This record took three years to complete. While it was being made I released a bluegrass record with the Keels – Grass and a DVD – Sight. The concept was to reach out to my musical heroes and try to collaborate with them on a recording. The reason it took three years was simply because people didn’t say no. Many of them were unable to pinpoint a time to devote to it, but because they didn’t say no, I waited on them. For example, the song “People Watching.” I recorded my part and sent it to Jeff Sipe. One month later it had guitar and drums. Six months later, I received the bass tracks back from Victor Wooten, so then I had bass, drums and guitar. A whole 18 months later, the track was completed by Bela Fleck. It’s interesting watching a song come together over several months with several parts. Obviously, I was in no rush and didn’t have any deadline.
There were a few glorious instances where all the musicians could be in the same room at the same time playing the same song, such as Charlie Hunter and Derrek Phillips on “Kiwi and the Apricot” and “Slo Mo Balloon” which was recorded at Chillers Sound in New York City. However, I did have to send the finished track of “Slo Mo Balloon” to Nashville to Fleming McWilliams, of the band Fleming and John to add her haunting and beautiful vocals. I have never even met her. I caught Michael Franti in the back of his tour bus in Santa Cruz, CA after I opened for him at the Civic Center. I had the track done and just needed his vocals on “Ninja of Love.” “Cadillac” featuring Bob Weir was recorded at his home studio near Mill Valley, CA. I flew out there specifically for this song and that was an experience I will never forget. What I was going for with this record was to have a recording that I would be very proud to pump through the speakers of my pimped out golf cart when I am 80. –Kw
What the paid professionals say:
When singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Keller Williams scratched out a long and ambitious wish list of artists he’d like to collaborate with in the studio, he told himself “It can’t hurt to dream.” With the release of his ninth studio album, Keller’s dream comes true. For the release the usually one-man-band is backed by a dream team of musicians including Bela Fleck, Bobby Read, Bob Weir, Charlie Hunter, Derrek Phillips, Fareed Haque, Fleming McWilliams, Jeff Sipe, John Molo, John Scofield, Martin Sexton, Michael Franti, Modereko, Samir Chatterjee, Sanjay Mishra, Steve Kimock, The String Cheese Incident, and Victor Wooten. Dream features 16 tracks of unblemished material: a cataract of electrifying musical alliances, and endless entertainment thanks to Keller’s rapturous innovations and his earthy, barefoot-in-the-park presentation.