I ached to inform all of you of Williams' Sunset Tavern appearance when I wrote up the show last week, but alas, it was a secret. Now it is no longer a secret, and so I am pleased to announce that Victoria Williams will be performing with Robert Deeble, Jeremy Burk and Levi Fuller at the Sunset tonight. The Shreveport, Louisiana songwriter's chameleon voice can change effortlessly from throaty Southern drawl to tremulous, child-like warble, and though it's a voice that requires a measure of getting used to, it's not quite like anyone else I've ever heard before (as you'll discover if you watch the above video of Williams performing "Crazy Mary.")
Though you may not have heard of her before, Williams has a lot of famous friends who've both performed and been influenced by her work -- when Williams was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in the early '90s, artists from Lucinda Williams to Lou Reed to Pearl Jam covered her songs for a benefit album, because like most musicians, Victoria Williams did not have health insurance at the time. That benefit album spawned the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund, a charity organization that assists struggling musicians with medical bills. Over the years, Williams has collaborated with artists from Vic Chesnutt (with whom she toured last year before he passed) to Giant Sand. Her upcoming album was produced by Isobel Campbell (better known as Belle of Belle and Sebastian) with help from Calexico; no word on when that's coming out, but I predict we'll get news on that front tonight.