Singer/songwriter and acoustic guitar soloist Keller Williams uses sampling in a whole new way to form a one-man jam band on Loop. Williams, who is often compared to guitarists Victor Wooten, Michael Hedges, and Leo Kottke (who he admits are among his musical influences), wrote all of the songs and played ten-string acoustic guitar on the album. He also did samples and loops using an effects device known as the Jam Man that allowed him to loop sounds and layer them into a rich, thick wall of basslines, vocals, rhythms, and melodies. The CD was recorded live during three concerts and features clever, quirky lyrics that bring listeners into Williams' imaginative world. Not every song on the CD is looped, but over half of it is, and Williams does some flat-out cowboy picking with his left hand and some serious rhythmic insanity with his right. Among the album's high points are the use of a mouth fluegel, an effect that resembles a trumpet when voiced, and guitar beats on such standout tunes as "Blatant Ripoff," which features funky folk-jazz vocalese and gymnastics à la Al Jarreau, and "More Than a Little," a seven-minute funky tune that doubles his voice electronically to create a harmony line. "Vacate" and "Stupid Questions" -- two songs from Williams' 1999 release, Breathe -- are also included on this program. Overall, Keller Williams' adept tuneful effects, instrumental dexterity, and pleasing voice make this CD entertaining and unpredictable.
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AllMusic Review by Paula Edelstein