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Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2010

Hayward Williams

Tonight @ House of Guinness, 9 p.m.

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Though his confessional songwriting recalls Townes Van Zandt and his sparse, beguiling guitar work suggests Jeff Buckley and Chris Isaak, it’s Hayward Williams’ big, husky voice that makes the first impression. With its gritty tones, it screams Bruce Springsteen, so it’s not surprising that Williams does a mean version of “Thunder Road.” In 2007 the Milwaukee troubadour released Another Sailor’s Dream, a rustic set of Americana that won Williams a dedicated European following while establishing him as one of the city’s most promising songwriters. He followed that record early this year with Cotton Bell.