Keller Williams is a one-man jam band. Onstage, the Virginia-based singer-songwriter plays a series of guitars, percussion instruments, and loops. And he goes on and on, just like his jam-band brethren. "I'm definitely plugged in," he laughs. "And I have an infinite amount of freedom." (Keller is part of the Acoustic Planet Tour, featuring Béla Fleck and the Flecktones and Yonder Mountain String Band.)
On his latest album, a two-CD live opus titled Stage, Williams works a bunch of left-field cover songs ("Rapper's Delight," "Under Pressure," and "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" among them) into his often frenetic mix. "I'm constantly doing other people's music because I like it," he says. "I consider myself a music lover first, a musician second, and a songwriter third. I know it sounds kinda cheesy, but those songs choose me." Show time is 4 p.m. at Scene Pavilion, 2014 Sycamore Street. Tickets are $28, available by calling 216-241-5555. -- Michael Gallucci
Meet the Beatles, Again
Hal Bruce is aiming for the Guinness Book of World Records. And he's going to make a Fab Four stab at it this weekend at Abbey Road on the River: The Nova Scotia crooner plans to perform all 209 officially released Beatles songs in three days. Aside from a gaggle of tribute bands, an exhibit of Beatles paintings and silkscreens, and unspoolings of Magical Mystery Tour, A Concert for George, and A Hard Day's Night will memorialize the 40th anniversary of the Beatles' British invasion. "[The festival] is a touchstone in Clevelanders' lives that's comparable to the Indians winning the World Series," says organizer Gary Jacob. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It runs from noon to 11 p.m. Friday, noon to midnight Saturday, and noon to 10:30 p.m. Sunday at the Cleveland Convention Center and Mall B, 500 Lakeside Avenue. Tickets are $9 (to get inside the mall) to $29.54 (for the whole shebang); call 216-378-1980. -- John B. Burroughs
Keep on Truckin'
Despite his lineage, 24-year-old Allman Brothers Band guitarist Derek Trucks doesn't tear through solos like his fingers are on fire. In fact, the quintet he leads, the Derek Trucks Band, cribs more from fusion's studied, methodical scales than it does from southern rock's barn-burning. The group's new album, Live at Georgia Theatre, tosses Trucks's prodigious playing into a sizzling mix that includes equal doses of jazz, pop, R&B, and rock. Trucks and his band play Cain Park's Evans Amphitheater (Superior Avenue and Lee Road in Cleveland Heights) at 8 p.m. Saturday. Tickets range from $11 to $15; call 216-241-5555. -- Michael Gallucci