I read an essay a year ago about the late singer-songwriter Phoebe Snow on the excellent online journal Literal Latté. Though I was not a fan of the singer, Glenn Berger’s compelling inside account of the recording of her first record at A&R Studios in New York moved me, and gave me new respect for Snow. I loved the musical detail about her hit song “Poetry Man,” which was all over the pop airwaves that shaped my teenage brain. Inspired, I emailed the story to friends, and shared it on Facebook.
Will Stewart, the other William here, was the first to comment on the post, saying that Berger’s piece made him understand why Snow’s song made such an impression on him. Will’s words were exactly what I had been thinking but unable to articulate. A light flickered. And a few days later the2Williams was born.
I’ve known Will for nearly 30 years. We were colleagues at the Ann Arbor News in the late 1980s but didn’t become friends until after I left the paper for the Detroit Free Press.During much of the 1990s we played recreational basketball together, hung out at the Blind Pig and Sidetrack bars, went on road trips up North, planned our summers around the late great Frog Island Jazz and Blues Festival in Ypsilanti, wrote about the local music scenes for our newspapers, and spent hours talking about records and bands we liked. Will even influenced me to buy my first — and only — Grateful Dead cassette.
Early middle life introduced itself sometime around the turn of the century, and we lost touch as we became more focused on family and staying home. We’re still focused on those precious parts of our lives but doing a blog together seemed like a good way to reconnect and write about the Detroit-Ypsilanti-Ann Arbor music scene that we’ve loved since we were teenagers.
The2Williams project is an experimental labor of love. Each of us have separate careers that keep us busy and pay the bills. Views expressed here are our own and don’t reflect our respective employers. Neither of us will earn money from this blog. Neither of us has curated anything so ambitious and daunting. We’re working on mysteries without any clues, as a famous Ann Arborite once committed to song.
If we have a goal, other than to improve our writing and look for good stories, it’s to shed a little bit of light on a music community we love, a state we call home, and mumbo jumbo that moves us.
Funny how the night moves.