Keller Williams

Home (SCI Fidelity)

ACL Fest Record Reviews

Keller Williams

Home (SCI Fidelity) The one-man band was once a hobo-esque, top-hatted cockney with a bass drum strapped to his back, a harmonica dangling from around his neck, cymbals between his knees, and some sort of wind instrument or additional horn in his hands. Virginian Keller Williams, dubbed "jam's mad scientist," has been quietly working to overturn that image for more than 10 years. Home, Williams' eighth release on the String Cheese Incident's label, is his updated version of the one-man band, marrying organic, acoustic sound with electronic fidgeting. There are no grand, sweeping statements about life, love, or politics here; Home gives Williams ample opportunity to fool around with funny sounds and strange instruments while giving the listener opportunity to shimmy without having to think about the subject matter. "Love Handles" is an adorable defense of his extra flab, while "Apparition" sings of "trying to scratch the head of [his] eardrum." Throughout the album, WIlliams showcases his acoustic-guitar virtuosity and ability to mimic brass horns; meanwhile little electronic tweaks deepen his voice as the drum loops swirl behind him, and he flouts the clinical studio feel that many jam-band recordings suffer. Home leaves you with a sense of how much fun a Keller Williams performance is -- as long as you can stand the noodling audience. (Friday, 8pm, HEB stage)

*** 

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