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Keller Williams plans Aug. 28 stop at Madison's Majestic Theatre

By Bill Livick/Special to the Gazette
August 26, 2015

Have Gun Will Travel, 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 27, Shank Hall,
1434 N. Farwell Ave., Milwaukee. Garrett Klahn also performs.
Tickets: $10-$12. Call 414-276-7288.

Americana comes to Shank Hall when the mostly acoustic quartet Have Gun Will Travel takes the stage.

Formed in 2006 in Bradenton, Florida, the band includes lead singer-songwriter Matt Burke, his brother Danny on bass, J.P. Beaubien on drums and Scott Anderson on lap steel and electric guitars.

The band's music ranges from foot-stomping, back-porch spirituals to Texas swing to post-punk rave-ups and hillbilly ballads. Burke's songwriting draws on such themes as life and death, honor and morality.

Have Gun Will Travel released its fifth album, “Science From an Easy Chair,” this year and has been touring nationally to support it. A concept album commemorating the 100th anniversary of Sir Earnest Shackleton's famous 1914-17 expedition in Antarctica, the album features songs that treat events from the excursion as if they're happening today. The band used social media and podcasts to involve fans with updates that reflect the recording process. The album delivers its own interpretation of the amazing story of survival and endurance.

Have Gun Will Travel has been performing on the indie alternative-folk circuit and is especially popular in college towns and cities with active music scenes, such as Seattle and Austin.

The Sklar Brothers, 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 27, at 8 and 10 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 28, and at 8 and 10:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 29, The Comedy Club on State Street, 202 State Street, Madison. Tickets: $15-$28.
Call 608-256-0099.

Identical twins Randy and Jason Sklar grew up near St. Louis, where they developed a love of comedy at an early age.

After attending college at the University of Michigan, the pair moved to New York in 1994, and worked various jobs during the day to support their comedy performances at night. Their big break came when MTV asked them to host a hybrid comedy show with sketch, stand-up and short films woven into story lines. The result was Apt. 2F, and though it lasted only one season, the brothers' career was launched.

The pair have appeared in a host of television shows and were pit reporters on Comedy Central's “Battlebots,” a series in which competitors designed and operated remote-controlled armed and armored machines designed to fight in an arena combat elimination tournament.

The brothers also wrote and appeared on ESPN's “SportsCenter” in a comedic segment called “The Bracket.” Currently, the duo make appearances on the Showtime program “Rome,” hosted by Jim Rome.

In 2012 the Sklar Brothers hosted a television show on the History channel titled “United Stats of America,” a by-the-numbers series that featured interesting statistic about the U.S., mixed with experiments, stunts and the Sklars' unique brand of humor. The brothers have appeared in a number of stand-up comedy specials and have released four comedy albums.

The brothers now reside in Los Angeles, where they record their popular weekly sports comedy podcast “Sklarbro County” for

Keller Williams, 9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 28, Majestic Theatre,
115 King St., Madison. Tickets: $23-$25. Call 608-255-0901.

Guitarist, virtuoso and multi-instrumentalist Keller Williams returns to the Majestic Theatre with a blend of styles that includes folk, bluegrass, jam improvisation, jazz, reggae and various other genres.

Often described as a one-man band, Williams has released 25 studio albums since he began recording in the early 1990s. He has also performed regularly with The String Cheese Incident, Yonder Mountain String Band, Umphrey's McGee and former members of The Grateful Dead in the band Ratdog. He also has a regular gig with guitarist Larry Keel and his band. When Williams joins them, they are known as Keller and The Keels.

When he performs solo, Williams usually plays a variety of instruments connected to a Boss Loop Station RC-300 phrase looper pedal, which allows him to play a riff once on an instrument, record and repeat it. He often records and loops an accompanying instrument, allowing him to play unaccompanied on stage with the sound of a full band.

Green Jelly, 9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 28, The Back Bar, 1901 Beloit Ave., Janesville. Krash Karma and Convoy also perform. Tickets: $10-$20.

Bill Manspeaker is the founder and one of the creative forces behind Green Jelly, a post-punk comedy band that began its career in 1981 with the singular goal of becoming the worst band on the planet.

The band earned a reputation for chaos and widespread mayhem during live performances. Green Jelly has recorded just five albums since its debut in 1989, but it has made its mark through outrageous stage shows and its unique music videos.

In its early years, Green Jelly had little interest in producing music, instead focusing on creating a spectacle. It was banned from several clubs in New York City for trashing the venue. One of its early stunts involved bringing a television on stage and smashing it with a sledgehammer. Fans also would regularly bring large amounts of green Jell-O and hurl it at the band as it performed, covering the performers, their equipment and the stage with the sticky substance.

In the '80s and '90s, the band's stage shows grew into an extravaganza, with dozens of musicians and sometimes fans sharing the stage.

The band released its most recent album, “Musick to Insult Your Intelligence By,” in 2009. Music for the album was actually recorded in 1995 as demos.

—Bill Livick