Annual X-Mas Show with the Maldives, Grand Hallway, Widower, Devon Williams

An evening of inspired music from an up-and-coming guitarist

It was during a meditation-induced dream that the universe imparted to neo-flower child Becky Stark of Lavender Diamond who her touring guitarist would be. The name that came floating towards her from the abyss was: Devon. And indeed it would be Devon Williams who would take the stage with the peacenik for her autumn tours, executing guitar parts immaculately and providing a refreshing cynical/sarcastic balance to Stark’s charming yet unchecked optimism. An appropriately delivered one-liner or smirk here and there is Williams’ response to his front-woman’s extended banter about the importance of loving one another and the state of the world today. The man made an impression, and rightly so—he’s not just the touring guitarist for Lavender Diamond. Williams has his own solo project, one of complex yet pretty and poppy arrangements. Comparisons to Harry Nilsson and McCartney, while a bit far reaching at this stage, aren’t entirely unfounded, and with the base he’s built should be spot on with a few more releases under his belt. Then again, with all the residual positive energy that’s rubbed off on him from LD proximity, it might be a whole lot sooner than that. With the Maldives and Grand Hallway.

More on this show, from The Short List:

The Maldives and Widower on one bill might as well be Seattle's answer to a Bloodshot Records showcase. The bands differ slightly in sound: Widower channels more of Ryan Adams' range-rock, while the Maldives' mellower, twang-filled tracks would make Rhett Miller proud. Though Adams and Miller often sparred, there's no shortage of love here—the two bands are quite intertwined, as they share four of the same members. Add swooping, melodic soundscapes from Grand Hallway and Lavender Diamond guitarist Devon Williams—out on his own this time peddling pretty, well-arranged pop songs—to the bill, and you've got yourself a pile of aural gifts that you don't need to wait until [insert P.C.-proof list of holidays here] to tear into. AJA PECKNOLD

Listen to a sample of The Maldives' "Whidbey Island Blues."

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Fri., Dec. 14, 9 p.m., 2007

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