Steve Kimock has been nothing but a pure gem to the jamband world since he first burst on the scene in the 1970’s. However, it wasnt until the 80’s and 90’s when he started to gain a deeper notoriety by playing with the likes of Zero. By the turn of the millennium fans of improvisational music most certainly knew about Kimock, the guitar virtuoso extraordinaire, who by that time had also played with several members of the Grateful Dead along with their various side projects such as Bob Weir’s Kingfish, the beginning of the Phil Lesh & Friends projects, and The Other Ones. But for many it was his projects that fell under the title of the Steve Kimock Band, and especially KVHW, which sealed his legendary status as a guitarist so tight and nibble he could play just about anything and make it sound like the most beautiful collection of sounds you’ve ever heard. Kimock has played with an amazing amount of talented musicians over the years, in various supergroup type projects coast-to-coast, and his current band is nothing but a continuation of this growing legacy.
Steve Kimock :: 07.20.12 :: Crystal Bay Club Casino :: Steveline, NV
Kimock is a favorite in the Lake Tahoe area where he seems to make at least one stop on his various tours from year-to-year. His most current lineup is a supergroup and then some, playing with an energy usually reserved for a band that has been performing live a lot longer then these four gentlemen have played together. Wally Ingram on drums and Andy Hess on the bass are the driving force behind Kimock on guitar, and keyboard master Bernie Worrell on the keys.
In Tahoe, the energy of the band and the room as a whole gradually built throughout the night. With Kimock originals sprinkled throughout two solid sets, songs like “Five B4 Funk” and “Hey Man” saw some of their best playing in years. Hess and Ingram keep such a steady beat that it allows for Kimock to step back in a comfortable role and really let loose with some truly profound solos. Ditto for Worrell. In fact, even though Kimock tends to surround himself with other amazing musicians when he plays, I haven’t seen him play with another musician as striking as Bernie Worrell in quite some time. Usually when all the ingredients are right it’s all Kimock and the band, sound and crowd are happy. But at the CBC it was Worrell that had just as many brilliant moments as Kimock did throughout the course of the night.
Steve Kimock :: 07.22.12 :: Moe’s Alley :: Santa Cruz, CA
The scene to catch the band in Santa Cruz was a bit different then what show-goers experienced on Friday night in Tahoe. In typical Tahoe fashion, people showed up a bit late until the room was eventually packed, while in Santa Cruz after talking with the owner of the venue, Bill Welch-a candid awesome character, it was clear people had been waiting for this show for several weeks. He told me there had been people hanging out around the venue all day, many trying to scheme their way into the show that night, a great deal of whom exuded the vibe of what Welch termed “the DeadHead energy”.
Like the Tahoe show, this evening’s performance saw many notable Kimock originals sprinkled in with a good number of well played covers. The main difference tonight was that Worrell did not take the forefront as much as he did in Tahoe. His playing was still above and beyond, but he did not solo as much, nor did he sing like he did in Tahoe on a some of the more well known tunes he’s best known for. However, special guest Henry Kaiser, a man best known as a widely psychedelic free improviser that’s been playing around the Bay Area music scene for years, helped bring a truly memorable jam to the venue. Watching Kimock smirk while Kaiser decided to go one way or another during their time on stage trading guitar phrases was a treat most certainly worth another listen.
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