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Album Review

Victoria Williams' first international tour as a headliner — supporting her 1994 release Loose — yielded This Moment: In Toronto With the Loose Band, her first concert recording. Williams (guitar/vocals) is supported by a six-piece band centering around the Williams Brothers (no relation to Victoria), David (vocals) and Andrew (guitar), as well as Tim Ray (keyboards) — all of whom had participated in the creation of Loose. Joining them are neo-folk session heavyweights Joey Burns (bass/vocals) and David Mansfield (violin/dobro/pedal steel guitar/mandolin). As an ensemble, they animate choice selections from Victoria's previous studio efforts — Happy Come Home (1987) and Swing the Statue(1990) — with an emphasis on material from Loose. As a songwriter, Victoria Williams conjures exquisite images weaved around an ethereal folk/jazz delivery — which is more often than not also saturated in down-home psychedelia, examples of which abound throughout This Moment. Primary among them is "Graveyard," which was renamed "Blackbirds Rise" on her follow-up studio release Musings of a Creek Dipper (1998), as well as the achingly beautiful reading of the Jimmy Van Heusen/Johnny Burke pop standard "Imagination." The undemanding and comfortably intimate environs that Williams create during performance are punctuated by the spontaneous on-stage arrival of her traveling companion and puppy, Molly — inspiring Victoria to ad-lib "Oh its good to have a dog. It's good to see their smile. It's good to have your arms around 'em when it's been a long while" — during the opening to what develops into a rousing "Crazy Mary." Another endearing moment catches Victoria interacting with the audience and spontaneously performing requests — most notably "TC." Although accompanied by her own solo piano, she lovingly re-creates Van Dyke Parks' breathtaking string arrangements. This Moment is a precious and rare gift from a flower to her audience.


Born: 23 December 1958 in Shreveport, LA

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Despite a successful career as a idiosyncratic country-folk performer, Victoria Williams was perhaps best known as a songwriter; thanks, ironically enough, to a tribute album recorded in her honor. Born in Louisiana in 1959, Williams taught herself to play the guitar while still in her teens, and soon began composing songs. In college, she joined her first band, the G.W. Korners. After spending some time on the road, she ended up in California in 1979, where she was a regular at Los Angeles' famed...
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This Moment: Live In Toronto with the Loose Band, Victoria Williams
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