It's always strange to hear a
recording of a concert when you had been in the audience. I have been lucky
enough to experience several shows that have been changed into live albums or
videos, and they are almost always a bit of a let-down, not capturing the magic
of the moment. Bet Williams' Live at the Point is the exception to
Now it's only ethical for me to acknowledge right off the bat
that I've known Bet since college (back in the days when her name was still
Beth). But, I like to think I'm objective enough to take the album on it's
own merits. And those merits are pretty significant.
the Point was recorded over two nights at the famed Philadelphia-area
venue. While Williams has made a name for herself in folk circles, that is
too limiting a label for her. Her music straddles the lines between folk,
blues, jazz and pop. Made up of originals and an adventurous brace of
covers, the CD kicks off with a scorching rendition of Robert Johnson's
"Come Into My Kitchen."
The songs range from
heart-felt ("Sugar In the Water") to venomous ("Killed My Man") to whimsical (the indescribable sing-along "The
White Dog Doo") but throughout the songs and strong vocals weave a spell.
Williams' voice is an extremely expressive instrument, ranging from the
conversational jazz-bop "Big Window" to the lovely folk-pop of "Romeo Rise" to a
delicately beautiful rendition of Mark Germino's "Oriental Drag" to the giddy faux-opera
"Neighborhood." If you missed the shows, Live at the Point is the
next best thing. If you saw them, it is an indispensable keep-sake.
Copyright © 2003
All rights reserved. Posted:
February 4, 2003.