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Williams Loops in on Tuesday

One-man band Keller Williams will promote his new release, Loop, Tuesday at The Wool Warehouse at First Street and Roma Avenue.

Keller is a young singer/songwriter who plays a custom 10-string guitar with enough virtuosity and complexity to garner comparisons to Leo Kottke and Michael Hedges.

Williams started playing guitar at age 3. His career took off in 1996 after he met the fast-rising jam band The String Cheese Incident and began touring with the band as a warm-up act.

The dance-happy hippies on the Cheese scene connected strongly with Williams' upbeat, percussive style of playing and humorous, fanciful lyrics, and he soon found himself signed to The String Cheese Incident's own label and recording the 1999 album Breathe with the Cheese as his back-up band.

Williams is touring in support of Loop, a compilation of live tracks recorded last year around the Northwest region. The title refers to a sampling technique, which Williams learned from bass legend Victor Wooten.

By using a device called a "jam-man," he can loop pieces of music and create multiple layers of sounds with surprising complexity for a live solo act. In addition to the guitar, Williams adds electric bass lines and vocals to the mix, switching instruments without missing a beat.

His vocals are also innovative - he uses a technique he calls the "mouth flugel" to produce sounds remarkably similar to the trumpet and flugelhorn.

Due to recent troubles with the authorities, the usually under-21-friendly Wool Warehouse will be open only to the 21-and-over crowd for this event. David Gans, best known as the host of The Grateful Dead radio hour, will open the show at 7:30 p.m. and Williams takes the stage at 9 p.m.

Tickets are $10 at the door or in advance at Birdland, 3213 Central Ave. You can also charge tickets by phone with Deluxe Engraving and Screenprinting at 892-8090.

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