Journal

An album you should hear

If you're checking out my website chances are you know Bet Williams as well.  Bet was a part of the State College, PA music scene of the 80s and 90s with the band Bookends and later her solo work.  She was also part of the extended family of Neo Pseudo that migrated east to Philadelphia and continued creating wonderful music.  Her latest album is called The 11th Hour and you really should check it out.  Here's my thoughts on the album:

Bet Williams has always created music that spans, fuses and intertwines styles, influences and traditions and so it was quite fitting that she has now physically traveled far and wide as well living and working primarily in Berlin.  She even addresses this part of her life with the lead track “We Geography”, a brilliantly catchy tune built on clever word play that transforms “Geography” into a verb.  With her astounding vocal range and far-ranging imagination, Williams has always crafted music that stepped beyond the boundaries of the typical singer-songwriter fare but was always rooted in the solo-artist-with-acoustic-guitar model.  On this album Bet’s musical and life collaborator John Hodian, producer and arranger, pushes the sound into unexpected and delightful place.  Hodian’s background in composition and skills on keyboards work to match the musical ideas that Bet Williams has been building for years with appropriately adventurous sonic landscapes.  To get an idea of how much a producer skilled in classical composition can make on a recording, give a listen to “Magnolia” or “Moon River over the Hudson”.   A great producer knows that an actual string quartet sounds different from someone with a synthesizer and also knows how to weave the parts to lift, but not overwhelm the melody. 

The music on this album moves from stirring sing-along pop sounds like “Super Summer” which I would defy anyone to listen to without singing along to slightly more twisted melodies and instrumentation on a song like “Beautiful”.  With Williams and Hodian as your musical guides, the transition is never jarring, just strangely beautiful.

I could choose two song titles from the album to describe the musical experience within; “Bold” and “Beautiful”.  The sounds are indeed beautiful, sometimes in savage and strange way and other times calm and comforting.  The songs are bold in the way that a skilled practitioner executes their craft and there is no doubt of Bet Williams’s skill as a songwriter and performer.  Listen and you can hear a rare combination of the assuredness of a master and the child-like delight in discovery.  Bet Williams has this wonderful gift, the sound of someone in complete control of what they’re creating and someone completely surprised by what they have made.

click on this link to get more info on Bet and buy her CD - http://epiphanyrecords.com/bet-williams/

Kevin on Social Media

Listen to This!