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Biography

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Birdsong At Morning (the name comes from a poem by Robert Louis Stevenson, by way of Alex Comfort) is an acoustic music ensemble featuring the warm, intimate vocals and finely honed songwriting of Alan Williams. Alan helped to craft the powerful sound of his former band, Knots and Crosses in the early 1990s before embarking on a career as a recording engineer/producer, and later as an academic, earning his PhD in ethnomusicology. In the process, he has been musically reborn as a vocalist, guitarist and songwriter reflecting the influence of musicians such as Nick Drake, Jeff Buckley, David Sylvian and Elliott Smith.

Alan is joined by his long-time sweetheart, Darleen Wilson, on guitar and vocals, and his musical partner since his late teens, Greg Porter on bass and vocals. Darleen's work as a record producer is central to the careers of a number of singer-songwriters including Bill Morrissey, Patty Larkin, Catie Curtis, and Cry, Cry, Cry. In addition to performing with Knots and Crosses, Greg was a founding member of Talking to Animals, and has played with a number of musicians including Patty Griffin, Aimee Mann, Merrie Amsterburg, and Martin Sexton.

Williams says, "When I was younger, I thought that a powerful musical performance required a lot of volume. But as I've gotten older and been exposed to a wider variety of music from around the world, I've discovered the power of intimacy. The music we create is delicate without being fragile. It's a music I could never have made in my 20s. It's not afraid to be romantic."

Birdsong At Morning grew out of a series of informal gatherings in Alan and Darleen's living room in the winter of 2006. The participants all shared one common bond – that of adults who had put music aside to pursue other career and family goals. As the rust began to fall from the fingers, and parched throats warmed into something more elastic, they discovered the joy found in the act of music making. Inspired by that joy, Alan soon came up with number of new songs, unlike those he had written in decades past. He got together with Greg and Darleen and began crafting a musical sound to fit the material. Suddenly, half finished ideas coalesced into a body of work. Over the course of the next year, they worked out arrangements, presented them to small coffeehouse audiences of friends and neighbors, and refined their approach.

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