Keller Williams has been called guitars mad-scientist, a one-man-band for the new millennium and dozens of other clever sobriquets dreamed up by fans and music journalists trying to get a handle on his uplifting and ever-shifting style of music. Williams is considered by some but not by himself, to be a master of the acoustic guitar, known for his ability to solo over layers of spontaneously created loops. He is a generous performer who plays down to earth acoustic music that defies any effort to find a convenient pigeonhole. If pressed for a definition, Williams, as adept with language as he is with a guitar pick, calls it solo, acoustic jazzfunk reggae technograss – or simply – solo acoustic dance music.
On stage, Williams exudes a restless yet mellow energy. Barefoot he dances in place, alternately spinning out long solo lines and bouncing chord clusters that draw listeners and dancers into his own private world of rhythm and melody. The songs flow like rivers, full of flickering, kaleidoscopic images revealing new shapes, colors and meanings with every listen. On the stage behind him is a forest of stringed instruments as well as a keyboard and various drums and percussion toys. Williams jumps between instruments seeking out the perfect sound, the perfect note, the perfect beat that will transport him and his audience.
Much has been made of Williams impressive array of stage gear. Hes willing to go on at length about each instrument and the complexities of creating loops and samples in real time, with nothing being pre-recorded. But isnt into technology for its own sake. Williams explains, My style evolved organically out of hours and hours of being on stage with one guitar and one mic. I wanted to create more of a dance vibe and make it more interesting for myself, and hopefully more interesting for the audience, too.
708 South Goodwin Avenue
Urbana, United States