This article originally appears in the Kentucky Kernel.
By Matt Wickstrom
Friday’s performance marks Williams’ first Kentucky appearance since a show on July 22 in nearby Harrodsburg for the inaugural Be Kind Gathering at Terrapin Hill Farm.
Aside from his solo persona, Williams has also curated many other projects including Keller and the Keels with esteemed flatpicking guitarist Larry Keel and his wife Jenny; a bluegrass tribute to the Grateful Dead dubbed Grateful Grass, and an explosion of funk and soul with More than a Little.
Aside from his various projects, Williams does his best to ensure each show is different from the last by looking at recent set lists along with those from past shows in cities he’s traveling to to configure a unique show with little to no overlap in material. Williams also occasionally reaches out to fans on social media for song requests.
In the early 1990s when Williams’ career was just getting started he’d perform with no set list, but after a time he noticed he’d fallen into a stagnant routine of only playing what he was most comfortable with. The more of a following Williams garnered, the more he realized he needed to make a change.
“Once people start coming to hear you, you can’t keep playing the same songs all the time,” said Williams. “Once I started going to see the Grateful Dead and Phish they were doing two unique sets night-to-night, I really latched on to that. I used to be the snobby hippie at shows who’d get mad when the same song got played within a couple nights of one another.”
Williams’ is currently eyeing the release 23rd album Sync with his newest project KWahtro, a four-piece outfit featuring elements of disco, jazz, and reggae that includes Rodney Holmes on drums, Danton Boller on bass and Gibb Droll on acoustic guitar.
Doors open at 8 p.m. Friday at Cosmic Charlie’s with Williams taking the stage at 9 p.m.. Tickets are close to selling out, and are available for presale on Ticketfly for $18 or for $20 at the door.