You never quite know what you are going to get with Keller Williams. It might be jamming to a crowd of kids at the Life Is Good Festival, rocking with jam bands, playing bluegrass, singing about a doobie in his pocket, covering the Grateful Dead or playing with the Keels. Regardless of the environment, album or stage that he shares or solos on, one thing has been constant: stellar guitar work.
That all changes with the release of Williams’ latest album, Bass. Not a single lick of six-string guitar is on Bass’s 11 tracks. Here, Keller displays his virtuosity as a bass master and proves he is just as adept on it as the guitar. He says of the album:
In my never ending quest to do something different, I present you my first release containing no guitar. Not a single guitar was used in the making of this record. To me, that’s different. And that’s what I’m going for.
This record has no looping. This is a document of songs and the overall, open air, spacious vibe created by this trio we call Kdubalicious…
Free the bass, and your mind will follow.
Keller and Kdubalicious (Jay Starling on keys & Mark D on drums) succeeded in creating an album with an “open air” and “spacious vibe.” Fluidly and effortlessly blending reggae, funk and rock with a small dose of jazz, the album displays Keller’s signature sense of humor and style throughout. A perfect example is Super Hot, with lyrics telling of Keller’s observation that “for every super hot girl in the front row, there’s a super insecure dude standing behind her, holding on to her waist…” Quintessential Keller but played with a bass fronting the band and not a guitar.
Keller said that this album was yet another “self indulgent musical journey,” yet nothing could be further from the truth, with the LP’s nice balance of keys and percussion and no egocentric soloing. Bass is quite an enjoyable listen from the opening jazz infused The Sun & Moon’s Vagenda through the full blown reggae-fied Positive.
Bass was released yesterday on SCI Fidelity Records.