Keller Williams' latest offering is Live, a three-disc best-of compilation culled from a winter 2007/2008 tour with the WMDs (so called at the time). Seamlessly woven together as if it were one show, it's nothing short of a how-to on the art of leaving the noodles at home. We finally hear the first words of "Same Ole'" exactly five and a half minutes in, after bassist Keith Moseley (String Cheese Incident), guitarist Gibb Droll (Gibb Droll Band) and drummer Jeff Sipe (Aquarium Rescue Unit and Zambiland Orchestra) join Keller one by one and create the perfect bed to lie in. At each chance, they drop back in the jam and keep your attention throughout. The bulk of the recording provides much of the same, regardless of whether or not the jam comes before or after the words.
To say Moseley, Droll and Sipe complement Keller's style is an understatement. You can tell they have not played together for long, but they sound as if they were meant to. Listen for the tightness in the ever-changing (and aptly named) "Skitso" and how it seems they make Keller's tunes, like "Breathe," their own.
It is not all about Keller though. Disc One features a Moseley/Jim Lauderdale offering, "Look At Where We Are," and Droll's "Reinhardt Rag." The second disc features "Temple Balls," a Gibb Droll song I mistook for a K-Dub original (perhaps more evidence this quartet was meant to play together), as well as another Droll song and a Camper Van Beethoven number.
Disc Three is a DVD largely comprised of the feed from the "jumbotron" screens at the various venues. As a result, the visual quality leaves a little to be desired, with the psychedelic screen show washing over the at-times single camera shot more than I would like. The music, however, is another story. Comprised of nine tracks, with no repeats from the CDs, you hear a fiery "The Other One" in the middle of a "Gallivanting" sandwich. Also, you are graced with the horny sounds of Dave "the Truth" Grippo and Jen Hartswick on "Freshies." The most notable portion of the DVD has to be watching Droll play the guitar with his teeth like his very soul depended on it. Ouch.
In short, if you like Keller Williams and driving, meaningful jams, you will not be disappointed. And if you don't like Keller Williams, but still like jams, take this one on a long drive and then tell me what you think.
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