Maybe the best guitarist you've never heard of
This review originally ran in the North County Times on May 6, 2004.
Live at the Gothic Theatre
By Steve Kimock Band
Big Red Barn Productions: 2004
To hear sound clips or learn more about this release, Turbula recommends viewing its Amazon.com entry.
San Francisco's Steve Kimock is one of the those regional artists who have the talent, taste and musical vision to rank with the best-known musicians in the country, yet somehow have never broken through to the big stage.
If you watch his new video, "Live at the Gothic Theatre," you're likely to be wondering just how fame and riches have managed to avoid Kimock. The video shows a guitarist with deft touch, singular virtuosity and an apparently genuine "aw, shucks" stage demeanor that is utterly charming.
Kimock's overall sound has definitely been influenced by his years of association with the Grateful Dead and its various members. He doesn't play guitar like Jerry Garcia (Garcia undoubtedly wished he could play as well as Kimock), but he has a similar groove. It's an infectiously upbeat music, cheery without ever being cheesy, sunny without being shallow.
Kimock strictly plays guitar; there is no singing on this release. It's all-instrumental jam rock, with long songs that give everyone in the quintet lots of time for improvising solos and showing off their chops.
The video itself is standard-fare concert footage - wide-angle full-stage shots followed by close-ups of various band members. There's only so much you can do with a concert video anyway. The picture quality is outstanding, the sound quality perhaps more so. You could easily turn the TV off and just listen to the soundtrack through your stereo system.
Review by Jim Trageser. Jim is a writer and editor living in Escondido, Calif., and was a contributor to the "Grove Press Guide to Blues on CD" (1993) and "The Routledge Encyclopedia of the Blues" (2005).