On January 24, 1998, the supergroup KVHW made their debut with their first-ever public performance. Named after the first letter in each member’s last name, the band made up of guitarist Steve Kimock, bassist Bobby Vega, drummer Alan Hertz and vocalist/guitarist Ray White, was short lived, lasting only through a final appearance on New Year’s Eve 1999.
Despite the short tenure, KVHW left a lasting legacy through hours of live recordings taped between 1998 and 1999. The JamBase Live Video Archive (JBLVA) is home to many KVHW shows, allowing visitors to watch the massively talented quartet in action. Below are 5 significant sets KVHW played via the JBLVA.
January 24, 1998 | Set One
As mentioned before, KVHW made their debut on January 24, 1998. The two-set concert was held at Studio E, “a place in Sebastopol, [California] where Steve lived and worked in the ’90s.” From the onset, the band intermingled Kimock originals like “Bad Hair,” “Tangled Hangers,” “High & Lonesome” and others with choice covers such as The Meters’ “Cissy Strut.”
Opening night also saw what became the common KVHW sequencing of “Nine” into “Ring Around The Moon” back into “Nine.” Both sets of the band’s premiere performance were captured on video and can be viewed above and below.
When KVHW held a concert on December 8, 1998 at the Roseland Theater in Portland, Oregon, the supergroup of musicians became even more super when they welcomed special guest Ike Willis to sit-in at the end of the second set. The collaboration brought together Willis and White, who previously spent overlapping stints as members of Frank Zappa’s band. Willis emerged to help White sing the Zappa classic “City Of Tiny Lites” and stuck around for a subsequent cover of Jimi Hendrix’s “Power Of Soul.” Watch footage of the sit-in from the second set in the above video.
KVHW expanded to include Bay Area guitarist Terry Haggerty of Sons of Champlin for a short period in mid-1999. The short-lived KVHWH era lineup was on display in September 1999 when the band performed a set at Wavy Gravy’s Hog Farm Pignic held at Black Oak Ranch in Laytonville, California. The set featured an extended opening rendition of Kimock’s “It’s Up To You” followed by White shouting out Wavy Gravy during a cover of “It’s Your Thing” by The Isley Brothers. Next came the instrumental “If You Only Knew” and then White stepping back to the mic for “In Time.” The set progressed with “Point Of No Return,” a song Kimock recently re-recorded and called, “a beautiful bit, one of my favorite KVHW/Studio E, era numbers.” Another Kimock original, “A New Africa,” served as the set closer. Watch KVHW’s appearance at the 1999 Hog Farm Pignic above.
One of KVHW’s final concerts took place on December 7, 1999 at the Wetlands Preserve in New York City. The long-since closed venue that was run by Peter Shapiro for its final years was a hub of early-jam scene bands. The second set from KVHW’s show that night is included for a number of notable reasons, particularly the band’s final performances of Zappa’s “Illinois Enema Bandit” and White offering an acapella verse of Zappa’s “Willie The Pimp.” That brief Zappa interlude trailed cover of Bruce Hornsby’s “Rainbow’s Cadillac.” There are also classic KVHW performances of The Allman Brothers Band’s “Whipping Post,” Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “My Favorite Things,” another version of “Power Of Soul” and a “Teeny Weeny Bit” encore. Watch that set by clicking the video above.