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Friday, October 9, 2009

Meet the Artist: Keller Williams

Posted By on Fri, Oct 9, 2009 at 9:00 AM


Singer-songwriter Keller Williams says he decided to name new album Odd because the songs really are, well, really odd.

“Once I had the record before me and all the songs in the order in which they would be released, it was odd in the sense that there was a Duncan Sheik-meets-Allman Brothers-like opener that goes into a folk song, and the next song is a dance song and the next song is a bluegrass song and the next song is a jazz song,” says Williams, from his Virginia studio, where he's in the middle of taping episode 134 of Keller’s Cellar, his weekly syndicated radio show.

“Listening to the album -- stylistically it was odd," he continues. "And once you get into the lyrical content, it’s slighter odder than my past records, so it seemed like the correct one syllable title.”

Williams sang in choirs when he was young, but he eventually became a singer-songwriter, playing his first show when he was 16. Over time, he's perfected a one-man band approach that involves tape loops and drum machines. He's toured with bands in the past, but Williams likes the freedom of playing solo. He says it allows him to dive into his deep catalog, which now stretches back more a decade.

“As a solo artist, I can go for days without repeating a song,” he says. “That’s the school I come from: the Grateful Dead and Phish. People, myself included, would go and see multiple shows of theirs in a row and it was taboo to play the same song two nights in a row. That’s where I come from.”

Williams performs at 8 p.m. on Sunday at the Kent Stage (175 E. Main St., 330.677.5005, Tickets: $20. —Jeff Niesel

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