16

MONDAY

The problem with recording a benefit album like Sweet Relief, full of hot bands covering your songs, is that when listeners hear your subsequent albums, they might wish you weren’t the one singing. That’s what has happened on Victoria Williams’ Musings of a Creekdipper. Would that Williams’ gospel tendencies were picked up again by Maria McKee or her ballads by Evan Dando; her playful songwriting is marred by whiny vocal stylings too similar to fellow Sweet-mate Vic Chesnutt, who gets my meaning when he sings “knuckles on a cheese grater.” But Williams’ musicianship has improved since those earlier childish tunes—she has filled out folky twangs with grand harmonies by Lisa Coleman and Wendy Melvoin and stacked strings and percussion. Call out for Eden Abez’s ballad “Nature Boy” and Williams’ own “Periwinkle Sky,” and tell her band, the Harmony Ridge Creekdippers, to turn it up. With Chris Stills at 7:30 p.m. at the Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. $17.50. (703) 549-7500. (Ginger Eckert)