Famed jam band guitarist and Pennsylvania native Steve Kimock will be touring in support of his latest solo effort Last Danger of Frost through the entire month of March.
As a soloist, almost every fathomable musician in the genre has called upon this man for his skills. He has collaborated on and off the stage with pretty much every musician imaginable. As someone who has been regarded time and time again as a master of his craft, dubbed the “Guitar Monk” by Relix Magazine and known as Jerry Garcia’s “favorite unknown guitarist,” it goes without saying that Steve Kimock should know no boundaries with his music.
After becoming a staple in the San Francisco music scene after moving from Bethlehem, PA in the 70’s, Steve Kimock was pivotal in the expansion and innovation of the genre of jam rock. Kimock gained national recognition through touring with his band Zero in the 80s and 90s, along with solo tours under various names, playing with some of the Grateful Dead reincarnations such as The Other Ones, Bob Weir & Ratdog, and Phil Lesh & Friends among others.
These days, Steve Kimock is still experimenting with sound, and defying the confines of any single genre in particular. Over the past year Kimock has been recording his newest sonic effort Last Danger of Frost in his refurbished, century old barn in Bethlehem along with his son, John Morgan Kimock.
Kimock is a master in the world of musical improvisation and Last Danger is a testament to that. The preparation was minimal. The intention of the album for Kimock was to sit down and “sort of catch myself mid stream with whatever I was into at the time.” He wanted to explore and capture the things about musical expression that he loves, like “the stuff that doesn’t make it on the stage,” when he is playing more straight up rock n’ roll. It is a reflection of Kimock’s nature of playing and practicing while he is at home.
“Normally, under those conditions I’ll just play something and let it go,” Kimock told about his at-home style of jamming, “The sequence of events on the record is the sequence of events I found each track in – each bit suggesting the next little bit.”
The time and effort that was put into this album is also a tribute to the dedication that Kimock has put into his craft. For example, one part of the album was cut from about 10 HOURS of fretless guitar playing and 3 WEEKS of pure guitar feedback.
“I think it would have been great to make a whole record of feedback,” Kimock jested, “at some point I’ll do something that’s specifically just using the guitar to create sounds.”
The entire work is very intimate and bears a part of Kimock’s personal narrative throughout the album.
“I’m trying to bring more of what’s personal about my musical life to the stage,” told Kimock. This tour will bring a more intimate performance of his music to the stage, casting aside the assumption of most concert goers that a show with Kimock on stage will be a solely rock music and dance band performance. The show will work in the same way that the album was produced – “to work things at a dynamic where I can use electronic sounds and acoustic sounds together,” he stated, “it’s more of a listening thing.”
Joining him on tour will be his son John Morgan Kimock on drums and longtime bandmate and collaborators Bobby Vega on bass guitar and Leslie Mendelson on vocals.
As far as choosing the members of the ensemble for his newest project, rightfully dubbed K I M O C K, the aspect of personal comfort was also at play. He wanted to be working and performing with people that he knows and who also know him. He has been playing with Bobby Vega for over 30 years and playing music with John Morgan son for his entire life. Both Vega and John Morgan along with Leslie Mendelson mesh together well for the improvisational and freeform aspects of the live show.
He also added that John Morgan has a tremendous amount of professionalism while on the road, which is something that he admires about his kin.
Kimock always enjoys coming back to the Philadelphia area. “I grew up here, I grew up in this dirt,” he says of returning to the area, “Philadelphia is a huge part of my musical upbringing.”
His family was always musical and played an important role in Kimock’s realization that one could pursue playing music as a career and lifestyle.
This tour will find K I M O C K making a hometown stop at the Ardmore Music Hall on Friday, March 18. This will be especially nice because it happens to coincide with the release date of Last Danger of Frost.
While there was not an official confirmation of any special guests or additions to the show, Kimock does appreciate coming back and the performance in Ardmore should be extremely special.
The tour began today, March 2 on the West Coast and will make its way to Ardmore and eventually will end in Evanston, Illinois.
Make sure you secure your tickets to the Philadelphia show. Come out and help make the hometown pride swell!
KIMOCK tour dates:
3/2 Weds. HopMonk Tavern, Sebastopol, CA
3/4 Fri. Kuumbwa Jazz Center, Santa Cruz, CA
3/5 Sat. Mateel Community Center, Redway, CA
3/6 Sun. The Center for the Arts, Grass Valley, CA
3/11 Fri. The Chapel, San Francisco, CA
3/18 Fri. Ardmore Music Hall, Ardmore, PA
3/19 Sat. Narrows Center for the Arts, Fall River, MA
3/20 Sun. City Winery, New York City
3/23 Weds. Stage One, Fairfield, CT
3/24 Thurs. Bull Run, Shirley, MA
3/25 Fri. Levon Helm Studios, Woodstock, NY
3/26 Sat. Infinity Hall, Hartford, CT
3/29 Tues. The Hamilton, Washington, D.C.
3/30 Wed. Opera House Live, Sheperdstown, WV
4/2 Sat. Space, Evanston, IL