"BISCUITS AND JAM" - MAVIS STAPLES, LUCIUS, PRESERVATION HALL JAZZ BAND, and KELLER WILLIAMS' GRATEFUL GOSPEL - SUNDAY 9/12

Sun. Sep 12, 2021 12:30pm - 7:00pm MDT
All Ages
All Ages
  • Get Tickets
  • Details
Event Stats
All Ages
Event Description

Come join us for the grand finale of the Song Summit with “Biscuits and Jam”. Round out your Song Summit experience with a mouth-watering brunch of Southern classics such as homemade biscuits, country sausage gravy, cheesy grits, and traditional Johnny cakes. Enjoy your brunch while jamming out to an incredible lineup of finale artists; Keller Williams’ Grateful Gospel, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Lucius, and the legendary Mavis Staples.


Doors: 11:30 am
Show: 12:30 pm


This is an all-ages Show



  • Child prices apply to those 4-12 years old.

  • 3 and under are free (child must sit on adult’s lap if in a reserved seat).

  • 13 and over must buy a full priced ticket.

     


     


     


     


     


    **RAIN OR SHINE - ARTISTS & LINEUP SUBJECT TO CHANGE - ALL SALES FINAL**



Mavis Staples

MAVIS STAPLES RECALLS CROSSING INTO ARKANSAS AROUND 1:00 AM IN NOVEMBER 1964 WHEN WEST MEMPHIS POLICE PULLED OVER HER FAMILY'S CADILLAC, ORDERING THEM OUT OF THE CAR WITH SHOTGUNS AND DOGS. BEFORE THINGS HAD GONE BADLY WRONG, SHE HAD BEEN DRIVING FOR SOME TWO HUNDRED MILES WHEN THEY STOPPED FOR GAS, WITH POPS AND SISTER CLEOTHA ALONG FOR THE RIDE, AND HER BROTHER PERVIS ASLEEP UNDER THE FAMILY'S COATS IN THE BACK SEAT.
At the station, she asked the attendant to clean the windshield and recalls him doing it but responding with a slur when she asked for a receipt for the gas. He said if she wanted a receipt, she would have to come back to the office for it. Pops headed to the office in her place, only to be insulted with the same slur. Grabbing the slip from the attendant's hand, Pops clocked the man, who fled into his office. As he returned, Mavis saw a crowbar in his hand.
Meanwhile, Cleotha woke up Pervis in the backseat. The family managed to free Pops and escape in the car but realized they were in serious trouble. Pops told Mavis to head for the state line, but police caught up as they crossed from Tennessee to Arkansas. In the trunk, officers found a gun and a cigar box holding more than $1000 cash in receipts from the family's latest performance. 
The attendant had called in a story about them beating and robbing him, and everything in the trunk looked like evidence. Pops was put in one squad car, Cleotha in another, and Mavis was handcuffed to her brother in a third. At that time, Mavis says, "black people could just be killed." She remembers that as they were driven off into the night, "I thought they were going to lynch us."
This history is still with us. At the beginning of her eighth decade of singing truth, Mavis Staples has delivered If All I Was Was Black (ANTI- Records), ten songs about America today, where the present is filled with ghosts of the past. "Nothing has changed," Mavis said in early August, just days before the world watched neo-Nazis march with swastika flags in Charlottesville, Virginia, as a young woman was murdered. "We are still in it." 
If All I Was Was Black represents Mavis' third collaboration with songwriter and producer (and Wilco frontman) Jeff Tweedy. Their first partnership in 2010, You Are Not Alone, won a Grammy Award for Best Americana album. Their second effort together, One True Vine, was a Grammy nominee. But If All I Was Was Black marks the first time Tweedy has composed an entire album of original songs for Mavis' legendary voice and a nation she's uniquely poised to address.
In the wake of the race-baiting and rhetoric of exclusion appearing not just on the streets in 2017 but issuing from statehouses and even the White House, Mavis and Tweedy found themselves in sync and wanting to say something about the fissures dividing the country. "We're not loving one another the way we should," Mavis confided, as if sharing the secret to happiness, or something better. "Some people are saying they want to make the world great again, but we never lost our greatness. We just strayed into division."
Explaining why he decided to tackle the state of the union, Tweedy said, "I've always thought of art as a political statement in and of itself—that it was enough to be on the side of creation and not destruction. But there is something that feels complicit at this moment in time about not facing what is happening in this country head on."
Emerging from this pairing is an interracial, multi-generational collaboration. If we've fallen short of our brightest promises, this record stands to remind us what we're still capable of. The partnership itself is part of the point.
The album opens with another position statement ("This life surrounds you, guns are loaded") and runs immediately down a "long, narrow road" where any misstep can be deadly. Mavis leads listeners through call-and-response vocals in a soundscape that recalls Sly and the Family Stone's mix of joy and social criticism unfolding over a funk-edged rhythm section.
After years of working with Mavis, Tweedy tried to imagine the words that she would want to sing, and also wrote music with the sound of her band in mind. The first track, "Little Bit" swells into a cautionary anthem of all the ways in which those regarded as suspicious have to weigh their actions just to survive day to day: "A little bit too high, a little bit too low, a little bit out of line, and my baby won't make it home." The joyous groove of the title track then tackles the same issue by directly addressing those who respond to someone's race without seeing their shared humanity. "If all I was was black, don't you want to know me more than that?"
Current events appear on the record, but only obliquely. "We Go High" borrows its chorus from Michelle Obama's speech on the first night of the 2016 Democratic National Convention. "Build a Bridge" parses exactly which lives matter and how we can begin to talk about it. But across 35 minutes of music, there is not a single proper name to bind any song to a specific place or individual.
Asked why he didn't come up with narrative songs tackling specific recent moments of violence or injustice, Tweedy explained that when he first wrote "Little Bit," it had included a roll call of the dead. And there is no shortage of names from which he could have chosen: 12-year-old Tamir Rice shot on a playground. Eric Garner, who suffocated in a police chokehold on the ground. Sandra Bland, who died three days into custody after a routine traffic stop. Walter Scott, shot in the back running away from an officer in South Carolina.
Mavis' hometown of Chicago agonized over the death of Laquan McDonald, as a video emerged establishing that contrary to official reports, he had been shot sixteen times while walking away then lying on the ground. Yet one misgiving Tweedy felt about putting the names of the dead in songs for Mavis was that so many have died under unbearable circumstances, it would be impossible to include everyone. He worried he would be doing an injustice to the memory of those left out. 
Instead, the songs take a universal approach. "We didn't make the songs point to a specific person," Mavis explained. "If you follow the lyrics it's about yesterday and today."
The lyrics are still occasionally shot through with anger. "I have a mind to bury them whole, when they go low," Mavis sings on "We Go High." "There's evil in the world, and there's evil in me" opens the first verse of "Try Harder." "Oh, they lie, and they show no shame" adds a harsh undercurrent to "Who Told You That," an anthem against accepting the status quo. Unsettling musical elements wind their way through the record, too, from the abrasive guitar distortion of "Try Harder" to a descending bassline that signals danger on "Little Bit."
 
Despite all this, the mood ring on Mavis' 2017 outing is set to love, which runs through and over both fury and despair. The songs move less like a hammer and more like the tide, with Mavis countering the anger with an eye toward the work that is required to bring change. She is singing the world as it is, but also a way forward.
In the end, Mavis is sure that the answer is to lift each other up. She's not embracing the anxious hesitation of respectability politics but the possibilities of love. "It's the compassion that I feel," she said. "I want you to feel that same compassion."
Talking about writing for Mavis, Tweedy said, "The love I have for Mavis and the desire to be part of some kind of positive change are a big part of this album for me."
If All I Was Was Black contains elements of many styles that Mavis has performed in her lifetime, tying them together with the closing number declaring that she would "Do It All Over Again." Handclaps on "Peaceful Dream" recall the Staple Singers' legendary use of the same percussive technique. "Ain't No Doubt About It," a duet between Mavis and Tweedy, underlines the fluidity between the gospel, soul, rock, and country genres of the Americana roots music in which both artists have innovated and built careers.
Mavis sang with family for her first paying gig at Holy Trinity Baptist Church in 1948, moving over time from the gospel circuit to radio and eventually even to stadium shows, collecting a number one hit along the way and adding almost every musical form to her repertoire. She has performed with Bob Dylan, Booker T., Ray Charles, and The Band, among many others, and has had music written for her by everyone from Prince and Nick Cave to Neko Case.
At the age of fourteen, Mavis made a trip into the studio with the Staple Singers in September 1953 to record for United Records. Two years later, a boy who had himself just turned fourteen was found dead in the Tallahatchie River near Money, Mississippi. Emmett Till, like Mavis, was from Chicago, and they brought his body home to bury him. "I grew up with all this," Mavis says.
 
For the funeral, Emmett's mother kept the casket open, so that everyone could see the brutality of the men who murdered her son and the system that would let them get away with it. Mavis met Till's mother after his death, and notes that more than fifty years passed before the woman whose honor had been the justification for murder admitted to a historian that she fabricated her testimony about Till making advances toward her.
 
Nearly a decade after Till's funeral, the Civil Rights era hit full stride, and the Staple Singers threw in with Martin Luther King, Jr.'s vision of America, even though some churchgoers felt that God's holiest work might be done in some less political realm. Mavis and her family had built a vast audience around the country, one they visited by driving show to show in their car—the same Cadillac that was stopped leaving Memphis late in 1964. 
Arriving in handcuffs at the West Memphis police station that night, they were recognized by the police chief and the custodian. Producing the receipt showing they had paid for gas, they instantly obliterated the station attendant's false accusation of robbery. The chief and his men released the Staples family, and even made a point of coming to one of their shows soon after.
Without their celebrity, however—and without that receipt—what would have happened? If All I Was Was Black doesn't turn away from that part of America, the part in which black Americans can be shot by the side of the road. But it embraces the idea that the country can redeem itself, that we can, one by one, each rise above our worst selves.
And Mavis thinks she has an idea how to do it. "Bring us all together as a people—that's what I hope to do. You can't stop me. You can't break me. I'm too loving," she says. "These songs are going to change the world."

Lucius

Lucius is a four-piece indie pop band that got its start in Brooklyn, New York. The band relocated to Los Angeles in 2015. The group currently consists of lead vocalists and principal songwriters Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig, drummer and producer Dan Molad, and lead guitarist Peter Lalish. The band has released three studio albums to date: Wildewoman (2013), Good Grief (2016), and Nudes (2018).

Preservation Hall Jazz Band

At a moment when musical streams are crossing with unprecedented frequency, it’s crucial to remember that throughout its history, New Orleans has been the point at which sounds and cultures from around the world converge, mingle, and resurface, transformed by the Crescent City’s inimitable spirit and joie de vivre. Nowhere is that idea more vividly embodied than in the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, which has held the torch of New Orleans music aloft for more than 50 years, all the while carrying it enthusiastically forward as a reminder that the history they were founded to preserve is a vibrantly living history.
PHJB marches that tradition forward once again on So It Is, the septet’s second release featuring all-new original music. The album redefines what New Orleans music means in 2017 by tapping into a sonic continuum that stretches back to the city’s Afro-Cuban roots, through its common ancestry with the Afrobeat of Fela Kuti and the Fire Music of Pharoah Sanders and John Coltrane, and forward to cutting-edge artists with whom the PHJB have shared festival stages from Coachella to Newport, including legends like Stevie Wonder, Elvis Costello and the Grateful Dead and modern giants like My Morning Jacket, Arcade Fire and the Black Keys.
So It Is finds the classic PHJB sound invigorated by a number of fresh influences, not least among them the band’s 2015 life-changing trip to Cuba. A visit to the island, so integral to the evolution of jazz and New Orleans culture in general, had long been in the works when President Obama’s diplomatic opening suddenly allowed for a more extensive journey than had originally seemed possible.
“When the restrictions were lifted,” says bandleader/composer/bassist Ben Jaffe, “It was no longer just about going down there and playing a concert. We were able to explore a bit more, which profoundly impacted the band not just musically but personally. In Cuba, all of a sudden we were face to face with our musical counterparts. There’s been a connection between Cuba and New Orleans since day one – we’re family. A gigantic light bulb went off and we realized that New Orleans music is not just a thing by itself; it’s part of something much bigger. It was almost like having a religious epiphany.”
Producer David Sitek, a founder of art rock innovators TV on the Radio who has helmed projects by Kelis, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Santigold among others, offered both a keen modern perspective and a profound respect for the band’s storied history. Upon arriving in New Orleans to meet with the band, Sitek recalls he and Jaffe accidentally stumbling into one of the city’s famed second-line parades. “I was struck by the visceral energy of the live music all around, this spontaneous joy, everything so immediate,” he says. “I knew I had to make sure that feeling came out of the studio. It needed to be alive. It needed to sound dangerous.”
For those wary that a band with the rich history of the PHJB is tackling new material, Jaffe is quick to point out that Preservation Hall – which his parents, Allan and Sandra Jaffe, founded in 1961 – was never meant to be a museum. At its beginnings it broke racial boundaries to present the living legends of New Orleans music, living links to the origins of jazz. Today, with a band whose ages range nearly 60 years, the mission remains the same: to pass on the traditions while continually revitalizing it with new blood and fresh ideas.
“I see it as something that’s necessary for the evolution and survival of New Orleans music,” Jaffe says. “Interpreting the repertoire that’s been around for a hundred years is one thing, but the challenge is to keep that repertoire and those traditions alive while at the same time being honest about who you are as a musician, allowing all of your musical influences to be reflected in what you create.”
While that’s always been a key component of the PHJB, whether at their world-famous French Quarter home or on stages around the world, it took on a renewed urgency in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. “When something that catastrophic happens in your life,” Jaffe says, “it becomes important to understand and focus on the things that are most important.” The band began charting a new path with the release of That’s It!, their first album of original material, in 2013. So It Is continues and significantly expands on that expedition.
The music on So It Is, penned largely by Jaffe and 84 year-old saxophonist Charlie Gabriel in collaboration with the entire PHJB, stirs together that variety of influences like classic New Orleans cuisine. Longtime members Jaffe, Gabriel, Clint Maedgen and Ronell Johnson have been joined over the past18 months by Walter Harris, Branden Lewis and Kyle Roussel, and the new blood has hastened the journey into new musical territory. The album’s seven new pieces of buoyant, window-rattling funk find common ancestry with the Afro-Cuban sounds that the band heard in the streets of Havana (witness the NOLA-meets-Cuba bounce of “La Malanga”), Fela Kuti’s Nigerian funk and the entrancing melodies of Ethiopian jazz (most evident on the sinuous “Innocence”), the passion of envelope-pushing ‘60s jazz and soul pioneers, and the intense grooves of their modern Coachella counterparts – then filters them all through a Crescent City lens to emerge with something that compels the listener to move.
“When we play music, the barometer for us as a band is whether the locals are reacting,” Jaffe explains. “In New Orleans we play music for dances and parades, funerals and church. It’s important to us to make music people connect to, that people dance to, that people really feel, emotionally and physically.  That’s the tradition we grew up with, that’s what we know.”
Preservation Hall Jazz Band:
BEN JAFFE – Bass (upright), Tuba, Percussion
CHARLIE GABRIEL – Saxophone (tenor), Clarinet
CLINT MAEDGEN – Saxophone (tenor), Percussion
RONELL JOHNSON – Trombone
WALTER HARRIS – Drums, Percussion
KYLE ROUSSEL – Piano, Wurlitzer, Organ
BRANDEN LEWIS – Trumpet

Keller Williams

Keller Williams released his first album in 1994, FREEK, and has since given each of his albums a single syllable title: BUZZ, SPUN, BREATHE, LOOP, LAUGH, HOME, DANCE, STAGE, GRASS, DREAM, TWELVE, LIVE, ODD, THIEF, KIDS, BASS, PICK,  FUNK, VAPE, SYNC and RAW, , those who have followed his career will know this.  Each title serves as a concise summation of the concept guiding each project. GRASS, for example, is a bluegrass recording cut with the husband-wife duo The Keels. STAGE is a live album and DREAM is the realization of Keller’s wish to collaborate with some of his musical heroes. THIEF is a set of unexpected cover songs, KIDS offers Keller’s first children’s record, PICK presents Keller’s collaboration with royal bluegrass family The Travelin’ McCoury’s, and RAW is a solo acoustic album. Each album showcases Keller’s comprehensive and diverse musical endeavors and functions to provide another piece of the jigsaw puzzle that is Keller Williams. Keller’s collaborative and solo albums reflect his pursuit to create music that sounds like nothing else. Unbeholden to conventionalism, he seamlessly crosses genre boundaries. The end-product is astounding and novel music that encompasses rock, jazz, funk, and bluegrass, and always keeps the audience on their feet.
Since he first appeared on the scene in the early ’90s, Williams has defined the term independent artist. And his recordings tell only half the story. Keller built his reputation initially on his engaging live performances, no two of which are ever alike. For most of his career he has performed solo. His stage shows are rooted around Keller singing his compositions and choice cover songs, while accompanying himself on acoustic guitar. With the use of today’s technology, Keller creates samples on the fly in front of the audience, a technique called live phrase sampling or looping, with nothing pre-recorded, the end result often leans toward a hybrid of alternative folk and groovy electronica. A genre Keller jokingly calls “acoustic dance music” or ADM.”
That approach, Williams explains, was derived from “hours of playing solo with just a guitar and a microphone, and then wanting to go down different avenues musically. I couldn’t afford humans and didn’t want to step into the cheesy world of automated sequencers where you hit a button and the whole band starts to play, then you’ve got to solo along or sing on top of it. I wanted something more organic yet with a dance groove that I could create myself.”
Williams’ solo live shows—and his ability to improvise to his determinedly quirky tunes despite the absence of an actual band—quickly became the stuff of legend, and his audience grew exponentially when word spread about this exciting, unpredictable performer. Once he began releasing recordings, starting with 1994’s FREEK, Williams was embraced by an even wider community of music fans, particularly the jam band crowd. While his live gigs have largely been solo affairs, Williams has nearly always used his albums as a forum for collaborations with fellow musicians. An alliance with The String Cheese Incident on 1999’s BREATHE marked Williams’ first release on the band’s label SCI Fidelity Records, DREAM, Keller’s 2007 release, found him in the company of such iconic musicians as the Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir, banjo master Béla Fleck, bass great Victor Wooten, American musician/poet Michael Franti and many others.
“That album took, from start to release time,” says Williams, “about three years. The object was to get people that I admire musically to play my stuff, so when I’m old I can crank this album in my pimped-out golf cart and have something that I’m really proud of. I was going for the historical effect for my own personal listening pleasure.
“Each record,” he continues, “is a little snapshot of history. I like to think of it as a period piece for an artist. Each record is a little bit different but all of them have some kind of common thread, which is my musical ability as far as I can take it. I enjoy making records. In some people’s eyes, they’re a dying breed, but I’m very passionate about it. They document where my head is at that time in my career and where I am in my songwriting.” 
Williams’ story begins in Fredericksburg, Virginia, just south of Washington, D.C. There he was exposed to a wide variety of music at an early age, starting with country and bluegrass and working his way up through hip-hop and go-go, a brand of funk particular to that part of the country. Once he began playing guitar, Williams’ sphere expanded to what he calls “the post-pseudo-skateboarder punk-rock rebellious type of thing, Black Flag and Sex Pistols and Ramones, Dead Kennedys, things like that. That slid into the more melodic college rock, like the Cure and the Cult, the Smiths, R.E.M.’s first five or six records. 
Then came the Grateful Dead, a seminal influence on Williams’ own music. “I studied and learned their music and went to the shows,” he says, adding that the impact of Jerry Garcia on his attitude toward music remains incalculable. Another major influence was Michael Hedges, the late virtuoso acoustic guitarist. “He was really excelling in a whole different world from what I knew,” says Williams.
After relocating to Colorado, further exposure to bluegrass music and progressive acoustic artists such as Béla Fleck and the Flecktones also had a major impression on Williams. As he began to develop his own distinctive compositional and performing style, Williams incorporated all of the lessons he’d learned from the long list of artists who’d found their way into his world, then filtered their music through his own experiences until something wholly unique emerged. The list of artists whose music he has covered either in concert or on his recordings constitutes a mind-blowing spread: songs originally performed by everyone from Pink Floyd and Ozzy Osbourne to Ani DiFranco and old-school rappers the Sugar Hill Gang!
When he first started out, Williams played in regional bands but also performed as a solo artist, “me sitting on a stool playing covers, like a happy hour situation,” he says. “I’d get dinner and maybe tips. There were bands in high school and in college. But it turned out I could get the same money playing solo that I was getting with the band. Around that time I was also doing temporary jobs and I was making the same amount playing music as I was scraping mortar out of the cracks of cinder block walls for eight hours in the summertime at minimum wage. So it seemed like the obvious choice was to play music. I started to work and over the years I incorporated more technology. The looping thing started to happen and tickets were sold and people came to shows, so there wasn’t any reason to fix something that wasn’t broken.”
What Williams calls “the looping thing” is actually a big part of what has made him such a compelling live performer. “Basically, I have these machines that are essentially delay units,” he explains. “What I do is step on a button and sing or play something. Then I step on the same button in time and it repeats what I just played or sang. Once that initial loop is created, I can layer on a bass line or a drum line and then have this layer that I just created in front of an audience that I could sing over and solo over. Nothing is pre-recorded. Everything is created onstage in front of the audience.”
If it sounds complicated, it is: but the basic thrust is that the technology has allowed Williams to go out on tour week after week, year after year, and play music by himself—without limiting his sound to what we most often associate with the solo singer-songwriter: a guy strumming a guitar and singing. With his arsenal of tech toys, Williams can expand his reach onstage by, in essence, jamming with himself.
As years have gone by and Keller has continued to evolve he has created more and more unique projects and collaborations with fellow musicians. In 2007 Keller formed a band of his own, Keller Williams with Moseley, Droll and Sipe which featured Keller on rhythm guitar and vocals, Jeff Sipe on drums, Keith Moseley on bass and Gibb Droll on lead guitar. After touring throughout 2007 - 2008, they subsequently released a double live record with a companion DVD, in true Keller Williams fashion, it’s called Live.
The summer of 2010 found Keller sharing a bus with two of his biggest heroes, former Grateful Dead drummers Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart, as a member of their powerhouse assemblage the Rhythm Devils. “That was a very surreal experience,” Williams says. “We rehearsed for a few days and then we were on a bus with 12 people, two of them being the original drummers from the Grateful Dead.” On that tour, Williams was put in the enviable position of singing many songs from the Grateful Dead catalog for audiences that loved every minute of it.  Inspired by this experience and his admiration for The Grateful Dead, Keller added two Grateful Dead projects to his repertoire: Grateful Grass and Grateful Gospel.  With an ever revolving cast of Jam, Bluegrass, and Gospel musicians, Grateful Grass and Grateful Gospel have become fan favorites and festival staples. Keller’s Grateful Grass tunes can be heard on two live digital releases, REX and DOS.  Keller’s guests on these recordings include: Jeff Austin (Jeff Austin Band), Keith Moseley (String Cheese Incident), Michael Kang (String Cheese Incident), Reed Mathis (Tea Leaf Green), The Keels and many more.Following the Grateful Dead theme, keller also released KEYS, a digital only release on which Keller is at the piano singing a  collection of Dead tunes.  All three of these releases donate proceeds to the Grateful Dead’s Rex Foundation.  
Williams has also toured as part of a string trio with fellow Virginians, singer/guitarist Larry Keel and his wife, singer/bassist Jenny Keel, dubbed Keller and the Keels.  You can find them hitting key stops on the bluegrass festival circuit playing songs from their two releases GRASS AND THIEF. 
If it seems as if this is a man who never stops, that would be about right. Keller released the amusingly titled THIEF—his all-covers project with the Keels—early in 2010, and KIDS, his sixteenth album, in the fall of that same year. A father of two himself, Williams was, of course, inspired by his own offspring but, he says, some of the songs were written before his children were born. “When Not For Kids Only by Jerry Garcia and David Grisman came out, I knew that there was hope for me with kids music,” he says. “I was really attached to that record.” The songwriting for Kids, Keller says, “was not necessarily singing to the kids. A lot of it was me singing from the perspective of the kids. That was my plan, to get on their wavelength, on their level, and be one of them, so it’s kind of like one of their friends singing to them.”
In 2011, BASS found the multi-instrumentalist only playing bass guitar. BASS was also the first album to be recorded with Keller’s live reggae-funk band Kdubalicious, which in addition to Keller on bass and vocals, features Jay Starling on keyboards and Mark D on drums. On the other end of the spectrum – but just as tasty – is Keller’s 2012 release PICK. This collaboration featuring Keller Williams with The Travelin’ McCourys is a classic case of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts—although the parts are rather massive on their own, to be sure. “Performing with The Travelin’ McCourys is one of my favorite things to do in the world,” Keller explains. “This project has struck a special chord with me [pun intended]. It is very addictive.”
Indeed, Keller always enjoys working with a band. For 2013 he stepped out with a new muse, a 6-piece funk band dubbed More Than a Little. Williams drew from the Richmond, VA R&B/gospel scene including a pair of show stealing female singers. FUNK – a sexy live recording that pays deep homage to the genre’s roots, Keller style – hit the streets in November 2013 and More than a Little made its way around the country becoming a festival staple all their own.  
Early 2015 found Keller back in the studio working on his 20th release, VAPE.  While mainly a solo endeavor, it does feature a few special guests such as Sampson Grisman, John Kadlecik and a track with the Travelin’ McCourys. In Keller’s own words “Imagine taking these songs and blowing high pressured life through them in a low pressured atmosphere. Out comes highly concentrated music that can be heated up and inhaled through your ears...Vape”. 
In 2016, Keller assembled yet another band, Keller Williams’ KWahtro.  KWahtro, featuring Gibb Droll, Danton Boller and Rodney Holmes,  toured the country throughout the winter and fall of 2016.  The first KWahtro album, SYNC will be released in January of 2017. According to Keller, SYNC began as acoustic dance music but with the help of Droll, Boller and Holmes and special guests Mike Dillon and The Accidentals, the album “morphed into a type of acoustic acid jazz that draws on imagery in both the lyrics and the music.”
As if one album release wasn’t enough for 2017, Keller’s first all solo acoustic album, RAW, will also be released in January of 2017. Keller started working on RAW in 2011 but got sidetracked by a number of other projects that began to take form. It was when Keller’s 2017 winter tour, Shut the Folk Up and Listen with Leo Kottke, started to take form, that he jumped back into it and completed the album. For Keller this album and tour represent his roots; all solo acoustic guitar and vocals, no looping, pedals or bands.  
Two albums at once, why not! Something different. That, we can assume, is how it will always be with Keller Williams.

Comments
Get Tickets
VisaMasterCardAmerican ExpressDiscover
Venue Details
Map of Venue Location.
Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater at Deer Valley Resort 2250 Deer Valley Drive
Park City, UT 84060