Keller Williams: Dream

By Brian Heisler

Keller Williams' Dream is just that - a dream for Keller, a dream for us. Nearly three and a half years since his last studio solo release, Home, this one has been a long time coming. Many fans had wondered if this album was a reality and if the tales of a "heroes album" were actually true. Well, my friends, it has all come true. 16 tracks, all but one featuring award-ceremony level "special guests."

Many of these songs have been road tested over the past couple years but all have a unique twist on Dream. The album kicks off with the punky "Play This." What has been a loud, acoustic song in the past, is the heaviest electric piece here, full of perfectly placed distortion and lyrics that "put some fuzz on it." Keller puts a new, funky yet jazzy spin on an older song, "Celebrate Your Youth," featuring ModeReko with John D'Earth on trumpet. Sliding smoothly into "Cadillac," one would guess this track has to be monumental for this Grateful Dead fan. Keller harmonizes gracefully with Bob Weir, something he probably dreamed of back when he was making those "yearly Indiana vacations" to Deer Creek for Dead shows as he sings on "Gate Crashers Suck." "Cadillac" is fantastic with two clear channels of sound. Headphones reveal a separate guitar in each ear, complimenting each other nicely.

"People Watchin'" adds masters Bela Fleck and Victor Wooten to Keller's twang in a most entertaining match-up. As he sings, "Let me be your dog, and you can be my master," you can just imagine Keller bobbing from side to side, guitar on his chest, with his head wobbling in front of a bouncing crowd. Don't let this one be the last tune you catch before a long day at work or you'll be singing the chorus for the rest of the day. Of course, it could be worse.

Fittingly, Keller's longtime friends, the String Cheese Incident, guest on "Sing For My Dinner." A fine tune with an extended jam, it has a very different feel than Keller's solo version. With the announcement of Billy Nershi leaving SCI, this track becomes all the more memorable. "Restraint" is the only song Keller plays entirely by himself on Dream. He calls himself the "master of restraint" for refraining from "jumping [the] bones" of the recipient of the song (his wife of course). The single, "Life" is an all new bouncy song featuring a classic Peter Frampton style talk-box guitar.

It's difficult not to go into depth on every track on Dream. It's like an album of festival collaborations. In a way, Dream is like a greatest hits album, a look back on the accomplishments of a great career. When a pile of your favorite artists agree to record with you, you've definitely done something right. The one constant with Keller's music is a jovial vibe. Even when he brings in great guests, Keller stays true to his classic sound. Dream is nothing short of amazing from a favorite guitar player and innovator.

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[Published on: 2/5/07]

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Comments

claypool4life starstarstarstarstar Mon 2/5/2007 11:52AM
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Excelent review though I have not heard it yet. review really siked me up to go out and buy that album first thing tommrow. Hope WMD's do a national your maybe hit up all good with a keller williams incident?

stellarrstarr starstarstarstarstar Mon 2/5/2007 03:35PM
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stellarrstarr

Album available tomorrow ... I can't wait! Talk about a dream-team line up of musical greats!

nblider starstarstarstarstar Mon 2/5/2007 03:38PM
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I'm sooo excited for the release tomorrow!! I have been waiting to hear this album for months! From what I've heard, "dream" proves Keller has hit a whole new level!

tsjf starstarstarstarstar Mon 2/5/2007 04:45PM
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this album is amazing.

phunkle starstarstarstarstar Mon 2/5/2007 04:52PM
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phunkle

The disc has been for sale at his last couple of shows and is as good as the review suggests. Def go out & get this one!

beatleboy000 starstarstarstarstar Tue 2/6/2007 01:11PM
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Just picked up tha new album...Have only had a chance to listen to a couple tracks...VeRy cRaZY!!! have FUN listen'n...

Moonshyne starstarstarstarstar Tue 2/6/2007 02:55PM
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Nice review, yeah the albums pretty ridiculous. Just bought the album this morning, its awesome to hear KW playing with all that talent on one disk. I agree with the comment about the album being like a festival collaboration.

Moonshyne starstarstarstarstar Tue 2/6/2007 03:04PM
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go here to hear a 24 hour stream of the new album!

http://www.redmusic.com/streams/scifi/sdream.ram

scooterz Tue 2/6/2007 06:27PM
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scooterz

I bought the album today, and it's incredible, i love it, such instrumental talent, with the expected quirky and exciting lyrics. keller williams continues to satisfy...Cadillac is a favorite

jeremyatt Wed 2/7/2007 08:13PM
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jeremyatt

i hope that play this was a joke because thats the LAST thing i would expect kellar to play

landoflizards starstarstarstarstar Thu 2/8/2007 06:53PM
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landoflizards

I wanna jump your bones!~!

DogBreath starstarstarstarstar Fri 2/9/2007 07:12AM
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DogBreath

Nice review Brian..how about props for the engineering effort..Jeff Covert who also plays on this CD, of Wally Cleavers, is an engineering GOD..This had to be an engineers nightmare.

TSGP starstarstarstarstar Fri 2/9/2007 03:09PM
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Im enjoying this album to the fullest. Im not sure if its nearly as good as breathe, but, to hear all the different collaborations, its such a mind spinner with all the incredible musicianship. Love it.

Teabagger starstarstarstarstar Sat 2/10/2007 05:22PM
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Teabagger

Picked this up today. Wow! It's like Keller with a full band on every song. It's really really good. The review is a glowing positive and I don't even think that it does the disc justice. A must have.

owsleys starstarstarstarstar Mon 2/12/2007 01:25PM
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owsleys

I just picked up this album. diggin' the whole thing. Really well done.

sk8er4ever0101 starstarstarstarstar Mon 2/12/2007 06:01PM
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the 1st track is freakin awesome....the 1st time i heard it i didn't like it...but after hearing the story behind it i loved it

as for the rest, Cadillac rox and i havent heard it all but GOOD JOB KELLER, now what band hes going to join is gunna scare me....

DELYEAH starstarstarstarstar Tue 2/13/2007 03:52PM
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DELYEAH

The disc is awesome! Sing For My Dinner keeps me bobbin' and weavin'! Great album from start to finish! I noticed Keller mentioned wanting to join a band like Garage Mahal? That's the sickest thing I can imagine!

radioioJAM starstarstarstarstar Tue 4/10/2007 07:47PM
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radioioJAM

if you want to hear the new album, click here