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Tuesday, November 26

Album Review: Keller Williams - FUNK (2013)

 ‘’Funk” is latest album released by Keller Williams, Dubbed as Keller With More than a little this album was Recorded live over the course of several shows two in Virginia and one in North Carolina.  “Funk”  welcomes the listener into the world of the band allowing them to feel as if they are a part of the performance, while showcasing the true talents of each musician  without studio edits and retakes giving you the pure live experience. With Keller on Vocals and Electric guitar, EJ Shaw on Bass, Gerard Johnson on keys, Toby Fairchild on Drums, and the lovely Tonya Lazenby Jackson and Sugah Davis on vocals this is a band that should not be missed. Like the name states this album is drenched with funk, while also meshing Gospel, R&B and Soul together to create this uniquely ear pleasing dance inducing album. Made up of 4 new originals and several covers ranging from “The Talking Heads” to “Rick James” this album delivers from start to finish.

The Album starts off with “I Told You I Was Funky” and original from comedy group “The Flight Of The Concords”, a perfect way to start off this album. If you are unfamiliar with the song it would be easy to mistake this for a Keller original offering fun and quirky lyrics all while dripping with funky goodness. Directly following is the first original on the album “More Than A Little”   which is probably my favorite on this album. This tune offers up a killer base line while blending in a smooth and memorizing reggae themed groove that all but forces you to dance regardless of where you are at the given moment. 

The album continues to draw you in with each song leading to two of my favorite covers off this album, both found back to back. The first being “Mary Jane” a Rick James original. This is sung beautifully by both ladies and showcases the raw power and undeniable sultriness they both bring to this group while reminding the listener that this isn’t a front man and his band but yet a group of equals all taking turns memorizing the fans with their unique talents. Grateful Dead tune “West L.A Fadeaway” is next up and is dripping with funk. The band finds a way to re-create this tune in a way that leaves you feeling as if it was originally intended to be heard that way, which is pretty amazing in itself. 
Closing out the album is “Samson’s Wine” a beautifully done mash-up of “Wine” by Danny Barnes and “Samson and Delilah” by Grateful Dead combining both effortlessly, weaving back and forth between the two  as if they were meant to be one. This is an exceptional way to end an album full of stupendous covers and bright funky originals, while reinforcing the overall musicality displayed throughout.  Keller writes in Funk's liner notes, "is more than a little soulful, more than a little funky and it's making me more than a little happy." Guaranteed, it'll make you more than a little happy too.” And he couldn’t have put it any better. This is as Soulful as it is funky and does nothing but create  happiness  as I hit replay for another listen, leaving  little doubt that they had as much fun creating this as you will have giving it a spin.
Words: Chason Heins
 ©Grateful Music LLC