Singer/songwriter David Williams is a Renaissance Man, not only as a musician, but also an author of non-fiction and fiction books alike, but also of children’s books. He’s a scholar of wildlife preservation, as well as an Emmy winner — as a songwriter for PBS. His new album, Tipping My Hat To Leonard, takes cues from Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits, and Randy Newman, while feeling somehow original with his influences on his sleeve.
The album’s title track, “Tipping My Hat to Leonard” is a soulful and gruff song that has a twang and confidence that’s palpable. And “Who Let That Django Jazz Into The Room” is a bouncy duet with Enion Pelta-Tiller in the vein of gypsy jazz. An obvious and memorable tribute to Django Reinhardt.
“Little Tiny Foreign Car” is on the spectrum of Randy Newman’s music with a soft sounds of handy acoustic guitar work and riffs. A playful love song that’s full of imagination and romance, as the song “Baby Lost Her Kitty” is a tongue-and-cheek and playful double entendre with hyperactive and smooth guitar work. It’s a fun and sexy romp.
“Aching For Love” is a Tom Waits’-ish commentary on romance in the Internet age and online dating. Almost cynical look at modern love, but comes off as more biting than anything else, while “Irritation Polka” is a fun and jaunty love song about love after “happily ever after” with strong imagery and trumpet work from Derek Banach.
The album then journeys with “Dead Men Feels,” as a Leonard Cohen-esque love song about the only thing that matters when you have nothing — a woman’s love — while “Guernica” takes its cues from heartbreak and loneliness after a long-term relationship goes south. And “Murder of Crows” takes a dark turn for Tipping My Hat To Leonard, as it plays on classic nursery rhymes with a black sense of humor, as “Complicated Women” takes a blues-y turn with an almost spoken word structure about women who don’t fit the “mold.”
The track “Frozen In The Ice Age” is bouncy and playful that Prehistoric imagery and compares it to modern romance and love and “Snowblind” is a good ol’ fashioned folk song that’s completely inspirational with deep lyrics and smooth melodies. “Ghost Bird” takes an Appalachian turn with banjo and foot stomps that feels strong and powerful.
“I Ain’t Gonna Love Nobody” starts off with impress guitar scales and then transitions into a stirring driving song that puts love in its place in a bitter mission statement, while Tipping My Hat To Leonard ends with the songs “Icon,” a twisted Christmas song of loneliness and redemption.
While David Williams seems to have mastered various genres, namely Americana, gypsy jazz, folk, and blues, Tipping My Hat To Leonard feels of a unit, despite it’s different styles. It’s a testament to Williams’ songwriting and delivery that makes the album very, very enjoyable.
For more info on David Williams, visit his website at RealDavidWilliamsMusic.com.