KELLER WILLIAMS: THE BEST FEELING REVISITED

Words by Shain Shapiro

Keller Williams :: 01.20.06 :: Lee's Palace :: Toronto, ON


Keller Williams
Some things never change. For me, it is a predilection towards hummus and flatbread while for many of our most prominent, successful improvisational-based bands, the constant lies in the sameness of their music over a period of time. Yet, this fact is not only true for jambands; it stretches over all styles of music, from punk to metal and from hip-hop to jazz. But let me get one thing straight before I continue - this is not necessarily a negative musical trait. Consistency and the ability to lay down the goods night-after-night is tough to accomplish. It translates into forcefulness, power, and most importantly, highly detailed, stringently disseminated music.


Keller Williams by Jake Krolick
So consistency can be, and often is, a good thing; this is definitely an unarguable tidbit of common sense. But in our progressive, musically expansive scene, staying the same over time is harmful. Nothing is worse than playing the exact same set two nights in a row, because that would soak up any-and-all conversational drips the next day on Phantasy Tour. New exploration, "Drums" into "Space," acid freak outs, and musical growth planted the seeds of the jamband scene, and going against such history is often viewed as not acceptable. Simply put, the first rule of thumb is that a jamband must jam. This is fairly easy to understand and explains why Guster and The Shins are not jambands but Bela Fleck and the Flecktones are. Labeling aside because the term "jamband" itself is ambiguous, extended instrumentation, improvisation, and inventive exploration more-or-less define our scene.

Yet, I see a hypocrisy that has seemingly gone unnoticed throughout the progression and expansion of our scene. As long as a band jams, they are given an open door policy, labeled a jamband (which may or may not be positive), and that's that. Still, what if the jam is always the same? What if the exploration is a repetitive rehashing of earlier travels? Should the nametag and complimentary gift basket be rescinded, or does it really matter? Music is music, and as Duke Ellington so eloquently uttered, the only two types that exist are good and bad. Therefore, if the music was good in 1998, regardless of the exact same set being laboriously dusted off night-after-night for seven years, it is still good now. Regardless, at this moment I am not poised to answer any questions, just to raise them for debate and discussion. All this because of Keller Williams on Saturday night in Toronto.


Keller Williams by Jake Krolick
Keller has never headlined Toronto, and his inaugural solo appearance was greeted by a sold-out crowd of about six-hundred at Lee's Palace. After an opening set from Ari Up of Nine Mile, Keller emerged strumming from backstage and proceeded to deliver two long sets of spurious, feisty folk. Mixing the odd cover with an arsenal of originals including "Tribe," "Fuel for the Road," and "Water," Keller's effulgent strum entranced the sold-out contingent as he rotated from acoustic guitar to electric, bass, drum-machine, and percussion while looping his vocals and instruments together, creatively bringing about his trademark live-band sound through the series of layering. In addition, the set capriciously wound through enough genres to outfit a music store, including bluegrass, classic blues, euro-pop electronica, folk, rock, jazz, and Latin. Furthermore, the quality of cover choices fit nicely alongside the originals, including an opening extended foray into Bowie's "Golden Years," a generic choice for the picker, and a bluegrass-infused trip to "High Time," complete with a jam into "Man Smart, Woman Smarter." The same can be said for the second set, as Keller cleverly worked through "Maggie's Farm," "Best Feeling," and "Hypnotize."


Keller Williams by Jake Krolick
It was virtuosic, damned interesting, and feverishly eclectic; but one issue berated me all evening. I have seen Keller perform the exact same set - loops, instrumentation, and tricks - half-a-dozen times before, ever since my first Keller show in 2001. On this night, I grew tired of his antics, and halfway through the second set I found myself at the back of the venue enjoying more conversation than music. Yet, I cannot blame Keller for doing his thing, because what he does is unique, interesting, and aurally entrancing. However, I remember hearing the exact same drum loop introducing "Best Feeling" the moment I fell in love with his music four years ago, and having seen it several times, the virtuosity turns to shtick, transforming previous excitement to a bore.

I think this would have been acceptable in almost any other scene, but Keller Williams is a jam artist and his set completely contradicted the general theory that tends to override our musical community. This was not an "off" night for Keller Williams, nor was it a poor night musically. However, it lacked any experimentation that had not already been pursued before. The looping has not changed, neither have the song structures or the rhythmic techniques. I could easily have witnessed the exact same set at the inaugural Bonnaroo, at last year's Jam in the Dam festival, or at the Opera House in Toronto where I first discovered his acoustic ramblings in 2001. Minus the augmented cover choices, a shiny new guitar, or a fresh album's worth of songs, too many things have not changed with Keller Williams. And in our expansive, musically exploratory scene, the gig just didn't cut it at Lee's Palace. The show was excellent on its own, but Keller Williams has been there and done that. In punk or hip-hop music, this consistent diffusion is acceptable; in our scene, I do not believe it is. Agreement or disagreement aside, I guess even when they are supposed to, some things never change.

JamBase | Toronto
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[Published on: 1/30/06]

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Comments

tomthumb86 starstarstar Mon 1/30/2006 03:33PM
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Interesting article and I think many people have felt this way. Keller is someone who I love to see, and often times when faced with the opportunity I either decide not to go because Ive got the "heard it before" feeling or i go despite that feeling and am always happy I went. His music is very organic and very casual. A keller show is like sitting in a basement with a guy who is an amazing musician backed with a killer rig to fool around with. I think any real criticism of keller is kind of silly, he should do new things, but I often find that we jam fans make a habbit of seeing something because we can, not because we are actually feeling it at a given time. If you see Keller once and then dont go again for a while I find he is just as enjoyable each and every time.

peach2 Mon 1/30/2006 08:19PM
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I think your article was a bunch of blah,blah,blah.....Your whole bit about, is it jam ,or is it not jam? Keller ROCKS! I mean jams........yeah?

torn&treyed starstarstar Mon 1/30/2006 09:19PM
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Some times it sounds similar to other times and sometimes he blows your mind, he blows your mind and anyone can make what he does seem undervalued by some psuedo intellectual B.S but keller is the man, he is the single person act I would see over anyone else, he is inspiration to us all, the fan's muscian, the guy thats been there with all of us and now he is on the stage... Keller rules

kmccabe Mon 1/30/2006 09:54PM
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I understand the authors point but who is he too label a scene or "our music"? Music is music, no ones specifically, but for everyone to enjoy. Keller does the damn thing, and if people dont feel it then simply dont go. Very biased article. This is like Bill O'reilly writing an article. If you think he is boring or repetitive dont go, and if you do dont write a biased article about your already decidely biased experience. Just my thoughts.

Badillo starstarstarstarstar Tue 1/31/2006 12:59AM
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I have seen Keller twice now, which was the last two times he has come to my town of Portland. For the first show he had his full arsenal of instruments on stage, somewhere around a dozen. It was a show similar to what I had heard of his before and I loved every minute (best Franklin's Tower ever!). The second time I saw him he had about half of his instruments with him, and one of his guitars was replaced by a piano. This show could not have been more different than the first one. He "jamed" a lot less and played many songs on the piano with minimal or no loops backing him up, playing much more like a singer/songwriter than a jam artist. I was pleasently surprised by this and thought that creativly it was a much better show. The shows I have heard of him lately on the Archive have been more like the usual Keller, which is still great, but at times can sound like the same old thing. I will be seeing him again on March 3rd even though he is playing the Roseland again, which is the worst venue in Portland (unless you enjoy being treated like a criminal from the moment you walk in the door; and I know several people who have been kicked out of this place for stupid reasons). I am hoping for something a little different than the normal Keller show, but I'll have fun either way.

nfenne starstarstar Tue 1/31/2006 07:33AM
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nfenne

At least you got to see him. I was supposed to see him this past Saturday and due to circumstances beyond my control I had to leave before he even started. I can see where the author is coming from but I still enjoy every show. I also enjoy seeing Keller with the Keels for something different. I wouldn't mind seeing Keller put together a band for a tour.

thesaxophonist starstarstar Tue 1/31/2006 08:51AM
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thesaxophonist

Well put shapiro. Keller has something special, we all know that, but it never strays from original form. Thats what is the coolest thing about the music. Yea, same set, same songs. Ok I understand. It's the beauty in the way he holds himself on stage, the way he plucks the string and how he manipulates his equiptment to make some really abstract designs. Give Keller your ear, he can do the rest.

GD_FREAKER starstarstar Tue 1/31/2006 11:09AM
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He is only one man. With how many shows he plays of course there will be some repetition. When I go to a Keller show Im there to see the one man jam. His presence on stage is what I feel....

LowHybred09 star Tue 1/31/2006 11:40AM
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Keller's brain is more musically in sync than most on the planet. "Minus the augmented cover choices, a shiny new guitar, or a fresh album's worth of songs, too many things have not changed with Keller Williams."--you contradict your own point here saying kellers set didn't change, then what are you talking about here...different covers and an album worth of new songs seems to fill an entirely new set. Once you can keep an audience grooving with just yourself and a loop machine then you can write articles like this. Until then stick to what you know, which isn't much.

Phishin4YEM starstarstar Tue 1/31/2006 12:10PM
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This is the first time I have ever posted a comment to an article. But in some ways I have to agree with this guy. When I first saw Keller in 01 @ the Canopy Club he was amazing. But as i see more and more Keller shows it seems to me he does more and more looping. Dont get me wrong I love his talent, who can play all those instruments and put them all together in a song. But what gets me off when i go see a keller show is his excellent guitar work. I would rather see an entire Keller show with him play his 6 and his 12 string the whole shows rather than watch him lloop for have the damn show. Still love the guy, just wanna see him shred the guitars for an entire show.

Lucid_Interval star Tue 1/31/2006 12:11PM
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This article is garbage.

Keller is just like any other band or musician. Some nights he taps into this energy and performs to his full potential and other nights he doesnt. Its petty to complain about the fact that he's played a few similair sets and wonder whether he's worth the word "jam". This guy has his place in the live music world and isnt going anywhere. I've been to keller shows that send me to another planet and i've sat down and chilled at keller shows and had a great time watching and listening to whatever he's doing. So many collaberations, covers, originals, rotating instruments and moods that he incorporates into his show i cant understand how you could say he's lacking experimentation.

I must say im suprised this article is on here, this is almost as bad as the one on bluegrass awhile back.

ambrosiajam Tue 1/31/2006 12:44PM
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this article makes sense... because its true.


keller is the man, but it just gets kinda old i guess...

even as an opener, hes still. . . i dunno.

but it would be cool if he started a funk band cuz keller's electronic studio album jams like 'dance' are the shit. i'd love to see keller lead a whole band, but yeah, he sure does appeal to young girls as a soloist. haha

rpmills starstarstarstar Tue 1/31/2006 02:15PM
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I can see many are like myself and don't entirely agree with this article. IMO, Keller definitely has a sound that is his. Just like GD, Phish and SCI do. These bands cross over into many genres but occasionally they may sound repitious or similar. Why? Because its their sound. (e.g. no one does a bluegrass tune quite like SCI, same with GD doing a classic Hard to Handle; its their own interpretations of the music) Putting their own "sound stamp" on the tunes so to speak. So, if you are tired of Keller's approach and interpretations don't go. But don't question whether or not he "jams" because he sure as hell has, does, and will continue to do so. Keller has done more than o.k. with his formula and there will always be plenty of fans who will show up and love it.

If having a formulaic approach to the music is what the author criticizes than he should listen to acid jazz. Try listening to incoherent musical ramblings for 45 mins and see how long that keeps your attention. You might like it; I for one get bored. But than again, thats just my OPINION.

P.S. I do like the fact that the author is honest. He didn't like it, so he wrote about it. Nothing but flowery praise for all the shows we see does no service to the fans, the music or the musicians themselves.

Michael9 starstar Tue 1/31/2006 08:59PM
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K was probably just trying to pull out his big guns in a place he hasn't been to before. Playing his most well known songs so the new folks can get up to speed. Saw Keller in PA last week and had a fantastic time.

crescentvale starstarstarstar Tue 1/31/2006 11:40PM
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crescentvale

I have been a keller fan for years, its great to see him get more attention. If you love or hate the review it helps his name spread with his music. Thanks for being apart of the rise of a counterculture in this jam scene. The liberal point of view is spreading. And with everyone we tell about it the bigger the venue gets.

nfenne Wed 2/1/2006 07:12AM
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nfenne

One thing Keller can do better than anyone else is really capture the mood of his environment. I've seen him at numerous festivals and nothings better than when he plays a rainy day set or starts playing St. Stephen when a plane with a Dead banner flys overhead. I like how his music is responsive to the setting and the crowd. Keller seems like as much of a music fan as he is a musician.

scarletbeg starstar Wed 2/1/2006 07:38AM
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scarletbeg

Shame on you, dude. Keller is amazing. I wish he would come over to my house and play "boring loops" for me.......

bongofeet Wed 2/1/2006 09:46AM
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The truth sometimes hurts. Heres an idea, a season long journey through the mid west with Keller and the Keels!

i13tony starstarstarstarstar Wed 2/1/2006 12:15PM
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i13tony

Good article. The last time I saw Keller, I found myself thinking the same thing. But, I had brought 4 friends who'd never seen him live and they really enjoyed themselves. So, that was a different element of enjoyment for me. I love Keller and I think a little bit of experimentation would be good for him. I have said it before, and I'll say it hear, one of the things I'd most like to see Keller do is get together on a project and tour with Mike Gordon. The Cactus Williams experience would rule, people! maybe add a percussion guy... Seriously guys, do it!

TRBLand starstarstar Wed 2/1/2006 01:37PM
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As a Keller fan and all-around music lover, I must agree to disagree with the thought process here. KW is probably one of my favorite acts to see live; from his goofy and entertaining stage presence to his undaunting selection of cover tunes. However, I do, at points in time, find myself becoming a bit wary and looking for a distraction during the show. I go grab a beer or hit the bathroom and return to find a new direction in the music that rejuvenates and puts a smile right back on my face.

The thing we have to remember here is that KW is only one man. He does not have the dynamics of a full band when he enters a heavy jam. The bass player in XYZ band lays down some funk. Keller lays down some funk and loops it. The drummer in XYZ band puts in a beat...Keller the same and loops it. Then the guitar and the percussion, etc. The difference here being that the band members can change their song as they feel it grow. Keller can only change the instrument he's playing at the time he's playing it. This restricts a lot of the movement within the song and therefore portrays his rifts as unchanging and monotonous at times.

I know I may be stating the obvious here, but when I hear people say "Keller sounds like he's playing the same song over and over again," I want to say "Let's see ypou pick up 8 instruments and start a successful and lucrative one-man band."

Best Feeling is a rather appropriate song for a man such as Mr. Williams to have in his repertoire.

theragman starstarstarstar Wed 2/1/2006 02:20PM
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i saw Keller 5 times last year and every time just kept getting better and better...and the first one was great!

moe2 starstarstarstar Thu 2/2/2006 06:49AM
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i think keller switches it up pretty good, i saw celebrate your youth 4 times this year, one was funky, one tribal, one was semi-electronic and the other was pretty standard, yeah, the loops were similiar but to hear the same song 4 different ways was pretty sweet.

tommyroo starstarstarstar Thu 2/2/2006 10:34AM
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Everyone seems to have lots of good points. Its gotta be terribly hard to be a one man band and stay fresh. With other bands you can take cues and directions from your mates but the loop machine does no such thing. I always look forward to a Keller show, been seeing him since 99. I sorta miss the old days when the majority of Keller's show was him playing guitar. He is an amazing guitar player and a great singer. I think he is getting carried away with all the looping. Often times thats when I take a beer or bathroom break.

phhil starstarstar Thu 2/2/2006 10:51AM
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phhil

I agree with il3tony all the way, cactus williams experience would be groovin. i also agree with the author of this article, about seeing the same set, that's why I try to limit my keller experiences to 1 or 2 a year, and every time it puts a smile on my face. he always has a great vibe and seems to have perfect pitch sensory and timing skills rock on keller!!!!

dt784 star Thu 2/2/2006 11:03AM
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Dude this article was horrible, keller is most definitely a jammer, to even suggest otherwise is rediculous. he has songs he always plays which is only a few, other than that you never know what hes gonna pull out of his hat. some loops are repetitive but he always seems to add something you've never heard. i saw him recently and its the little things that he does that makes you enjoy his diversity. if he was so boring to you stop going to see him i sure he'll do fine without your support

Greatwaves Thu 2/2/2006 06:48PM
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Greatwaves

many times i find myself wondering if i should go see keller, maybe hes become to Pop, like Trey or dave matthews, then i go and realize how amazingly talented he is. he is one man, making all that noise, he is creative, fun and gets you dancin, be it an old or new song, he was also a part of the holy BIG summer classic so he does know how to play with guests, and does so often. Keller is the man, yeah its good to see him play with others, a band, but its just as cool to seee him rip it up himself

scubajoe Thu 2/2/2006 09:51PM
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scubajoe

I agree, this article is garbage. Keller is amazing and knows how to change it up very well.

ascox starstarstarstar Fri 2/3/2006 06:08AM
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Very good article - I've been following Keller's career since the early 90's. I miss just him and his guitar. I liked all the looping the first couple of times I saw it, but it does get old. I've been hoping for years that he would start a band of his own, and he may - but Keller is not one drive something in the ground. He'll get tired of all the looping probably before a lot of the fans will.
Oh, and I hate the term "jamband". It's like alternative used to be.

pirateboards star Fri 2/3/2006 07:38AM
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First off......DO YOU KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT CREATING MUSIC?....because if you did you would realize that it is NOT an easy thing to do...furthermore have you EVER stepped onto stage ALONE and tried to recreate 3 hours of music by YOURSELF...I THINK NOT...THIS IS THE WORST ARTICLE JAMBASE HAS EVER RUN...your thoughts are not worth the time i WASTED to reading your rambling...Your mental copacity must be questioned...in case you havnt noticed KELLER is a GUITAR player FIRST OFF...and the other instruments he plays aside to add layers and rythm...HOW CAN YOU EVEN COMPLAIN....THE MAN IS UP THERE ALONE...GIVING HIS ALL...and you BITCH because he doesnt improvise a new rythm before going into BEST FEELING JAM...give me a break...i dont even know what to say to you anymore...THIS ARTICLE IS BOGUS...and the content of most of your articles lately...are BOGUS...find yourself some real musicians to write your articles...not a bunch of hippies who think they know something about music...cause your terrible ramblings over and over bashing artist for not JAMMING enough is not what this scene needs...HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF FAIR JOURNALISM...you guys are almost in the relm of SLANDER...bashing artists so those who dont know them will read them on your site and quit possibly be forever turned away from them solely because they read your bogus reviews...if we want our scene to grow then we must be supportive of independent musicians and not take a cheap shot everytime our mind is not blown away.

phish0 star Fri 2/3/2006 09:27AM
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phish0

Count how many times over the years the dead and phish and wsp have done the same sets, a few i suppose. Once you get stuck in a rut its quite comforitable to stay there. Keller williams is an amazing musician and to say that he should try to experiment a little, is a ridiculous statement. Anyway, if your on the east coast look out for the blizzard this weekend.

senorfatz starstarstarstarstar Fri 2/3/2006 02:39PM
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senorfatz

as mush as you guys bitch and moan about people giving bad show reviews, fact of the matter is this article is completely true. if you have only seen keller once or twice, you might not agree. but having seen him more than a dozen times, the man is right here. his sets are always similiar, and his stage tricks get repetitive and old. not saying i don't love the man, he is an innovator, but he does repeat a lot of stuff. don't hate the man because he has an opinion, especially if he is telling the truth. and as far as the dead and phish go, yeah they have played similiar sets, but not similiar jams!

strawjack03 star Sat 2/4/2006 10:02PM
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This article is trash. The writer contradicts themself. Yep, keller shows are totally all the same... if you discount-- as the author so conveniently put it-- different interesting covers and new songs off new albums. I may be confused, but other than OLD SONGS.... what else is there to put in a set? Come off it man, you want all improv, go to Zilla. Even if his shows weren't creative and different, which they are, do they have to be just because he's on jambase.com? Maybe you just need to drop the "jamband" label from Keller, and appreciate what he does, the way he does it. I've seen him over 15 times and never been disappointed. Then again, I've got about 20 Dead shows with unbelievably similar sets... that is, if you discount interesting new covers and new songs. Let's just never have any band play the same thing twice, that way nobody could ever see a song they love, especially people in a place he hasnt played or hasnt been in a while.

shanky95 star Mon 2/6/2006 08:45AM
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Keller Williams is the freshest and most original act that is on the scene right now. This is for the sole reason that he IS all by himself. There have been many different solo acts in the history of the scene, but no one has done what keller has with thier solitude. I also don't even consider keller a jam band, so I have no need for him to be expierimental. He is a one man show. Obviously there isn't a ton of expierimentation in his music because there arn't other performers onstage that can react to his creativity in real time. I also feel that you are completely wrong about him sounding the exact same in 2001. Keller plays new covers, and has been playing the piano a ton, which he never did before. Also, I've seen keller six times since his performence at bonnaroo and I feel that every show I saw was different. Every show had a different vibe a different crowd and a different keller. The amazing thing about keller, as readers have already said, is that he takes in from the venue and the crowd amd spits out a singular perfromance that is special to that specific place. I went to phish shows for expierimentation and extened jams. I go to keller shows because keller is the ultimate showman, the music always makes me dance, and the ladies are always beautiful. Freeker out.

Luthur starstarstarstar Mon 2/6/2006 08:47AM
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Article is right on... from the shows I've seen or heard. I think some of you all are getting in a tizzy for no reason. I like Keller. Seen him 15 or more times. Talented, entertaining, etc... But the shows don't seem to vary a whole bunch. Just a good, fun time.

My biggest beef with Keller by the way has to do with the amount of cover songs he plays. I guess I could go look at setlists but it seems as if 1/3 of a show is cover stuff.

knibbs starstarstarstar Mon 2/6/2006 10:07AM
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knibbs

Good story I couldn't help but feel the same way. I can remember the first time I was graced to see Mr. Williams simply put he blew my freekin head off. He was a virtuoso on the guitar, and that was without the looping. Seeing him with looping the first time was amazing and something totally new, but after seeing him do his thing more than a dozen times it has become a little repeditive. Don't get me wrong I have nothing but tons of respect for the man, and I only wish that I was able to do what he does up there. I still really enjoy seeing him play live, but I don't think I'd be able to do a Keller tour though.

Frizzl3Fry star Mon 2/6/2006 12:43PM
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I think that this article is grade A crap, such a week basis for your opinions because you heard the same drum loop to start best feeling more than ounce...so its not ok to play a song the same way twice?? Also just because the drum loop was the same doesn't meen he didn't "jam" the rest of the song, im sure it was different than almost every other time you heard it...but as for the drum loop, he uses it because it works, he doesn't have a drummer up there who can change the direction of things, he can only play one instrument at a time, this leaves smaller room for changing things up as he has no one to feed off of besides himself, and what ultimately comes out of the speaker is Keller, because he is the only man up there sure it may sound repititious at times but give the guy a break he has no one up there besides himself...id like to see you get up on stage in front of a pack of wild beasts and try to vastly change your rhytmic stylings every song...don't get up and bad mouth keller because of your biased opinion it sounds more like jabbering than any actual concrete ideas....weak article!!

biscuit wheels starstarstar Tue 2/7/2006 12:57PM
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biscuit wheels

"writing about music is like dancing about architecture" comes to mind. i believe the main issue with articles on jambase is either you are going down on your favorite band and you're just stoked to be writing a review and spouting how much you love your band, or, you are telling a bunch of fans things they don't want to hear. it's a lose-lose. either you're writing the same fluff story that has little legitimacy because you're too much of a fan to be a critic, or if you're honest, you get flamed. i still don't think that reviews should be written at all. this comes from someone who used to write about music professionally. it's a catch 22, you write great stories about those bands you like, and piss a bunch of people off when you say you don't like it. so why write it anyway, you can't tell people not to like something they don't like, and i'm not going to take your word for it if you blow smoke up my ass either. tough job. one comment: though i consider myself to be somewhat educated, chill out on the "grab the dictionary" words. a little too close to a literature degree imo.

TRBLand starstarstar Tue 2/7/2006 04:42PM
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Hey all...Chill! You speak of the art of creating music. That is what Keller's good at...In MY opinion. I speak of the art of journalism and critique. The article is well-written and expresses a valid opinion very objectively. If you don't like the content, great. But I think this individual has a fair way of expressing him/her self, even if I do not agree with their interpretation of Keller's whims.

coryp star Tue 2/7/2006 05:42PM
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Very weak review, but that's his opinion I guess. Yba.

kfir starstarstarstarstar Wed 2/8/2006 12:35PM
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Wow, i am in shock by all the nasty people, making some nasty comments. The author is not saying that Keller doesn't rock, in fact he believes that Keller is quite unique. The only thing is Keller plays like Keller. He does his thing, unique at first, repetitive when you see it often. I dig keller, he amuses me, the sounds the scene, the way he enjoys being up on stage. Although duuring my first few Keller shows, I stood there in awe. I was so inspired that I bought a looping pedal to add to my rig. Nevertheless, the level of awe has dropped done to pure amusement and joy.
The article was written quite well, despite the fact that there are some disagreements with the point of view. For all of you bashing the author, I do not understand why....

meghanschardt starstar Wed 2/8/2006 01:17PM
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I think Keller Williams is the most unique musician out there. He gets up in front of energetic crowds all by himself and blow our energy away with his own. He brings together a whole band, alone. He is always exciting and to say he is a bore is a complete lie. Keller shows creativity each set of each show. There is no denying Keller's musical skills and creativity.
I can understand the difference in opinion and appreciate everyone's thoughts however I disagree. I have never been disappointed with Keller and each time he blows my mind and I can not wipe the smile from my face. Keller shouldn't be put into a category such as jam anyways. He is Keller and that says it all.

kupcake3 starstar Fri 2/10/2006 08:51AM
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I think that Keller was singled out in this article. You can look at so many other jam bands and say the same thing. I know that I have seen Umphrey's have the same organization to their set. You kind of have to think about it like this.... you go to a show because you like the artist's music, stage presence, etc. you go and see that because you enjoy what the artists develop. Now i know the author isn't saying that Keller sucks, but i think his article was a little harsh, and really looks to deeply into something that just happens by chance. I'm am sure that Keller tries to vary his shows, but come on the songs that sound the same every show sound the same because everyone loves them. I know that when i hear "Best Feeling" or the other numerous Keller classics that i absolutely get down, and i am sure so do others.
One last comment...
Keller thanks for the great music, and keep on doing what your doing!!!!

jonboy1969 starstarstar Fri 2/10/2006 10:47AM
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Ever stop to think that maybe people start to view things as repetitive or stale b/c they consume too much of a particular musical commodity? I think the uber fans of Phish who had amassed 250+ shows and attended 100+ concerts over the years were often the very same ones that complained how stale things got after '95, '97, post-hiatus, or wherever they fell in that spectrum...maybe it's b/c you've seen or heard too much Keller! I fell in love w/ K-Dub's music at Allgood '01 and he's been one of my favs ever since...I think it's indisputable that his style has evolved tour-to-tour and album-to-album ever since he hit the scene...new guitars, toys, the slide dealie on the ironing board, the piano, collabos w/ Kimock & The Keels...for Pete's sake, what do you people want from the guy?!? Whenever I feel like I've temporarily maxed out on Keller, I skip a local show or put a different band in the CD player...there's too much good jam out there to to split hairs thinking "I've heard that same loop before, Keller's a beat has-been..." Keep on rockin' K-Whopper!

Kwatto starstarstarstarstar Mon 2/13/2006 05:15PM
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Kwatto

I have to credit the author for a well written article. He's writing alot more about the "scene" as a whole, than K-dub though (IMNSHO). What it comes down to is our musical society seeking change. You never know when it happens untill something new jumps up and slaps you in the face. I'm glad there is a Keller Williams in our world, our time. He's been a great inspiration to a lot of people. With time, he too will change. Personally, I always thought he would've been a great front man for SCI (no disrespect intended).
Those of us who enjoy alot of these bands, see repetition in sets, shows, songs, and even albums. Some bands/artists change for the better, and some for the worse. I believe K-dub has and will continue to evolve musically for the better. Music is one of the greatest powers in our world. What makes life worth living, is the fact that you never know what will happen tomorrow.

Touma starstarstarstar Fri 2/17/2006 01:47PM
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Very good article. It stirred up a lot of opinions so the guy is doing his job, right!? I don't think i am in any place to say if some of his points are valid b/c i've only seen Keller play 4 times in 3 years. Every show has been unique, exciting and pretty much left me in awe. Nobody does it like Keller thats for sure. I guess if i was going to half or more shows out of his tour that i too would begin to think it was repetative. I'm glad that i space my Keller expeirences out, somebody shoot me if i start talking smack about K-Dub!!

PhishyManDan starstarstarstarstar Sun 2/26/2006 09:05AM
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I think the people ripping this article are absolutely rediculous - it's an honest article, putting forth a valid, supportable opinion. Don't give an article 1 star and talk trash about it just because it's not perfectly aligned with your point of view. I thought this article was wonderfully written, in terms of style as well as content - and I'm sorry, but I'm a 19 year old college student, and if I can understand words that a former music journalist couldn't... well, I guess that's why you're a FORMER music journalist.

Either way, the author clearly appreciates and enjoys the music of Keller Williams - he is just taking a closer look at the "scene" than those that attack this article probably ever will - and to air whatever concerns, thoughts, or epiphanies a show has given you, I think, is a wonderful way to attempt to further convey the true meaning the show had (at least to you, personally, and that's a wonderful thing to share). What makes a band a jamband? What makes a band good? Can people in this community accept a musician who plays a similar show time and time again? Is there anything to be said for that consistency? And apparently there IS, and people CAN, so don't say "you suck," just say "Yes, of course!"

Good article, and great, if un-evolving (although with a one-man band, that might be too much to ask), music!

joann26 starstarstarstar Tue 2/28/2006 07:07AM
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I've loved Keller for too long. Keller tickets have been growing more expensive and I'm not going to be wasting any more money on them. This winter he played a club in my home town. They oversold the show and not only was there no room to dance(or breath!) you couldn't even hear the music in the back of the club. (not to mention the bartenders complaining that there was like 400 more tix.s that didn't sell, not that they would of had the room!!) I had to climb over people (more than normal) to buy his new C.D. I reconized the show as being very formilar and all except for The Wind Cries Mary (which I've heard him do 3 or 4 times before) he didn't play any "Good Keller". Ok hes maybe sick of playing some of the good old stuff, But lets try to remember the songs Keller used to play (and the energy he used to have) that made his fans appriciate who Keller is. But I feel like those elements have been stripped from his shows. Keller if your tired take a nap!