The Keller Williams KWahtro Along With Cabinet Hit A Groove In Philly (SHOW REVIEW)

The temperatures outside hit the single but things were about to heat up inside the Theater Of Living Arts on February 13th. On the docket at the South Street was acoustic guitar wielding Keller Williams with his brand new project KWahtro along with the bluegrass group Cabinet.

“Hey folks how you doing here in Philadelphia here tonight! Are you ready to have the greatest times of your lives tonight? Are you ready to hang out with Cabinet and Keller Williams all night long?”, Cabinet exclaimed as they graced the stage. They wasted no time getting the audience moving with their fast-paced and jamgrass fueled tunes, opening with “Cut Down Tree” led by Patrick “Pappy” Biondo on vocals, the banjo segueing seamlessly into the crowd favorite “The Tower”. The mandolinist J.P. Biondo took to the microphone on “Treat Me So Bad”, which demonstrated the diversity of the band. Todd Kopec on the fiddle and guitarist Mickey Coviello shined as the group was led into a far out spacey jam. The six members of Cabinet were firing on all cylinders on their set ending instrumental “Mysterio” with the bearded Jami Novak laying down a power driven drumbeat and Dylan Skursky thumping away on his bass. Cabinet proved that it pays to get to the venue early with their short, but sweet opening slot.

With over twenty years of performing live under his belt, Williams has become a live staple with his goofy/dynamic stage presence and multi-instrumental abilities. On Saturday evening Keller, along with fellow guitarist Gibb Droll, strolled onstage to a near capacity crowd. After the two began their set with “Victory Song”, an impressive back and forth duel, Williams gave Droll the spotlight for his spectacular jazz-esque guitar picking.

The stage setup was interesting, with lamps illuminated behind each band member with drummer Rodney Holmes and upright bassist, Danton Boller set up near one another Right from the start the band laid down a relaxed, jazzy feel that would play throughout the 90-minute set. The wheels are always in motion with Williams when it comes to songwriting and he shared his new number “Ripped Six Pack” with his fans. During the tune it was apparent that the audience were getting a little restless. This was unfortunate, because they missed out onBaller taking his bass for a nice “walk” and Droll’s  lightning fast riffs on the acoustic.

Exiting the stage one by one, the group left Holmes to solo behind his drums. In a five minute span, Holmes had everyone glued to his every beat. If you weren’t familar with Holmes going into the show, you became a fan by the conclusion of his solo as one audience member was even heard saying: “Rodney Holmes is an animal.”

“Life Been Good”, written by Joe Walsh, sported a reggae feel to it that livened up the crowd and bringing the evening to a close a little after midnight was a staple in Williams’ cover catalog: “Scarlet Begonias”.  Overall, the Keller Williams four-piece, KWahtro, with some help from their bluegrass friends, Cabinet, gave The City Of Brotherly Love a joyful night of live music.

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