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Published: 2013/03/16
by Randy Ray

Keller Williams
Keys

SCI Fidelity

Though his new album is subtitled A Collection of Grateful Dead Covers on Piano to Benefit the Rex Foundation, Keller Williams defies the constraints of the Dead framework by recognizing the value in playing the pieces only on a piano and singing in a very graceful manner. Sometimes playful and occasionally ruminative, but always engaging, the musician finds various ways to explore a song’s complex depth (“Can’t Come Down”), and he offers pathos within an old chestnut (“Terrapin Station”), sublime beauty (“Attics of My Life”), warm resonance (“Brokedown Palace”), deep empathy (“Wharf Rat”), post-weary survivalism (“Touch Of Grey”), a welcome sense of humor (“Row Jimmy”) and an extraordinary ability to just let the magical music and lyrics of the Grateful Dead move him to an inspired height (“Bird Song”).

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