By Bill Clifford

And the great weather continues. Sunday and there is not a single cloud in the blue sky over Seaside Park. Good afternoon VibeTribe!

Gathering was pleased to welcome back Keller Williams, and this time it was solo Keller, the master creator. No one improvises better than multi-instrumentalist Keller Williams, performing his tunes one instrument at a time, recording the sound and looping it back through effects pedals. On one song he move from strumming a acoustic, into banging out a rhythm on his knees and then into holding down the low end on the bass, building the song.

“Positive Reggae” was done dancehall style, with a thumping bass groove, and echoed, looped vocals. And “I Am Elvis” is an old song of his that he’s reinterpreted several ways with different bands, but today it was played classic K-Dub style, on straight up acoustic with all of his quirkyself-impersonations about getting lost in the great dreamscape of his own mind. And he saved the best for last, closing out the set with “Best Feeling,” a song he wrote and originally recorded with String Cheese Incident. It was a great way to end the set performed to a large crowd of Keller fans.

Connecticut classic rock legends Max Creek tore it up on the main stage as they always do. Opener “Jones” was a driving, power rocker build on pounding rhythm. It segued via loose guitar improv into a vintage blues riff that became “One Man’s Heaven is Another Man’s Hell.” “Blood Red Roses was the rocker of the set, with extended guitar twirls and a piano solo from Mark Mercier.

Mid-set there were some bass issues, so Scott Murawski moved the band into “Doin Well” as John Ryder worked out the kinks with a stage tech. Mercier brought a cheer from the crowd “Well, I don’t know about you, but I sure do miss this guy,” with many in the crowd probably thinking he was speaking of Jerry Garcia, but was instead meaning Levon Helm. And the band moved on into The Band classic rocker, “Don’t Do It,” with Mercier emotionally belting out the vocals.

We’ll be back later with a final review of the Avett Brothers festival closing set.