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Keller Williams: Your One-Stop Shop for Good Music

I have to say it.  Keller Williams is arguably one of the coolest and most diverse artists to perform at The Granada this year.  Williams is an extremely innovative singer/songwriter from Virginia who has dabbled in pretty much every music genre.  He combines elements of bluegrass, folk, reggae, funk and electronica to create an unexpected, yet awesome, collection of unique music.

Williams has been in business since 1991.  He’s often described as a one-man jam band, as he likes to use live phrase looping with various instruments at his performances.  He released his debut album, Freek, in 1994 and has released 18 albums in the past 18 years – each album titled with one word.  He’s done solo albums, live albums and several collaborative albums with bands and artists.  You never know what to expect from a Keller Williams record.  Every album has its own personality.

Williams is involved in several musical acts, but he’ll be performing The Granada solo.  He’s known for working with renowned bands such as The String Cheese Incident, Travelin’ McCourys, Yonder Mountain String Band and Umphrey’s McGee.

Keller Williams’ music appeals to all ages.  He released his record, Kids, in 2010, which features music aimed at the under-10 crowd.  Then, he turned around in 2011 and put out his 17th album, Bass, featuring his insane bass-playing skills and his live reggae/funk band, Kdubalicious.  His latest album, Pick, is a collaboration with bluegrass band Travelin’ McCourys.

The Keller Williams show is Saturday, December 1.  Doors are at 8:30 p.m. and the music starts at 9:30.  Only $20 for advance tickets and $22 the day of the show.  Come jam out with Keller Williams and enjoy some beer from this show’s sponsor, Free State Brewery!


-Angie Soden

A Diverse Background Definitely Makes for a Diverse Artist

Up-and-coming singer/songwriter + YouTube star + Ex college football athlete + Colorado native.  I’m not very good with math, but I can tell you what this equals.  TYLER. WARD.

Tyler Ward is an up-and-coming singer/songwriter who is full of surprises.  Ward started out his music career on YouTube, covering popular music from the past few years and throwing in some pop-rock originals.  What I love about Tyler is that he makes every cover his own.  He doesn’t rely on the original artists idea of how they wanted to convey their music.  He takes that artist’s idea and fuses it with his own style, and I think that makes a true artist.  He’s covered a wide range of music, from Taylor Swift to Gotye, to Adele and Jason Aldean, and let me tell you, he surprises me every time.  His newest cover of “Red” by Taylor Swift is amazingly modified to be a slower, deeper, more emotion-filled version of Swift’s original faster-paced song.  In my opinion, his cover is better than the original.  (Sorry, Taylor!)

Ward’s been busy this past year keeping up with his covers and writing and recording his own music.  Ward released the first half of his first original album, “Hello. Love. Heartbreak.” in September.  This half features “The Way We Are,” “Dashes,” as well as 4 other originals.  The second half of his album is set to release in February.  Each half features six new, original Tyler Ward songs.  If his covers haven’t already knocked your socks off, his originals will.  The one word I’d use to describe his music is: real.  He gives listeners music they can connect with.  The album even has a few surprises including a rockin’, guitar-driven song called “Keeping Secrets.”

Now that you know some background on Tyler Ward, let’s dig a little deeper.  I had the pleasure of interviewing Tyler via email, so you guys can get a glimpse of exact responses straight from him.  Here is what he had to say: Read More..

“Badfish” – Not Just an Old Sublime Song

Sublime’s hit, “Badfish,” became a fan favorite back in 1992 when the band’s debut album, “40 Oz. to Freedom,” released. But, “Badfish” isn’t only an old Sublime song. Since 2001, it also became the label of a Rhode Island ska/punk tribute band, and they’re hitting up The Granada this Friday.

Badfish gained quite a bit of street cred in the past decade, starting out getting recognition on college campuses to now playing shows across the U.S. In 2008, the band was even nominated for Best Tribute Act in the Boston Music Awards.

The guys of Badfish got together while attending the University of Rhode Island back in 2001, five years after lead singer Brad Nowell of Sublime died and the band was forced to break up. However, the surviving members of Sublime reunited with new singer Rome Ramirez in 2009 and started making music again. They released their debut album in July 2011 and tour under the name Sublime with Rome today. Despite Sublime’s comeback, Badfish continues to tour and draw in crowds.

Badfish has been on the road for their 2012 fall/winter U.S. tour since October and they aren’t stopping until the beginning of next year. The guys are keeping busy outside of the tribute band, too. Members started the band Scotty Don’t, featuring original, non-tribute music to keep things fresh. Scotty Don’t often serves as an opening band for Badfish, giving the guys plenty of stage time.

The show is this Friday, November 9, with supporting bands High Rise Robots and ARM The POOR. Doors open at 7 and the show starts at 8. Only $15 for advance tickets, $17 the day of the show. Come chill and listen to some old Sublime tunes!

-Angie Soden

Three Years Later, I’m Still Loving College

Three years since “Asleep in the Bread Aisle” and Asher Roth’s best-known single, the white rapper from Morrisville, Penn. is about to put out a new album. And it is about time—since the release of “Asleep in the Bread Aisle” in 2009, Roth has put out a few mixed tapes, aptly titled to appeal to hipster-dom “Seared Foie Gras with Quince and Raspberry” and “Pabst & Jazz” and an EP titled “The Rawth” (try pronouncing it and you’ll get it.) He was nominated for MTV’s Video Music Award for both Best New Artist and New Hip Hop Video for “I Love College.”  He toured with big names like B.o.B., Kid Cudi and Blink-182. He announced his new album will be called “Is This Too Orange?” So where is he now?

Well, after a Frank Ocean album title debacle, Roth’s new album is no longer going to carry said title.  In fact, we all, the lessers, do not know what the album will be titled, but we do know it will be released on January 22, 2013. In an interview with MTV’s The Hive, Roth said, in reference to the new album, “We’re carving out a sound, man. The thing about my music is I listen to a whole bunch of different music and I’m a firm believer in progression, whether it be expanding your palate for food or your taste in music.” Translation: it will be new, shiny, different music! Roth has released the single off the album, “Wrestling Is Fake.” Check it. Think it’s cool. All those things.

Regardless what he will be doing in the future, I think what will be going down in the much-nearer future will be a ton a fun. I’m, of course, talking about Asher Roth rocking it college style at The Granada.

The show is Thursday, November 15, with supporting artists Kids These Days, Chuck Inglish, Chase Compton, Josh Sallee and Matt Easton . Doors open at 7p.m. and the show starts at 8p.m. $13 for advance tickets, $15 the day of the show or $40 for VIP.

So, do I really have to graduate, or can I just stay here for the rest of my life?

-Alexandria Freeze

Everything And The Kitchen Sink

That’s pretty much what you get when listening to iwrestledabearonce. The band’s music is a potpourri of black metal, electric dancecore and basically every other genre ever.  IWABO formed in 2007 in the dirty, dirty south (or Shreveport, Louisiana) and is currently based out of Birmingham, Alabama.

The band, comprised of members Krysta Cameron (vocals, though friend Courtney LaPlante is substituting during Cameron’s pregnancy), Stephen Bradley (guitar), John Ganey (guitar), David Branch (bass) and Mical Montgomery (drums), has a sort of chizophrenic-fury-fun sound to their music, which is odd for a metal group. But take a listen, and you’ll know what I mean. Plus, their song titles might just be the delicious/adorable things I’ve ever seen.  Check out two of my favs: “Karate Nipples” and “Tastes Like Kevin Bacon.” D’aww.  Since its 2007 formation, IWABO has put out one self-titled EP “iwrestledabearonce” and two albums, titled “It’s All Happening” in 2009 and “Ruining It For Everybody” in 2011.

And, as an added bonus, Vanna is an opener for the show. Vanna, a Boston metalcore group, is known for its strong switches between lullaby melodic singing and then BAM! Visceral growling. The band is hardly a warm-up for IWABO; Vanna can own a headlining gig. Think of Vanna + iwrestledabearonce show as more of a two-for-one deal. And then, there’s Oceano, too.

The show is Saturday, November 3, with supporting bands Oceano, Vanna, Within the Ruins, The Plot in You, Surrounded by Monsters and Enemies Laid to Rest. Doors open at 6p.m. and the show starts at 6:30p.m. $13 for advance tickets, $15 the day of the show.

So come on down to The Granada and check out the metal talent! Guitar riffs for days!

-Alexandria Freeze