The one and only Keller Williams and festival favorites Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds will drop by the ArtsQuest Center, 101 Founders Way, Bethlehem, for two nights of amazing music this fall. Tickets are on sale at www.steelstacks.org and 610-332-3378.
For two decades, Keller Williams, performing Oct. 30, 9 p.m., at the Musikfest Café, has defined the term independent artist. Launching in the early ’90s as the original one-man band, Williams’ ability to improvise to his determinedly quirky tunes despite the absence of an actual band quickly became the stuff of legend. Today, his reputation as an exciting, unpredictable performer continues to be as relevant as 20 years ago.
As a very early adopter of the technique called live phrase sampling or looping, Williams’ solo stage show is constructed around him singing his compositions and choice cover songs while accompanying himself on an acoustic guitar and creating samples on the fly in front of the audience. More recently, Williams has also become known for his multi-genre musical projects involving a stellar backing band such as the bluegrass-leaning Keller and The Keels, Grateful Grass, Keller Williams with The Travelin’ McCourys, and his original funk outfit, Keller Williams with More Than a Little. Tickets for Williams’ show are $18-$22 in advance and $20-$25 day of show.
On Dec. 3, 7:30 p.m., the Fowler Blast Furnace Room is pleased to welcome Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds; tickets for the performance are $15.
In 2008, singer-songwriter Arleigh Kincheloe moved from the Catskills to New York City to launch Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds. In the years since, the group has performed more than 600 shows, released two full-length albums and an EP, and enchanted media ranging from The Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times to Glamour and USA Today.
The band has shared the stage with artists ranging from Gov’t Mule and Dr. John to Trombone Shorty and Counting Crows, and it has turned audiences into believers through appearances on the festival circuit at Bonnaroo, Firefly, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, Voodoo Music Experience and more. In 2014, Sister Sparrow delighted the crowd at Musikfest when it performed with the Avett Brothers at the Sands Steel Stage on Aug. 7.