Sample This - Gettin' loopy with Keller Williams

report filed 6/15/00 8:39 am est - Buenos tacos from the big Green! Had the pleasure of catching Keller Williams over the weekend at Peasants. Been a big Keller fan ever since the first time I heard his awesome Spun album a couple of years ago - the guy is truly amazing! A gifted songwriter and mesmerizing performer, Keller is arguably the hardest working solo artist on the scene... an all around nice guy too.

For years, Keller pushed the musical envelope exploring the capabilities of his unique ten string guitar, in the process developing his distinctive, is-that-guy-really-making-all-that-music-by-himself style which has made him one of the fastest rising stars on the scene today.

Then Keller began tapping into technology. We're not talking about playing along to the smoke and mirrors of some cheesy, preprogrammed drum kit/synthesizer. Not even close. We talking about Keller cloning himself to create the All Keller All Stars. It works something like this - he starts with a rhythm guitar strum, and when the groove is right, he steps on a foot pedal that 'samples' or records the strum, and plays it back in a continuous, seamless -loop-. With the strum on auto pilot, Keller is free to create lead guitar solos, bass lines (he keeps an electric bass that's attached to a stand -in position to play- so he can just walk up to it, pop a few licks, sample and loop 'em, then walk away), or whatever else he wants to add.

Like what? How 'bout mouth flugals. Or Keller's uncanny skill as a human beat box. The list goes on. Bottom line - the guy is a one man tour de force. Make it a point to check out Keller live if he's within an hour or two drive - hey that rhymes!

It was good to see the HGMN crew at the show - the Peasant's connection continues to impress! They've got a good thing goin' on down there...

In other news: We've posted a couple of new CD reviews, Tonic, from Medeski Martin and Wood, as well as the Pizza Tapes, featuring Jerry Garcia, David Grisman and Tony Rice.

Also posted: Love Spat- Has recent infighting among former members of the Grateful Dead tarnished the bandís counterculture legacy of peace and love, or is everything still cool and groovy in the post-Garcia era?

OK, that's it for now. Hipbone, a fine HGMN band is playing Peasants tonight, and if all goes well, we'll have a few images from the show next week, when the adventure in music journalism continues...