‘Tis the season for summer songwriting retreats! My regular readers know I’m a long-time attendee of SummerSongs, but well-known touring songwriters such as Steve Earle and Richard Thompson have started leading their own camps for songwriters over the past few years, and for the third year in a row one of my favorites, the talented Dar Williams, will lead her own week-long retreat, Writing a Song that Matters, in Garrison, New York. You can join her and her talented staff (including one of my favorite duos, Rick and Michele Gedney of Open Book!) on two dates this summer: July 13-17 and July 27-31.
The New Yorker calls Dar’s tunes “finely-crafted short stories,” and she has toured widely for over 20 years while also releasing eight studio albums. She has taught at the Rocky Mountain Folk Festival’s Song School and Jorma Kaukonen’s Fur Peace Ranch. But what made Williams decide to make leap to leading her own retreat for songwriters? And how does she keep her songwriting muse happy and healthy?