Artist: William DuVall
Venue: The Cutting Room (New York, NY)
Label: Independent Artist
You know his voice as being the crushing register behind the music of Alice In Chains these days but tonight singer William DuVall was going to be celebrating a different sound altogether. He recently released an acoustic solo album called “One Alone” and had locked in a string of performances at the City Winery venues across the country. With the NYC City Winery relocating at the time, this particular show would be held at The Cutting Room, a venue with a similar vibe to The Winery. Thanks to our supporting both venues with our events calendar for a number of years I found an invitation being extended to our outlet and we even held a fun contest for others to come on out and enjoy the show. I was excited to come since I had never managed to see William perform yet. Now as I mentioned this was to celebrate an acoustic album and solo show so there was only William and no band joining him on the intimate stage. There wasn’t even an opener to the set this evening, so it started at 8PM sharp.
Now before I begin let’s discuss the layout of The Cutting Room. This is pretty much a completely seated venue with a table service happening throughout the performance. A quick comparison is with how the now shuttered B.B. King Blues Club and Highline Ballroom used to do the seated shows and kept a minimum charge per set or per show. I arrived just before DuVall would hit the stage and would be sitting towards the back of the space since all of the closer tables were filled to the max. It was nice to see a healthy crowd ready to absorb the singer’s new music.
William started off with a number that was originally a Comes With The Fall song called “Waiting Out The Breakdown” and I will admit that this was a brand-new name to my mental music database. In a nutshell this was a band that DuVall had formed in 1999 and over time they became connected with Alice In Chains Jerry Cantrell which set the wheels in motion for their eventual collaboration. I love when stuff like this happens as it makes learning music history all the more fascinating. Next up would be the sole Alice In Chains number with “Never Fade” which is a song that he was actually a part of. There would be no “Greatest Hits” of AIC this evening and while some folks I spoke to found this to be disappointing I was completely pleased by this. As the show continued, William took us through his personal music history with more songs by CWTF and then a number by Madfly with “Chains Around My Heart”. This was a band that preceded CWTF and was more of a Glam Pop outfit. I had to say that it was interesting to hear all of this stuff done with a single voice and an acoustic guitar. William’s register was glorious tonight and cut through the silence of the room as all in attendance kept focused and let the music move them.
William spoke briefly at points about where his head was for some songs but overall he kept the banter to a minimum and instead let the music do the talking. He revisited some of his earliest output with “I Know” which was a song that he wrote for singer Dionne Farris and everyone seemed to like it. The show would feature two covers this evening with one by David Bowie “Lady Stardust” and another by Aerosmith with “Seasons Of Wither” and while I felt that they were an odd choice to do when promoting a new solo album, I had to say that they worked out rather well. The diehard Bowie fan in me preferred the way he did the Aerosmith number since I am rather fussy about covers of David’s stuff. Sure it sounded good but its one of my own quirks.
William mentioned a few times over the course of the night that his new album “One Alone” was available for sale this evening and this album comes care of his own DVL Recordings, so I hope that everyone was purchasing one before they left the show. He would close up the thirteen-song night with the albums first single “Til The Light Guides Me Home” and after a humble thank you left the stage and that was it. The whole show was just over an hour and I stuck around a little bit in hopes of seeing William make an appearance at the merchandise table. This didn’t seem to be the case and if I was reading the room properly, there was going to be a later evening performance by a popular area music personality. Overall this was a good time and I’d likely come out to see him again and I think that you should as well.
1. Waiting Out the Breakdown
2. Never Fade
3. Smoke and Mirrors
4. White Hot
5. Lady Stardust
6. Chains Around My Heart
7. Still Got a Hold on My Heart
8. So Cruel
9. Seasons of Wither
10. I Know
11. Keep Driving Me Away
12. No Need to Wonder
13. ‘Til the Light Guides Me Home
Official Website: http://www.williamduvall.com