Dar Williams returns to the Hangar for a concert on Oct. 8. Her new album “I’ll Meet You Here” is now available, and she spoke to the Ithaca Times about her new book, the album and getting her house in order.
Tell me about your COVID time away from performing. When we spoke before, you talked about putting your house in order.
I put my house in order but I also kind of got my head together. I’ve headed back out on the road with a better understanding of what I do, how I do it, and why I do it.
This marks your first album in six years. What were you doing at that time?
In 2017 I put out a book called What I Found In A Thousand Towns and I toured around with it the way I would with an album. It was an amazing project for me. I don’t know if it will make me a better songwriter, but I feel better for it. The book has to do with how communities successfully organized themselves, and all of the good stories I found, things that everyone can replicate, became a collective antidote to the constant bad news culture we find ourselves living in these days.
Where were you emotionally when you made this new record?
I think “I'll Meet You Here” is a great album title to reflect how I went into recording this album. I knew almost all the musicians and had worked with the producer three times before. I’ve come to learn that you bring in all of the people that you respect and trust and let them do what they do best. That means letting myself take in all the musical ideas that don’t sound the way they sounded in my head as I was writing them. You have to meet every performance as it comes and spend a little time with it. Take it on its own terms.