Musings of a Creekdipper
Artist: Victoria Williams
Label: Atlantic Records 1998
Victoria Williams's new album is most appropriately titled. These twelve songs contain Victoria's reflections on life, set to music: love, trains, plants and animals, family, and many other topics figure in these songs.
The songs run the gamut from the familiar format of verses and choruses ("Periwinkle Sky," "Rainmaker," "Train Song (Demise of the Caboose)," "Hummingbird") to stories set to music ("Kashmir's Corn," "Allergic Boy") to pieces where the words and music seem almost improvised in a stream of consciousness way ("Tree Song (Eucaclyptus Lullabye)," "Grandpa in the Corn Patch"). Throughout the album there is a simplicity that is also clarity of vision, which is one of Victoria's trademarks.
Victoria remains Victoria, which means there's a little bit of everything here musically in addition to the varied lyrics. She plays banjo, electric and acoustic guitars, piano and Rhodes keyboard, mountain dulcimer, and calimba. A diverse cast of supporting players play various stringed instruments, wind instruments, electronic and acoustic keyboards, percussion and drums. Victoria's various influences--folk, jazz, country, rock and roll, and gospel--come through in the songs, but even the rock and roll pieces are subtle and restrained and don't overpower Victoria's musings.
Victoria has one of those untrained, idiosyncratic voices that takes some getting used to. I find the simplicity of her music beguiling, and this album continues to spend a lot of time in my CD player. My favorite tracks are "Periwinkle Sky" and Hummingbird."
By Chris Parks