Sunday, January 28, 2007

Keller Williams: Dream

Written by Fumo Verde

Fumo here with one of the best-sounding CDs I've heard in a while. Dream-- wow, that's a big name to fill, but fill it he does. This disc contains sixteen tracks with some top musicians from every aspect of the music spectrum, folks like Bob Weir, Bela Fleck, Michael Franti, and the String Cheese Incident. With a line-up like that, I must be dreaming, but it’s not just my dream because Williams fulfills many of his by playing with all these amazing artists.

Each track has a totally different sound from the one before it, giving the CD a "cool mix" style. "Play This" is the first track and it starts off fast and hard, which Williams explains why in the liner notes. I've often wondered how an artist gets idea for songs. "Play This" was something that came about after he was asked if he could write a song that could be played on the radio. Williams listened to a certain station for a while and that's what gave him the inspiration. It kind of has that Punk-Shout-Rock-Sing quality you might find on any billboard-pushing FM station nowadays, but Williams gives it a little twist.

Switch over to "Cadillac" and you find the trio of Williams, Bob Weir, and Bob's dog, Jackson Hamlet Weir, recorded at Weir's house in California. The root of this tune has a definite blues sound with a little bluegrass feel to it. "I love to cover Dead songs, and to have Bob Weir sing one of mine is a dream come true,” Williams says on the liner notes. He also said that he wrote the song with Weir in mind. The story is about a guy going to pick up his Cadillac. "Red and white/ creamy leather/ Roof stuck down/ praying for better weather." Both men play acoustically as Jackson barks in the background for effect. I play first each time I turn the power on my player.
From here we'll jump over to "Cookies," a jam tune where Williams laid down the tracks and then sent it onto to Fareed Haque, an associate professor of guitar at Northern Illinois University. Haque is an accomplished guitarist but he also plays an instrument that is a cross between a guitar and a sitar. The sounds off this track are unbelievable and though it's time is just less than five minutes, I still consider it a damn good jam.

Williams didn't set out to make an album with all his favorite people doing what he thought they should do. He made it with them in mind, and gave them the freedom to use their talents, and if that changed the original way he first had a track, then so be it. He found out that by letting the other artists add to his dreams, they became more vibrant and colorful.

Keller Williams is a great jam artist with witty lyrics and a light-hearted tone who brings fun back into music. Dream can be described only by its name because it was a dream for him to have worked with his hall of fame, and it is a dream for those who hear it. An abundance of sound that is sure to please the ear, the mind, and the soul. As crazy as this world can get, sometimes we just need to kick back and dream, and here's the soundtrack to do that. Have fun.