William DuVall Goes It Alone
William “Kip” DuVall has a long history within Atlanta’s music landscape and far beyond. Most of us oldsters likely first bore witness to his talents at the Metroplex or 688 on one of the many nights his hardcore band Neon Christ (with DuVall on guitar) blasted cracks in the walls. Speaking of blasting, he next joined Santa Cruz, California band Bl’ast for a brief time on second guitar; interestingly enough, his first official appearance on a Bl’ast release came in 2013 when Southern Lord released a remixed/remastered version of their second album, retitled Blood! DuVall formed a group called Final Offering with members of Corrosion of Conformity and DDT in the late ’80s, and had a psych-rock-jazz trio called No Walls in the early ’90s. The second half of the ’90s found him in Atlanta-based glam rock outfit Madfly and their subsequent incarnation, Comes With the Fall, which continued on well into the aughts. And his most high-profile job was still to come: fronting reconstituted Seattle rock band Alice in Chains, which he joined in 2006 in place of their deceased original singer Layne Staley. There was also a project in 2016 called Giraffe Tongue Orchestra that involved Brent Hinds.
But one thing DuVall hadn’t done is issue anything under his own name. That changed on Oct. 4 when DuVall’s first solo album, One Alone, was released. And it’s a true stripped-down, acoustic, one man/one voice/one guitar affair – 11 intimate, personal songs that showcase his writing in a way that hasn’t really been on display to such stirring effect since Dionne Farris’ 1995 hit “I Know” (yeah, DuVall co-wrote that, too). His playing is crisp and unpolluted, and his voice often bears resemblance to Jeff Buckley, albeit rougher around the edges. Check out his video for opening track “’Til the Light Guides Me Home,” which finds him strolling through many familiar Atlanta locations.