If you?ve never seen a Keller Williams live show, it?s something to behold. Like a manic one-man band, Williams uses looping technology to explore the extreme possibilities of just what a man and his guitar can accomplish sonically.
The downside to this is that often times his studio sessions fail to live up to his live shows, with the exception of his collaborations with The Keels and String Cheese Incident. However, much like several of his jam band contemporaries moe., Disco Biscuits, Umphrey?s McGee, and String Cheese Incident a studio album is nothing more than the promise of what will be featured during a live show for these band?s faithful followers.
There was some trepidation then, upon getting a copy of Williams?s latest album ?Dream.? A 16 track stew of reggae, bluegrass and jazz songs laced with an impressive roster of guest musicians ranging from Michael Franti, Bela Fleck, Jon Scofield, Bob Weir, Charlie Hunter, and The String Cheese Incident. If you?ve heard of any of those musicians then ?Dream? is right up your ally. Even if you?ve never heard of the special guests, this is an easy album to become lost in.
From the surprising opening mall-punk track ?Play This? to the closing track ?Bendix/Hippie Dance,? featuring Keller?s 17-month old daughter on vocals, the majority of songs offer a surprisingly good example of why Keller Williams has developed a huge following.
The standout tracks are the reggae influenced ?Ninja of Love,? featuring Michael Franti on vocals, and the two bluegrass numbers ?People Watching,? with Bela Fleck on banjo, and ?Sing for my Dinner,? with the boys of String Cheese Incident.
The latter song is so much fun it?s almost impossible to listen to and not want to hike your jeans up, hoe-down and follow that up with a rousing game of horseshoes. What could have easily turned into an embarrassing duets type project has become a record of fantastic songs, humorous lyrics and what Keller Williams could consider a dream come true.
Keller Williams will begin a cross-country tour in his classic solo fashion later this month. He swings into
Below you’ll find a taste of his looping, free flowing live show courtesy of YouTube: