So, a pop/rock/folk band walks into a bar in Long Beach California . . .
That's the beginning of the story between Good Citizen and Jazz/Hip-Hop producer/arranger Dave Williams. Williams, a classically trained musician, is at a place in his life where artistry and magic are learning to coexist. Good Citizen, a Long Beach Pop trio, has been playing edgy folk-pop for those who are willing to take a chance. Their challenge to Mr. Williams: Take four songs and have at it.
The results are equally lush, provocative and intelligent. This offering, "Good Citizen: the dave williams sessions", puts a jazz/hop spin on songwriters clearly from the Billy Bragg school of protest with an ear in R & B. It doesn't get any more Americana than this. You'll be laughing along with "Willmore City", clapping along to "So Amazed", and melting into "Well Oiled Machine" and "I Can't Wait".
The normally spared-down Good Citizen in Mr. Williams' hands leaves their usual sun-drenched world and goes to a darker corner of the bar. Both regional and other-worldly, it's a musical rendering of just how confusing these times are. Out of it comes a song cycle that is desperate, hopeless and resolute. Despite all that, Good Citizen conveys a sense of humor in the face of adversity as stubborn as Cool Hand Luke.
By da bookman on November 20, 2006 - Music For America (musicforamerica.org)
[Good Citizen] have also tried a different formula [see "Test My Faith"] with The Dave Williams Sessions by working with the aforementioned Williams, and creating songs which go into hip-hop, jazz, and trip-hop/down tempo territory. Williams brings into the mix a funky groove reminiscent of the hip-hop/jazz unions of the early 1990's brought forth by the likes of Guru. Sadly, The Dave Williams Sessions is a 22-minute EP, it would have been nice if they had released another 22 minutes or so. If one was to hear one or the other, ["Test My Faith"/"the dave williams sessions"] and then heard the other, they would find it hard to believe they originate from the same core of three musicians. It would be nice to say that each CD compliment each other, but they don't, they are two totally different audible animals. Yet by listening to them back to back, you're able to sense talent and creativity in action, the type that should be playing in bigger venues. If they are willing to try out these styles, one can only wonder what a Good Citizen live show would be like.