Written by: Geoff Tischman
It was only fitting that Keller Williams and his band Grateful Grass took the stage on 4/20 at the Capitol Theatre to play bluegrass(ish) versions of Grateful Dead classics.
The Port Chester, New York venue was only missing a plume of smoke and the ripple of bongwater to herald the arrival of Williams and his bandmates.
One of the most consummate live performers out there today, Williams knows how to work the stage and his brand of rootsy grooves and American stomp is truly inimitable. Williams is a ball of charisma, fire and joy, playing each number like his life and our lives depend on it. This performance was no exception–Williams, boyish and barefoot, like a bluegrass Huck Finn howled his way across the stage in blissful bursts of harmony and soul.
Backed by Jeff Austin, Andy Hall, Jeremy Garrett and Danton Boller, Williams and Grateful Grass played a tireless, three-hour set that was a staggering blend of the Dead catalog combined with improvisational acoustic music, hilarious ad-libbing and idiosyncratic mash-ups.
It was a blast.