Keller Williams, K-Dub, or Kdubalicious, if you’re not into the whole brevity thing is a musical flow of consciousness, a lord of loops and who’s breaking down musical barriers for over two decades. Since his studio collaboration with The String Cheese Incident in 1999 he has embarked on an unbelievable run of projects including the WMD’s, Keller and The Keels, his funk band More Than A Little, Grateful Grass, and so much more. Through it all he has continued to hone his craft as a solo performer. Late last year he released his 16th full length album Speed, a return to his work with the Keels. However, he was flying solo in Fort Collins before a packed room at Washington’s.
The unmistakable strum of Keller’s guitar emanated from the P.A. as the lights dimmed for set one. This was an early Friday night show starting promptly at 7 PM. The acoustic picking quickly gave way to a huggable “Love Handles” before he fired off a perfect “Stagger Lee.” He continued with “Moving Sidewalk” off his 2003 release Home. Keller’s catalog is extensive and when he plays alone everything is on the table, always. At any given moment he could launch off about an ill-fated tour that involved a “Kidney In A Cooler,” which is what he did. Keller informed us the following was a true story before building an amazing version of “Making It Rain” utilizing his loops as well as a midi effect on his guitar. He ended the first set with a pair of covers starting with Strumbella’s “Spirit” off the new album followed by a room shaking version of Morphine’s “Buena.”
Keller has pared down his stage setup from his sprawling living room shows. He utilizes a Roland HandSonic drum pad, a single bass, and his loop station is a series of pedals attached to a mac. It’s incredible to consider the range of sounds made with something he can pack into a couple road cases. K-Dub began set two with “The Big One” his personal ode to carpe diem involving bacon and liquor. After a spot on “Breathe” he continued with the fan favorite “She Rolls” about how a police dog found early retirement. Keller crushed a version on the Talking Heads’ “This Must Be The Place” before Ricky Martin’s “Livin’ La Vida Loca” happened. He closed with a “Scarlet Begonias” sandwich featuring Phish’s “The Wedge” as the meat. Much to the delight of the crowd he encored with Lizzo’s “Truth Hurts” before calling it a night.
Keller Williams is an entertainer first and foremost, who has no hang-ups about mixing in a little Lizzo or Ricky Marten into his setlist. His musical prowess and abilities make him one of a kind, which is how he has maintained such a loyal audience for so long. At Washington’s he showed no sign of slowing down.