Shortly after the tragic passing of Tom Petty, multi-instrumentalist Keller Williams shared a series of PettyGrass demos he made. Keller recently revealed he will take his bluegrass-tinged tribute to Tom Petty on the road for a series of select festival appearances later this year.
As first reported by Billboard, Keller Williams will team with the Hillbenders to bring PettyGrass to both FloydFest and Redwood Ramble festivals this July. “I’m kinda going to be the singer and the Hillbenders, I think are going to take the project to the next level,” said Williams who also informed Billboard he aims to add more PettyGrass gigs to his touring schedule.
“It’s going to be teamwork, me singing these songs and having (the Hillbenders) work the arrangements around it. So at the end of the day it’s kicking with high-quality musicians playing these amazingly well-crafted yet simple songs in a celebratory bluegrass fashion,” Keller added to Billboard. “It’s a bit of a novelty in a sense that it’s a festival act and bluegrass versions, but at the end of a day it’s a celebration of songs that are super fun to play and, from my experience, people in the audience know them and it turns into a sing-along. I like when everyone in the same room is singing the same songs. I think people are going to react positively.”
Keller revealed to Billboard that Tom Petty was a major influence on his music. “I was always a kid of the radio in the ’70s and ’80s until I got my first skateboard and headed in more punk rock style. Tom Petty’s songs were on the radio so much. Without owning any of his records I could probably sing you 10 Tom Petty songs back to front, That’s the impact he had on me growing up.” Williams confirmed to Billboard he has an all-instrumental album set for release this spring, or at least that’s the current plan.
Listen to Keller’s PettyGrass demos: