DAR WILLIAMS The Beauty Of The Rain (Razor & Tie) Rating: NNN
Chappaqua-bred folksinger Dar Williams has never shied away from embracing her inner (and outer) nerdiness, bless her earnest little heart. The Beauty Of The Rain is sweet, lush and overwhelmingly optimistic in a charming Maria von Trapp "take solace in the small pleasures" kinda way. Musically, it's far more polished than Williams's earlier work and draws on the talents of guest musicians, including Alison Krauss and Blues Traveler's John Popper. There's something about the glossy finish that makes everything come off a little less honest than her rootsy Mortal City, though.
Dar Williams brings her good vibe to the Phoenix Wednesday (August 20).