Presented by Center Presents
Keller Williams’ Grateful Grass ft. The Hillbenders
The Center Theater
August 28 | 8:00 PM
Virginian, Keller Williams, released his first album in 1994, FREEK, and has since given each of his albums a single syllable title: BUZZ, SPUN, BREATHE, LOOP, LAUGH, HOME, DANCE, STAGE, GRASS, DREAM, TWELVE, LIVE, ODD, THIEF, KIDS, BASS, PICK, FUNK, VAPE, SYNC, RAW, SANS, ADD, SPEED and CELL.
For most of his career he has performed solo. His stage shows are rooted around Keller singing his compositions and choice cover songs, while accompanying himself on acoustic guitar, bass, guitar synthesizer and drum samples; a technique called live phrase sampling or “looping”. The end result often leans toward a hybrid of alternative folk and groovy electronica, a genre Keller jokingly calls “acoustic dance music” or ADM.” Keller's constant evolution has led to numerous band projects as well; Keller & The Keels, Grateful Grass, KWahtro, Keller and the Travelin’ McCourys, Grateful Gospel and More Than A Little to name a few. Keller can be found playing clubs and festivals around the U.S. with these projects throughout the year.
Kellers' Grateful Grass project is defined as loose interpretations of Grateful Dead songs done in a bluegrass style. Take his fascination with Grateful Dead songs and mix it together with my love of psychedelic improvisational bluegrass music and out burps this project.
If you like singing along to Dead songs in that song’s normal tempo but dancing double time to the music, this is definitely your jam.
Keller’s Grateful Grass delivers anything-but-traditional bluegrass versions of Grateful Dead favorites. Grateful Grass often times has a rotating lineup and so far, has included collaborations with The Keels, Keith Moseley (SCI), Jeff Austin (Yonder Mountain String Band), Michael Kang (SCI), Reed Mathis (Tea Leaf Green, Mark Benevento Trio) Bill Nershi (SCI), Allie Kral, Vince Herman (Leftover Salmon), Sam Grisman, Love Canon, The Infamous Stringdusters and the Hillbenders.
In 2008, the original Grateful Grass members (Keller, Jeff Austin and Keith Moseley) recorded a live performance at The Fillmore in Denver, CO. 100% of the proceeds from REX (Live at the Fillmore) went to benefit The Rex Foundation, the charitable non-profit started by the Grateful Dead.
In 2010 Grateful Grass took the stage at Delfest for the first live appearance since 2008. In 2013, Grateful Grass ft. Keller, Jeff Austin, Keith Moseley and Michael Kang reunited to benefit the Rex Foundation once again at The Fillmore in San Francisco for the event, Nightfall of Diamonds. Once again this performance was recorded and DOS was released in 2014. All proceeds continue to benefit the Rex Foundation.
“Different collaborations of Grateful Grass will pop up from time to time as playing this music this way is such a blast that it probably should be illegal.” — KW
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