One man and his 20-digit orchestra

Review: Keller Williams put on a show Friday, literally. His creative and diverse one-man jam band had the crowd on their feet, craving for more.

Remember that kid in elementary school who was the first one to figure out that he could make a farting noise with his armpit? He was probably the same kid who was figuring out how to make strange sounds with his mouth and imitate animal calls instead of learning his multiplication tables.

Photo: Alyssa Stone
Keller Williams, a bluegrass and folk musician from Virginia, performed at the Westcott Theater Friday night.

Keller Williams was, with almost no shadow of a doubt, that kid and he has perfected making it work to his advantage.

Although, at first appearance he seems like your regular dog and pony show of a guitarist, ultimately, the music and show he produces puts him on level of musician and showmanship that other guitarists only dream of reaching.

If you closed your eyes while Williams was on stage at the Westcott Theater Friday night, given the amount of music that  you were you hearing, you would have expected a full band (two guitars, bass, drummer, percussionist, horn section, and jaw harp player at the very least) to have been on stage.

But when you opened your eyes, there was Keller Williams, by himself, laying down and looping tracks with at least 6 different instruments and his vocals all in real time. 

The set consisted of samplings from almost every album on Williams' discography he also snuck in bluegrass, jazz fusion and acoustic inspired covers of “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley, “Birds of a Feather” by Phish, “F--- You” by Cee Lo Green and a snippet of the Andy Griffith theme song to name a few of the crowd pleasing surprises.

His sound ranged from a backwoods sitting-on-the-porch with ma and pa bluegrass to borderline crazy melt-your-face-off dubstep electronica, courtesy of his complex looping system that he operated so flawlessly with his feet.

Crowd favorites consisted of the wonderfully profane "Gate Crashers," the cosmic rendition of "Freaker by the Speaker" and the encore which consisted of Williams sitting at the piano free styling as he sang songs about the audience and the wonderful Westcott Theater staff that hauled the piano up on stage for him. 

Keller Williams and his amazing ability to create so much music with his hands, feet and artisanly selected equipment left the crowd at the intimate Westcott Theater immensely excited and riding on a high from being pumped full of melodic endorphins.

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