Ever since 1993’s “The Honesty Room,” I have been an ardent fan of singer-songwriter Dar Williams, reviewing her albums (she has nine out so far, including her 2015 release, “Emerald”) and chatting with her many times over her long career. The latest interview happened on Dec. 15, when I was trying to get as many interviews done as I could before the hectic Christmas season set in. Williams will make her Johnson Hall debut on Saturday, Jan. 28, and to that end, I called her Manhattan home to get caught up on what’s been happening in her life since our last conversation on Sept. 13, 2012.

Q. Have you ever performed at Johnson Hall in Gardiner before?

Williams: No. It’s really been revamped in the last six or seven years, I think.

Q: Will this be a solo show or will you be backed by a band?

Williams: Actually, the person accompanying me is named Trevor Gordon Hall, and he is a very accomplished instrumental musician in his own right. He opened a few shows for me and jumped in to help me on a few songs on some gigs. I asked him to be my band because he’s very versatile, so he will be with me. His latest project is called “kalimbatar.” He has a kalimba that’s hooked up to his guitar so he can not only play guitar, but he also does a lot of really interesting things musically, percussively and with the kalimba.

Q: That must be quite a unique effect because that instrument has a sound all its own.

Williams: Yeah, he’s wonderful.

Q: When does this new tour start up?

Williams: You know, we’re just going to be doing states in New England through this spring. Well, there are various states that I’m doing — some with him — so it’s not a technical tour.

Q: What’s been happening in your life since last we spoke?

Williams: Well, in 2012 I got a dream offer to teach a course at Wesleyan University, which is where I went, and it’s a course about music in social movements basically. And from my love of doing that, a friend recommended that I lead songwriting retreats, so I did that and found that I loved that just as much. So doing some Huffington Post columns and other writings, I really wanted to pursue a project about how I see community development happening in the country, all of the really good ideas people have had and all of the ways they did it. I think building community is a real theme that people have, but if you build community for building sake, it often doesn’t work. However, there are certain kinds of tricks and mechanisms that people have used that do work. I think Gardiner is potentially an example of that because putting that attention into the theater was a way to continue to wake up the town — to bring more life into its downtown.

Q: That’s an awful lot to have on your plate in addition to a recording and touring career, don’t you think?

Williams: Well, I got a great book deal … and it’s been a really, really hard and very rewarding process to write a book. I keep on shaking my head and saying, “Why did I think that writing songs was so hard? This is 250 pages!” But actually songwriting helped me keep my eye for detail and storytelling even though it’s a nonfiction book. So I’m going to be going out on a book tour in the fall, and I’m looking forward to that and doing some combinations of both.

Q: Talk about wearing a lot of hats — getting away from the loaded-plate metaphor.

Williams: Well, to me it all feels related whether it’s talking about the importance of songs, or talking about the importance of music in history, or talking about the importance of communities, and of having culture in our small towns and in our cities. So whether I’m writing a song or teaching or writing this book, it’s all about witnessing something I’ve seen happening over the last 20 years, a real renaissance of cities and towns. And these are the places that inspired me to continue making music and to be excited about touring, so in the end it felt like it was all related: the things that were inspiring songs and inspiring me and then, ultimately, inspiring this book. It’s all part of one song, as far as I’m concerned, just a bigger one with more work.

Q: Speaking of songs, what can folks expect from your Johnson Hall debut?

Williams: Well, I’m really excited that Trevor is going to be with me and I’ll be playing a few songs from “Emerald,” but it will have been out for almost two years, so I think we’ll be doing a combination of that and bringing up some of the songs from my first couple of albums. There are a few of the lesser-known songs that have been requested over the years that I’m looking forward to bringing in as well.

Q: Is there anything you’d like to pass on to the readers of this article?

Williams: I’m always excited to play in a beautiful concert hall in a small town — most of them are in New England — and I think it’s a real testament to the return we’ve had in towns. When I started in 1995, all the (streets) were emptying out because of loss of manufacturing and the rise of the malls and the big boxes, but people have come back and now we have opera houses in small towns. Every year I discover a new gem, and from what everyone’s described, that’s Johnson Hall. I send my best wishes and congratulations that it’s going so well there in Gardiner.

Lucky Clark has spent more than 45 years writing about good music and the people who make it. He can be reached at [email protected].