Keller Williams came through the Rocky Mountains for the weekend stopping, in Keystone, CO for two nights of “Keller and his Compadres.” The two nights would each feature a different combination of Keller Williams and his friends.
Night one, which would turn out to be the bluegrass night of the two, had Keller joined by Stringdusters Andy Falco on guitar and Andy Hall on dobro as well as Leftover Salmon’s Andy Thorn on banjo. Night two was a reunion of Keller Williams and the W.M.D.S featuring Keith Mosley, Jeff Sipe, and Gibb Droll.
We were lucky enough to catch night one of this two-night mountain get down!
While snowboarding on Keystone Mountain it was clear that something was bringing people together for the weekend. Everyone on the lifts was seen rocking Grateful Dead and other jam-band attire. It created a wonderful environment before the show had even started.
A crowd lined up outside the Warren Station Center for the Arts for the sold out concert. Bodies bundled together in hopes to forget about the 15-degree weather accompanied by chilling winds and snow blowing into our faces.
Set one had one of Keller’s well known “loop” sets which was highlighted by “I Am Elvis” a track from Pick, the KW / Travelin’ McCourys collaboration album. It was unbelievable to see so many people packed into such a small, yet eloquent, room.
Set two was when things really picked up. Opening the set with the Andy Griffin Theme song, Keller and “the Andy’s” immediately had the room moving. The set also featured covers like “Up on Cripple Creek” by The Band and Grateful Dead tunes “Crazy Fingers” and “Scarlet Begonias.”
As well as Keller Williams songs, the group also played two songs from the Infamous Stringdusters’ catalog, one of which was “Piece of Mind” off their newest album Let It Go.
The best part of the night for me was when the group busted into Keller’s track “Portapotty,” a bluegrass freight-train about a man falling in love with a beautiful, dreadlocked, hippie girl standing in line for the bathroom.
From beginning to end it was a beautiful day of hanging out with musically like-minded Coloradans, with the whipped cream of a funky bluegrass party lying on top of the small mountain town of Keystone. I hope Keller plans to bring his compadres back around the mountains next year, because I’ll be sure to make it to the entire weekend!