Club Red, New Year’s Eve: Keller Williams Gets Funky

Club Red, New Year’s Eve: Keller Williams Gets Funky

Denise Mongan’s Beyond the Groove, with major support from the Telluride Ski Resort, is pleased to announce Keller Williams & More Than A Little for a very special New Year’s Eve musical happening. The show, dubbed Tofunkuride, takes place at Club Red at the Telluride Conference Center in Mountain Village. Tickets here or call 970-729-2279.


I’m just sayin’.

Throughout its wild and wooly history, Telluride has been a haven for misfits and miscreants, so Keller Williams fits right in, no sweat.

Keller’s eclectic tastes were cultivated way back when.

The history begins in Fredericksburg, Virginia, where Keller was born in 1969 (and lives today).

Early musical influences included country and bluegrass, then hip-hop and go-go, a funk varietal. Once he picked up a guitar, Keller’s sphere expanded to what he once described as “the post-pseudo-skateboarder punk-rock rebellious type of thing, Black Flag and Sex Pistols and Ramones, Dead Kennedys, neo ‘Rebel Without a Cause’ type stuff.” Up next, the Cure and the Cult, the Smiths, R.E.M.’s first five or six records, melodic college rock. But it was Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead who really rocked Williams’ world. Then Bela Fleck and the Flecktones.

For two decades, the ever-prolific Keller Williams has defined the term “independent artist.” And his 20 recordings tell only half the story.

Launching in the early 90’s as the original one-man-band, Keller’s ability to improvise to his determinedly quirky tunes despite the absence of an actual band quickly became the stuff of legend. Today, Keller’s reputation as an exciting, unpredictable continues to be as relevant as 20 years ago.

Keller’s grab-bag musical tastes also led him to radio. For years, he has hosted Keller’s Cellar.

And Keller Williams, a Telluride Bluegrass Festival regular, will spend New Year’s Eve in Telluride with his seven-piece funk outfit More Than A Little. The special holiday show, dubbed “Tofunkuride,” (tickets here) takes place at Club Red at the Telluride Conference Center in Mountain Village.

As a very early adopter of the technique called live phrase sampling or looping, Keller’s solo stage show is constructed around Keller singing his compositions and choice cover songs while accompanying himself on an acoustic guitar and creating samples on the fly in front of the audience.

More recently, Keller has also become known for his multi-genre musical projects involving an always-stellar backing band – such as the bluegrass-leaning Keller and The Keels, Grateful Grass, and Keller Williams with The Travelin’ McCourys – and his original funk outfit Keller Williams with More Than a Little, among others.

Keller and His Compadres performed earlier this month in Keystone, CO. The compadres included Drew Emmitt (Leftover Salmon), Chris Pandolfi and Andy Hall (The Infamous Stringdusters)and Garrett Sayers (The Motet), plus Keith Moseley and Michael Travis of The String Cheese Incident.

No matter what the configuration, Keller always reveals himself as an artist of great stylistic breadth and infinite imagination on a continuous quest for the new.

And as we suggested above, Keller Williams has never followed a prescribed path laid out by the conventional music business, rather one of his own making.

It’s a path that has served him well.

This is a show you won’t want to miss.

Resolve to be there on New Year’s Eve.

And for a preview, watch this video of Keller Williams doing his funky thing:

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