Keller Williams & The Travlin’ McCourys 4.12.12
Fort Collins, CO
Words & Photos By Summer Camp Counselor Nicholas Stock
It’s no secret that many dig what Keller Williams does. From his early loop filled days playing small clubs to his latter band based projects performing in front of massive festival crowds one thing remains true, Keller is fun. His most recent endeavor is as a front man for the Travelin’ McCourys. His acoustic chops fit in nicely with the bluegrass powerhouse. Obviously he is not trying to replace Del McCoury, no one could do that, but is simply looking to play with a full string lineup. What better string band could he possibly find other than the Travelin’ McCourys? There was no opening group, so Keller and the McCourys took the stage just before 10 PM. They started the night with an entertaining “Mullet Cut."
Keller Williams Live at Aggie Theater on April 12, 2012.
SET I: Mullet Cut, Gallivanting, The Graveyard Shift, The Hobo Song, Pepper, Road is Rocky, My Mine Never Closes, Foggy Mountain Breakdown, American Car, Corn Liquor, All In My Mind, Blame It On The Lonesome Wind, Ain’t About The Money, Sweet Mountain Soul
SET II: My Something Else, Freeker By The Speaker, Heads Will Turn, Friend Of The Devil, Loser, Evangelina, Kidney In A Cooler> Deep Elum Blues> Kidney In A Cooler, Forty Years To Life, Port-o-Potty, I’m A Man, Franklin’s Tower
ENCORE: My Grass Is Blue
The first set was a mix of the traditional and the innovative. Some great versions of classics like The Old And In The Way’s “Hobo Song” and Earl Scruggs’ “Foggy Mountain Breakdown.” However they got a little crazy on some covers like the Butthole Surfers’ “Pepper” and Mike Doughty’s “American Car.” It was certainly an interesting mix with Keller taking the vocal duties much of the time. They passed around solos nicely proving that the McCourys have truly learned from the best. Ronnie McCoury, was simply astonishing but the MVP may have been Jason Carter on fiddle. His playing cut through the whole crowd, giving a real flair and authenticity to the overall sound.
The second set seemed more freeform and centered around classic Keller. "Freeker" got everyone excited and ignited an all out dance party at the Aggie. I will say that while the show did not appear to be sold out there was definitely a good crowd in the room. We got a much-anticipated Dead interlude with “Friend Of The Devil” and “Loser.” However the real highlight of the show may have been the "Kidney In A Cooler" into "Deep Elum Blues" into "Kidney In A Cooler."
“When you go down to the Aggie just to rage, have your two thousand ready when Johnny Law walks back stage.” – Keller
Keller may have been referencing signage that clearly prohibits smoking backstage. This is interesting because in Denver, it can be considered a relative free-for-all when it comes to puffing; this is not the case in Fort Collins. In fact it is common for police to go into to green rooms and check on bands to make sure they are not breaking the law. I understand this is a college town but I’m not sure why 60 miles of highway causes such a big difference. Obviously Keller noticed it and felt the need to sing about it. "Port-o-Potty" got everyone dancing again and the set closing "Franklin’s Tower" was a nice touch. They encored with a quick "My Grass is Blue." The show was great, and it’s nice to see Keller really stretching out with his musical wings. He could easily have stuck with his classic shtick, but he wants to grow and expand his capability on stage. It is apparent that he is always evolving and looking for new ways to entertain. Check out Keller and The Travelin’ McCourys if they happen to make it to your town.
Nicholas' Photo Gallery