Jeff Bottari, Getty Images Kelly Rowland's new gig has caused her to cancel and…
- Posted on Oct 4th 2007 4:00PM by Bill Crandall
In the fourth of her five-night, reverse-chronological, album-by-album stand, Williams and band journeyed through the past darkly, tackling 1992's death-minded 'Sweet Old World,' the fan favorite that preceded her recording (and re-recording) of her 1998 landmark 'Car Wheels on a Gravel Road.' Because of how 'Car Wheels' overshadows it, Williams considers 'World' her "stepchild," but one she's particularly protective of. Just ask the record store clerk who met her after he dared to mark it "Out of print."
Opening with a solo acoustic rendition of 'Six Blocks Away,' Williams was most comfortable with such quieter arrangements, including the backing vocals of Jim Lauderdale and Gia Ciambotti, both of whom sang on the album version. In fact, during the raucous 'Lines Around Your Eyes,' Williams stopped midway and made fun of her own arena-rock sound ("Get the lighters out") and summoned another songwriting friend ("Where's Bruce Springsteen when I need him?"). She ending up remedying the situation by ripping the guitar out of her guitarist's hands and playing it more gently herself.
In between takes of songs like the gorgeously mournful title track and the closing Nick Drake cover 'Which Will,' Williams didn't miss an opportunity to mock herself, even speculating on how brutally honest shows like this will play in her obituary someday: "Some of her performances were a little erratic ... but if you caught her on a good night there was nothing like her."
This good night and the other four are memorialized limited-edition live CDs available at her Web site.