Keller Williams brings variety to Vilar Center’s Residency, virtual show
Keller Williams will play six shows this weekend at the Vilar Performing Arts Center as part of The Residency series. While the in-person shows are sold out save Friday, Jan. 29 at 4:30 p.m., the performance on Saturday, Jan. 30 at 8 p.m. is available to stream for free via FANS.live and the Vilar’s YouTube Channel.
Williams, one of the most powerful tour de forces in contemporary bluegrass, released his first album in 1994, “Freek.” Each of his subsequent albums — and he has 24 of them — also have just one-word titles, meant to capture the guiding idea behind each project. Crossing genre boundaries has become a norm for Williams and the revived bluegrass/jamband scene following in his wake: Williams’ work contains the sounds of rock, bluegrass, funk and jazz.
Live performances are a big part of Williams’ career. He’s played the Vail Valley numerous times, and believes he’s on his fourth time at the Vilar Center.
“The Vilar is very special to me because of the distinct ‘Colorado’ architecture, the beautiful wood beams and the sheer plushness of the room makes it a joy to return,” he said. “Colorado in general is just a great place for me to play, it seems to be a magnet for cool people and music lovers.”
Williams’ shows are different from others in The Residency in that he’s also offering a range of different performance experiences. On Thursday, Jan. 28, he plays two solo shows. On Friday, Jan. 29, he plays two shows as a duo with Greg Garrison of Leftover Salmon, and on Saturday, in a trio with Garrett Sayers of The Motet and Jeremy Salken of Big Gigantic. Sayers played The Residency a few weeks ago with Robert Randolph, G. Love, Michael Kang and other special guests.
“I have never done a duo with Greg Garrison, nor have done a trio with Garrett Sayers and Jeremy Salken. However, I have played with each of them in different projects and I have the utmost trust that they will learn the songs I sent them and add in their own flavor,” Williams said. “It’s just straight up exciting for me.”
Part of the excitement comes from being able to play on a stage again for people, and also that the music he’s sharing is unlike anything else, pre- or post-COVID.
“I am very grateful that the folks in charge are able to pull this off in a safe way and of course, it wouldn’t work without the people that are attending,” he said.
While the in-person shows are nearly sold out, Williams hopes that viewers watching the livestream at home are able to still get a slice of the magic.
“I’m hoping that they can forget about everything that’s going on out in the world, because it’s all going to be there after the 100 minutes that I have,” he said.
For more information about the Vilar Center, visit vilarpac.org.