Keller Williams layers instruments in solo Steamboat show |

Keller Williams layers instruments in solo Steamboat show

Margaret Hair

Singer-songwriter, one-man jam band and former Steamboat Springs resident Keller Williams plays today at the Steamboat Music Tent in Knoll Parking Lot. Doors open at 7 p.m. for the concert, which is part of the seventh annual Ski Jam.

— Keller Williams has been performing as a one-man, loop-fed band for more than 10 years.

He's addicted to the style, and he can't stop using it.

"It was just the want and the need for more without really being able to afford the other humans to do it," Williams said about his initial motivation to hit the stage and studio with a guitar, percussion menagerie, loop programming machine and a taste for sounds from rock 'n' roll, funk, world music and electronica.

The stage presence produced by all those elements coming together at a rapid-fire pace is mesmerizing. Throughout the course of his career, the style has given Williams an organic sound, one that satisfied his "wanting to solo over the top of something" and "wanting to create more dance vibes for the flow of the show to go on."

As one of four headlining acts for the seventh annual Ski Jam festival, Williams will take the stage Friday at the Steamboat Music Tent in the Knoll Parking Lot. Doors for the concert open at 7 p.m., and tickets are $15.

Williams expects the energy level to be high at Friday's concert, and he'll tailor his set to feature a dance music vibe, he said.

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A Steamboat Springs resident from summer 1995 to spring 1997, Williams has too many memories to list of this place — snowboarding all day and joining other locals for a last-run party on the Boulevard benches looking west across the valley, then playing shows all night at Mocha Molly's, BW3's or Dos Amigos ­— all businesses that have since closed.

Since he adopted the loop format, Williams has thrown everything at the wall, and most of it has stuck. With a style he described as "very rooted in the whole acoustic singer-songwriter type of thing," Williams has gotten into more dance-ready beats with his most recent album, "ODD."

"I think my timing has gotten better over the years. And I think I've added a little bit more of a DJ sense, where I'll create a drumbeat or a bass line or a guitar loop, and they'll be on three separate channels, and I can bring it in and out," Williams said.

Outside of Loop Land, Williams is considering setting up some solo acoustic shows, has a children's record in the works and is recording a second bluegrass album with Larry and Jenny Keel. At Ski Jam, he plans to feed off crowd adrenaline and his own excitement to be back in Steamboat to create a festival-worthy show.

Tickets for Ski Jam concerts are available in advance at Steamboat Ski & Sport, All That Jazz and Christy Sports in Central Park Plaza; by calling Stea­mboat Central Reservations at 800-922-2722; or online at and

The seventh annual Ski Jam starts Thursday with a concert featuring reggae act The Wailers and rock band Jonathan Tyler & The Northern Lights. English 1980s tribute band The Molly Ringwalds plays Saturday, and Neil Diamond tribute group Super Diamond plays Sunday.

If you go

What: An Evening with Keller Williams, part of the seventh annual Ski Jam music festival

When: Doors open at 7 p.m. Friday

Where: The Steamboat Music Tent, in the Knoll Parking Lot at Steamboat Ski Area

Cost: $15

Call: 879-6111

More information: For a full schedule of shows during Ski Jam, go here or here. To learn more about Keller Williams, go here or here.

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