February 22, 2007

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Keller Williams, Dream
Sci Fidelity Records, 2007

In 2004, ex-Grateful Dead second banana Bob Weir responded with outrage to a troll I’d concocted that was published elsewhere. His mental fit provided me a gleeful opportunity to get him even more apoplectic while simultaneously advising him, most calmly, to cease and desist making tiresome jam music. My strategy backfired because he hasn’t to date, and things have in fact gotten worse — this Keller Williams fellow (usually a one-man band) wants so badly to follow in Weir’s (or similar) footsteps that he roped the old goat into the studio for some of this junk (in general I try to give all genres equal space and report on each band’s level of talent rather than the flavor of the bile rising in my throat, but jam music, with its polite KMart amplifiers, soporific singing and repressed casual-druggie lyrics, moves me only so far as the nearest lavat’ry). But never mind that, man, look at all the people here to help out: the String Cheesers, Franti, Bela Fleck… frickin everybody (what is this, 50 Cent?). Jeez, even K-Fed could become the next Rat Dog with this Mad Mad Mad World cast. Did I personally like anything here? Sure, the punky “Play This” (the only thing sans outside “help”) wasn’t an aural Hindenburg. (Oi, Bob! If you’re out there? You never told me who sang “Mr. Jones!”) B. — Eric W. Saeger