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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    CD Review: ‘Live’ not so fun when recorded

    Singer, guitarist and one-man jam-band Keller Williams is known for impressive live shows laden with loop-pedals and jazzy improvisation that makes every concert unique. You’d think Williams’ musical potential would be even greater when you throw him on stage with three other professional musicians and let them jam out for two hours – and you’d be mostly right.

    Live by Keller Williams with Moseley, Droll and Sipe is a two-CD recording from a live show by Williams and his new musical dream team. The ensemble provides a rich sound that is musically stunning, jamming through groovy blues licks, toe-tappin’ jazz numbers and swingin’ ragtime beats.

    Williams’ upbeat, sometimes goofy lyrical style is present throughout the recording, pausing only for explosive, off-the-cuff instrumental solos from the jam band. Highlights of the CD are the solid instrumental “”Skitso”” and the 11-minute marathon groove of “”Same Ole.”” The band loses steam about halfway through the album when the numerous eight- and 12-minute-long tracks become tedious, improvised or otherwise.

    Live also comes with a bonus DVD of live footage, providing an additional nine songs including an incendiary cover of Hendrix’s “”Little Wing.”” Beyond the music, the footage is nothing inspiring: The camera rarely strays from Williams’ face while his band shreds through guitar licks and drum beats, and is frequently interrupted by tacky psychedelic images.

    Though the novelty of Williams’ solo improvisation is compromised, Live provides a hypnotic musical journey that only disappoints when the band fails to realize that sometimes it’s just too hard to care about a 16-minute instrumental.

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