Last month Tim Williams played a guest apartment spot here at Baeble and meeting him lent another angle to his music; he's a really nice guy, articulate, and gentle, like his music. Not that, in order to get good marks, musician have to mesh with their public voice, but that symmetry lends new authenticity to Williams' music for me.
Tim Williams' third studio album Careful Love should be approached with a few more personal facts in mind: he wrote it after open heart surgery, while in love, and displaced from Brooklyn to California. If you think that sounds like a pitch for a CW show, its not, (even though "Murderous Air" was featured on One Tree Hill, but I digress). No these are the circumstances under which Careful Love was penned, and confined to a bed for much of 2008, Williams used the time to reflect on the traumatic ordeal and create something from the tribulation. For all the physical and emotional pain that consumed him at the time, the album's resounding message is hope, not morbidity, which is kind of a nice surprise because no one would have blamed him if he had gone the other way. Still this is a very personal album, and throughout the history of rock n roll the public always seem to like to say "yeah that really happened, it's a true story" because somehow it makes it even better, and hell I guess it does. Par example, scar imagery is a standard in the bank of love song metaphors, but when Williams sings "finally some warm sun/ heal all my new scars" you think, wow that's some deep stuff.
Williams has that coffeehouse singer songwriter sound with a little Ryan Adams thrown in, but his distinct voice really sets him apart from other acts in the genre. Even though I'm never surprised by his music, this album is definitely more layered than his past work; artistic maturity and complexities come shinning through in the many clever guitar riffs and more complicated melodies. Joining Williams on the album were keyboardist Misty Boyce and guitarst Matt Welsh (of Phonograph) who also played roles in shaping the record. Careful Love was released this past October on Dovecate records, so give it a listen. The album really is positive and calming, and in an industry filled with attention craving performers made worse by incredible self-marketing pressures, Tim Williams is a breath of fresh, honest air.- amelia trask