How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Singer/songwriter Carol Williams gets into the nitty-gritty of our lives. Her music and lyrics are designed to get you thinking. And it works. Her folk songs take what we do with our daily routines and examine the quality inherent in that. She colors her songs with keyboards, flute and tenor saxophone as a one-woman band that lets the groove tell a story of its own. "Late Afternoon represents an instrumental number in a contemporary format, while the rest of Williams' compositions offer an emphatic vocal message.
Williams put in seven years with the U.S. Army band program, honing her skills as a powerful tenor saxophonist who gets noticed. As she wails on tenor to punctuate her vocal selections, you can feel the emphasis. Most of the instrumental coloring, however, comes from her surround-sound keyboard work. Each selection drives with a dramatic focus and plenty of soul. Williams cares about the stories that she tells and ensures that we're able to feel the meaning as well as hear it.
Williams' lyrics to "I Can Live With That prove ironic. They form a message that applies to all of us. She sings about the demands that are sometimes placed upon us and how important it is to remain true to yourself. With this one, she colors with a sultry oasis of flute musings that fall gently on open hears. By combining meaty lyrics with a folk song environment, Carol Williams ensures that we catch her drift.
Track Listing: The Category Authorities; Jesus on a Chain; The No-Bail Jail; One More Year; I Can Live With That; That Song About Life; Late Afternoon; Is Anybody Listening?.
Personnel: Carol Williams: vocals, keyboards, tenor saxophone, flute; Danny Gottlieb: drums; Eric Bailey: electric bass (1); Dave Onderdonk: guitar (1, 2, 5, 8).