One-man band Keller Williams will play at The Blue Note on Saturday.

Courtesy of Helen Anda

Keller Williams takes CoMo

Keller Williams brings “acoustic dance music” to CoMo

By Corin Cesaric | Nov. 11, 2014

Tags: Concerts Music The Blue Note


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Concertgoers and music lovers rejoice: One-man-band Keller Williams will be making a stop in Columbia on Nov. 15, and he promises to bring his “acoustic dance music” with him. Touring solo, Williams is using an electronic looper to create the sound of a full band on stage.

“Nothing is pre-recorded,” Williams says. “Every sound I make is created live on stage.”

Williams knew from a very young age that he wanted to be a performer, and his passion for music has been affected greatly by legendary psychedelic rockers The Grateful Dead.

“There’s a record by The Grateful Dead called ‘Reckoning,’ and that is a live set of them pretty much sitting on stools while playing acoustic guitars,” Williams says. “I think that’s what drew me to them.”

After attending The Dead’s show that year, he got even more hooked, not only on the music, but also on the entire atmosphere the band brought with them.

“I really got turned on by all the improvisation, and especially by the whole utopian unrealistic world that surrounded The Grateful Dead outside of the music,” Williams says.

Besides The Grateful Dead, Williams is inspired by Michael Hedges, an artist he describes as ahead of his time.

“He was a solo acoustic guitar singer, and he really opened my eyes to how one person with one instrument can command the attention of an audience,” Williams says.

The way he captivated his audience is something that influenced Williams and his music. Williams has always been attracted to the acoustic sound of music and the aura it brings.

Many of Williams’s songs are covers of other musician’s songs, but he writes his own music as well. His writing process differs from song to song, and he gets inspiration from everywhere. Some come very quickly and others take more thought and time. Then there are some that are light, like a fan favorite titled “Port-a-Potty.”

“That’s kind of based on a true story,” Williams says. “I mean it’s definitely happened many times, just going to all those shows and just seeing many, many lines at port-a-potties and people’s body language … I think that’s why people like it so much because they can totally see that character.”

It’s been a busy summer for Williams, who has been playing festivals and shows, but he says he's excited about the upcoming show in Columbia.

Williams says that concertgoers can expect covers of familiar songs and “acoustic dance music.” He says he aims for his shows to achieve the sense of community modeled like artists like The Grateful Dead.

“I want them to not think about the outside world,” Williams says. “I do not want them to think about politics, or their problems, or their bills, or their grades. I want them to come in and be absorbed into what’s happening and leave without having worry about reality.”

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