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Jam Central Station 1.11.14: Keller Williams & More Than A Little - 12.28.13 -The Beachland Tavern- Cleveland, OH
Posted by Jeff Modzelewski on 01.11.2014

Keller Williams released a new live funk album titled, in typical Keller fashion, Funk a couple months ago. The album featured a new backing band for Keller, the extremely strong funk group More Than A Little. Since that release, Keller has been touring off and on with the group, opening with a solo set and closing the night out with his new backing band. His post-Christmas trip to Cleveland featured that setup, and ended up being a great party at The Beachland Ballroom. The mix of Keller's ecclectic do-it-yourself style and the band dynamic of Keller with More Than A Little made for a very fun time.

The first set featured Keller in his "traditional" setup. Acoustic guitar strapped on, effects board at his fingertips, pedals at his bare feet, and various other instruments on the stage. The set featured a mix of some of his songs from throughout his catalog and some improvised instrumental jams. It's always fun to watch Keller work and interact with the crowd, and he used many of the instrumental jams in the first set to put together some great dance music. I love seeing what he can do as a one man jam band, and it's great that he never ties himself down to any particular genre. The only song that I both recognized and remember is a solid version of "Breath," but I was too busy dancing to take notes.

The second set was what i was truly looking forward to. Keller returned with More Than A Little, and everyone in the band was suited up for the occasion. The band borrowed heavily from Funk, jamming on songs like "More Than A Little," "I Told You I Was Freaky," and "B.I.T.C.H." What I really enjoyed was when Keller brought out some of his other songs and gave them the funk treatment. "Kidney in a Cooler" and "Freaker By The Speaker" were both fun songs that I enjoyed hearing in a different setting. The song that most benefited, in my opinion, was an excellent "Hey Ho Jorge" from Keller's "Bass" album. The style was similar, but More Than A Little really owned that version. They closed the night out with a cover of The Talking Head's "Naive Melody (This Must Be The Place)," one of my songs to hear live by just about any band.

Beyond Keller's talent and infectious, unique style, the rest of More Than A Little all showed their chops. The backup singers in particular were a huge part of the show, with each singer taking leads at various points and often complementing Keller. The rest of the band laid down such an impressive groove that Keller didn't need to add his normal bells and whistles at all to make it work. It didn't feel like Keller Williams playing around with a funk band, it felt like a funk band that Keller Williams was the frontman for. I've seen Keller in many, many incarnations, and the show with More Than A Little was one of the best ones to date.

Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks to leave Allman Brothers
Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks announced that they will be leaving The Allman Brothers Band at the end of the year. They announced in a joint statement with the band that they will both be leaving to focus their work on their individual projects, primarily Gov't Mule and Tedeschi Trucks Band. I'm hoping the band makes an extensive run this summer so that I have a chance to see this legendary lineup.

Peach Music Festival announces dates
In more Allman Brothers news, the band's Peach Music Festival announced their 2014 dates. The event will be held at Montage Mountain, PA from August 14-17. The Allman Brothers will headline the event, with other artists to be announced.

Coachella announce lineup
Coachella will return to Indio California for two weekends in April, the 11-3 and the 28-20. The festival will feature the first Outkast performances in a decade, along with performances by Muse, Arcade Fire, Beck, Neutral Milk Hotel, Queens of the Stone Age, MGMT, Foster the People, Chromeo, Girl Talk, Big Gigantic, and many others.

Wakarusa announce Round 2 of lineup
The second set of names came out for Wakarusa this week. The festival added Bassnectar, The Flaming Lips, John Butler Trio, Xavier Rudd, The Revivalist, Fruition, and about a dozen other bands. They join STS9, Umphrey's McGee, Michael Franti & Spearhead, and others. The rest of the artists will be announced next week.

Jam Cruise
January 4-9, 2014
Miami, FL
Performers include: Les Claypool's Duo de Twang, Bootsy Collins, Galactic, Robert Randolph & The Family Band, Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, Keller Williams, Galactic, and many others.

One Big Holiday
January 26-30, 2014
Riviera Maya, Mexico
My Morning Jacket will be performing 4 nights at this event.

Aura Music & Arts Festival
February 14-16, 2014
Spirit of the Suwanne Music Park
Live Oak, FL
Performers include: Papadosio, Lotus, Conspirator, Zoogma, The Werks, The Revivaalists, Particle, Marco Benevento, Dopapod, and many others.

International Incident
February 19-23 2014
Hard Rock Hotel, Riviera Maya, Mexico
Performers include: Multiple shows from the String Cheese Incident, EOTO< Kyle Holingsworth Band, The Motet, and Prophet Massive.

Winter Wondergrass
February 21-23, 2014
Nottingham Park
Avon, CO
Performers include: Greensky Bluegrass featuring Sam Bush, Leftover Salmon, The Infamous Stringdusters, Elephant Revival, Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers, Fruition, and many others.

Jam in the Sand
February 28-March 4, 2014
Negril, Jamaica
Dark Star Orchestra will host the event. Other performers to be announced.

Panic en la Playa tres
March 17-21, 2014
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Widespread Panic will perform four shows during the event.

Suwannee Springfest
March 20-23, 2014
Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park
Live Oaks, FL
Performers include: Avett Brothers, Punch Brothers, Sam Bush Band, Southern Soul Assembly, Donna the Buffalo, Greensky Bluegrass, and many others

Hoopla in the Hills
March 27-30
Poston Lake Music Park
Athens, OH
Performers include: Papadosio, Keller Williams, EOTO, Larry Keel & Natural Bridge, Cosby Sweater, Rumpke Mountain Boys, and many others.

Wanee Festival
April 10-12, 2014
Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park
Live Oaks, FL

Coachella Music Festival
April 11-13 & April 18-20, 2014
Indio, CA
Performers include: Outkast, Muse, Arcade Fire, Beck, Queens of the stone Age, Girl Talk, chromeo, Foster the People, Big gigantic, MGMT, Motorhead, and many others

Tortuga Music Festival
April 12-13, 2014
Beach Park
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Performers include: Sheryl Crow, Train, Slightly Stoopid, Ziggy Marley, Brett dennen, Delta Rae, Moon Taxi, The Revivalists, and many others.

Summer Camp
May 22-25, 2014
Three Sisters Park
Chillicothe, IL
Performers include: moe., Umphrey's McGee, Trey Anastasio Band, Bassnectar, Primus, Yonder Mountain String Band, Lotus, EOTO, and many others

Dark Star Jubilee
May 23-26, 2014
Legend Valley
Thornville, OH

Nelsonville Festival
May 29-June 1, 2014
Nelsonville, OH
Performers include: The Avett Brothers

June 5-8, 2014
Mulberry Mountain
Ozark, AR
Performers include: STS9, Umphrey's McGee, Bassnectar, The Flaming Lips, John Butler Trio, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Lettuce, Dr. Dog, Papadosio, and many others.

Governors Ball
June 6-8, 2014
Randall's Island, NY

June 12-15, 2014
Manchester, TN

Telluride Bluegrass Festival
June 19-22, 2014
Telluride, CO
Performers include: Sam Bush Band, Bela Fleck & The Colorado Symphony, Brandi Carlile, Yonder Mountain String Band, The Del McCoury Band, Leftover Salmon, Greensky Bluegrass, and many others.

High Sierra
July 3-6, 2014
Quincy, CA

July 23-27, 2014
Floyd, VA
Performers include: Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite, Ms. Lauryn Hill, ray LaMontagne, Thievery Corporation, Ziggy Marley, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Buddy Guy, Robert Randolph & The Family Band, and many others

Gathering of the Vibes
July 31-August 1, 2014
Seaside Park
Bridgeport, CT

Peach Music Festival
August 14-17, 2014
Montage Mountain, PA

Lockin' Music Festival
September 4-7, 2014
Arrington, VA

Catskill Chill
September 5-7, 2014
Camp Minglewood
Hancock, NY

Thanks again for stopping by. I'll be back next week with more jam. Until then, check me out on Facebook and Twitter for up to the minute concert announcements. Until next week, Jam On!


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