.D.’s “Johnny Appleseed”, the album has received rave reviews. Her songs are tenderly funny, subtle without being in any way inaccessible, and original—not a cliché or a clunker in her entire songbook, according to The New Yorker magazine.
For more info, visit https://www.facebook.com/DarWilliamsOfficial.