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Civil Wars' Joy Williams Debuts Solo Material at Intimate Concert

05/18/2015
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(Radio.com) Joy Williams' solo set last Thusday night (May 14) in New York was one part concert, and one part art exhibit. And it was all parts mesmerizing. Best known as one-half of four-time GRAMMY-winning country-folk duo the Civil Wars, Williams performed her second of three select tour dates at New York's Gramercy Theatre to a very attentive crowd.

The audience was hearing the majority of the new material from her forthcoming album Venus for the first time, and they gave the singer-songwriter their unyielding attention. Six songs in, Williams showed her appreciation when addressing the crowd for the first time. 'I should have worn waterproof mascara you guys," she said, getting emotional. 'It feels really good to be back here. I can't believe you all came."

Having spent the past week in New York, Williams said she loves the fact that she can walk one city block and smell 'Italian food and weed and subway scuzz and 12 different kinds of cologne and perfume," adding that she feels 'energized and exhausted and invigorated" all at the same time.

'The last couple years for me have been jam packed with life, too. You can feel more alive for being in that condensed place or you can shut down," she told the crowd. 'But I'm really glad to say that the waking up to all the things I've experienced in the last few years has helped bring me to this exact spot with each one of you tonight."

Williams had gone through several emotional hurdles and plenty of career and life changes over the past few years. These include the ending of the Civil Wars, the death of her father to cancer and the birth of her son.

Williams began her set with the emotional track "What a Good Woman Does," in which she sings about not having lost her voice despite all that's taken place. Accompanied only by piano, I was immediately captivated by her ethereal vocals. It was a powerful way to start the show and to reintroduce herself as a solo artist.

But it wasn't just her voice that was captivating. She put her full body into the performance, frequently waving her arms in the air and dancing along to the rhythms and beats of the mostly brand-new material. Read more here.

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