Quirky Virginia tunesmith Keller Williams never seems to satiate his musical quest, which is fortunate for his loyal following of fans that pack large theatres across the country to see what he’ll do next. Playing since the early 90s, Williams has evolved from a barfly crooner in his native Fredericksburg into a digitally experimental one-man jam band. He loops an arsenal of over a dozen guitars that he plays with percussive ferocity with his own mouth flugel, Djembe hand drum, or the simple beating of plastic tubes on his legs.
Quite prolific through his industry tenure, Williams has 10 albums of original material. The latest, “Grass,” which was released independently earlier this year, shows off his collaborative side, as he enlisted fellow Old Dominion bluegrass scenesters Larry and Jenny Keel to round out 10 songs that include originals like the funny road ode “Goofballs,” as well as some heavy-accented, rolling country boy takes on Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall” and a medley of Tom Petty’s “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” and “Breakdown.” Later this year Williams plans to release another album that includes help from heavy hitters like Grateful Dead troubadour Bob Weir, bassist Victor Wooten, and drummer ?uestlove of the Roots.
Keller Williams plays Smilefest on June 3 in Lake Toxaway, N.C., and at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, Va., on June 22.