Keller Williams is a musician in a class all by himself. The charismatic entertainer is coming to the Key West Theater April 5 and it’s a rare opportunity to experience the one-man musical fete. Williams is defined as an independent artist who performs with a multitude of instruments alone on stage and no two performances are alike. Influenced by bluegrass, acid rock, alternative rock, jazz and electronica, Williams uses a variety of instruments to blend sounds and create music both recognizable and new all on his own.
“I am a poser’s dream,” Keller Williams laughs. “I can make any sound with technology. It gives me more avenues to go down and layers of sound.”
Williams will be on stage with three acoustic guitars, a bass, drum machine, guitar synthesizer and various digital toys. His magic is combining noise, beats and sound, to play his original music and some covers.
A child of the ’80s, he remembers synthesizers in the basement, cassette tapes of live concerts and following the Grateful Dead. He went to more than 100 Dead shows and still has the tapes. “It wasn’t just about the music but the whole circus. I was hanging with these aged crispy deadheads who told me to appreciate the whole culture, and I am glad I listened.” He isn’t opposed to his audiences being full of young, hungry and hairy people but agreed that nowadays there is far less stink.
Heavily influenced by the jam and improvisation of the Dead, his shows are that classic “lose yourself to the music” concert but with a modern vibe.
“Expect to hear songs you recognize, some solo acoustic singing and a fine line of dance beats throughout,” said Williams, who also welcomes group singalongs. Maybe he will play his recreation of The Sugar Hill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight” – the ultimate nod to his skater childhood and creative musical skills, it’s a music lovers delight – or “Pumped Up Kicks” by the Foster People, a completely innovative version of the track. Williams was drawn to its passive aggressive message but prefers to keep politics out of his shows. Again, he would rather people lose themselves to the music at least for an hour or two.
“I am adamant about entertaining myself first, then if everyone else is, that’s cool.”
Wondering if there is any relation to Keller Williams Real Estate? Not at all, except some classic stories of signs ending up at his concerts.
April 5, 8 p.m.
The Key West Theater