Steve Cropper & Felix Cavaliere Summit Album Streets 7/29

Steve Cropper & Felix Cavaliere- for the Grateful Web

What would happen if you combined Steve Cropper, the Memphis-weaned Stax guitar powerhouse who also wrote and co-wrote many soul classics, with Felix Cavaliere, the singer, songwriter and keyboardist whose soulful voice and songs helped form the Rascals? The world is about to find out when Stax Records releases Steve Cropper and Felix Cavaliere's Nudge It Up a Notch on July 29, 2008.
This soul summit came about as a result of conversations between Cropper and producer/songwriter Jon Tiven. When Tiven moved to Nashville several years ago, he asked Cropper what he was up to. Cropper replied that he was focusing on live dates with Booker T & the MGs and the Blues Brothers, but harbored the desire to record some new music. But who would sing? The answer, it turned out, was Cavaliere, who, like Cropper and Tiven, now lived in Nashville. In fact Cropper and Cavaliere were no strangers: they had, with a few other well-known musicians, put together a band to play special events. The two hadn't written together before, but agreed it would be fun to try.
The writing process began at Tiven's Hormone Studios, followed by the recording of two songs, "One of Those Days" (the album's lead track) and "Love Appetite." Drummer Chester Thompson, a veteran of John Fogerty, Frank Zappa, Genesis and Frank Black, signed on as drummer, and suggested a bass player, his friend Shake Anderson, who was Curtis Mayfield's protégé. The assemblage grew to include two backup singers, Mark Williams and N'nandi Bryant. And that was it. No special guest stars. As Tiven wrote in the notes, "This isn't one of those albums where you have to guess who's doing what — every guitar lick is Steve, every keyboard is Felix, and all the songs are originals."
Tiven elaborates on the legacies of Cropper and Cavaliere: "Steve Cropper is a guitar player's guitarist but also a songwriter's songwriter," he writes. "If the only thing he did in life was to play producer/co-writer/guitarist for Otis Redding, that would be enough. But he also helmed enough albums that made their mark on American pop culture by artists like Booker T & the MGs, The Blues Brothers, Jeff Beck and John Mellencamp to qualify him as a bona fide national treasure."
"And Cavaliere . . .," he adds, "If you were alive in the alive in the mid-to-late '60s, you couldn't go anywhere without hearing his voice and songs are part of his group The Young Rascals (later The Rascals). Their blue-eyed soul dominated the airwaves . . . and gave this country the kind of soul music most folks wouldn't think to associate with a bunch of Long Island Peppermint Lounge expatriates."
Nudge It Up a Notch, which was reverently mixed by the legendary David Z, features 12 tracks, including several instrumentals (Cropper having a bit of history in the R&B instrumental department) alongside vocal tracks. On a few tunes the team turned to friends Henry Gross and Tom Hambridge to provide their lyrical spin. One track, "Make The Time Go Faster," embellishes its chunky soul riff with rap passages.
"If all this combination of iconic songwriter/performers had to offer was simply the sum of their parts it would be extraordinary," Tiven concludes. "But you put this much flammable material in the room and you don't just get a little heat. You get a bonfire."

Steve Kimock News & Upcoming Dates

photos by Phil Emma- for the Grateful Web

Two things have always driven the likes of Steve Kimock and Billy Goodman, guitars and great songs. That's what you'll find when you hear the Big Red Barn Sessions.  Ten great songs guaranteed to grow on you with every listen. Steve Kimock's masterful sonic understanding creates the atmosphere and carries the day.

What started out as a demo recording in Kimock's barn (studio) turned in to a small underground cluster of heartfelt songs and performances with a nicely old school vibe. Starting with the ballad for late guitar hero Johnny Thunders, it moves on to fingerpicking duets, twelve string guitar riffs reminiscent of the early Byrds, front porch offerings taking us back to Workingmans Dead, all the way down to the slide guitar instrumental favorite "Cowboy".

The songs are anchored by John Morgan Kimock on the drums, Captain Jim Kost on Hammond B3 and Peter Fritz playing bass. Enjoy your dinner....

You can get your hard copy of Big Red Barn Sessions HERE. Big Red Barn Sessions is also available for digital download.

Billy and Steve recently played their first duo show, warming up for their Europe tour, to a packed house at the Wildflower Cafe in Bethlehem, PA on April 5th. They played two and a half hours of originals, old blues classics and cool covers by Ry Cooder, Stones, Beatles etc with some amusing banter from Billy. Download your copy of this live show HERE.

ZERO: A Tribute to Martin Fierro will feature surviving/former members of ZERO and many special guests, all celebrating the incredible spirit and music of Martin Fierro.

Beloved jazz-rock saxophonist and our dear friend Martin "Meester" Fierro, passed away on March 13, 2008. His good humor, shining spirit and pure music will be deeply missed more than words can say.  In his honor, a memorial concert is set for 8/8/08 at the Fillmore in SF, CA.

A small allotment of pre-sale tickets for fan club through go on sale April 16th @ 9:00AM PST through Friday, April 18th.  Public on-sale starts on 4/20 through Ticketmaster.

For those of you who wish to make contributions in Martin's memory, a trust for Jessica Fierro (Martins 8 year old daughter) has been established for her education fund. So, if you feel the urge, please donate here:


Grateful Dead drummer and percussionist Mickey Hart will launch a 20 city tour this summer including appearances at many of the nations premiere festivals. The Mickey Hart Band will feature Steve Kimock on guitar, George Porter Jr on bass, Jen Durkin on vocals, and talking drum master Sikiru Adepoju . After headlining appearances at Harmony Festival in Santa Rosa on June 6 and Wakarusa on June 8, the group will head out on an 18 city trek beginning July 3 at the Rothbury Festival and continuing through July 24 at 10K Lakes Festival.

The shows will feature the Robert Hunter penned songs debuted by the Rhythm Devils in 2006 including Fountains of Wood, The Center, and Your House, in addition to Grateful Dead staples such as New Speedway Boogie and Fire on The Mountain.

The summer run will take the band to festivals, theatres, and outdoor events across the east coast and Midwest beginning July 3rd at Rothbury Festival and continuing on to Milwaukee's Summerfest, Lakeview Music Festival, and Nelson Ledges rounding out July 4th weekend. East Coast stops include Great South Bay Festival on Long Island, Penna's Peak in PA, and Thursday in the Park in Buffalo.

Check out for all tour dates and on-sale information.

Steve Kimock & Friends Plan String of Bay Area Dates

photo by Amanda Bell- for the Grateful Web

Legendary guitarist Steve Kimock returns to his northern California roots for a run of mid-March dates with a line-up featuring several longtime friends and as well as a few fresh faces. Boasting an All-Star cast, with Melvin Seals (JGB) on the B-3 and keyboards, Steve's prodigal son John Morgan Kimock on drums, veteran bassist Hutch Hutchinson (Bonnie Raitt), and Billy Goodman (Goodman Brothers) handling vocal duties, the latest incarnation of SK&F marks a first of firsts. Not only will this be the first time Hutchinson has participated in SK&F, but this is also the first time a Goodman has joined Kimock onstage under SK&F moniker.

It was 1974 when The Goodman Brothers plucked Steve Kimock out of his native Pennsylvania to handle axe-work for their folk rock outfit. Impressed by his uncanny guitar prowess, Frank and Billy tabbed Kimock to round out their Goodman sound and headed to California. Kimock enjoyed stints in the salsa band the Underdogs as well as the Heart of Gold Band, before forming the psychedelic rock ensemble, Zero, in 1984, and was later touted as Jerry Garcia's "favorite unknown guitar player," Now, Billy Goodman and Steve Kimock's journey comes full circle as the two are united onstage once again in this ever-evolving project.

With over three decades of touring under his belt, Steve Kimock amassed a strong national audience through his blistering guitar runs and inspired lyrical improvisations. Following five focused years of composing, recording and touring with the Steve Kimock Band, Kimock spent the last two years working on new projects. Collaborating with such artists such as Mickey Hart and Bill Kreuztmann of the Grateful Dead (for the Rhythm Devils) and Keller Williams for his recent title Dream, Kimock has remained a rather busy musician. After a successful reformation of the band Zero which included Melvin Seals, Kimock toured with Bob Weir's Ratdog through 2007 and also had the chance to join the Allman Brothers on stage for a few memorable performances during their summer tour.

In 2002, Steve Kimock returned to his home state of Pennsylvania with his family, where he is now preparing new songs and arrangements with this year's incarnation of SK&F. With Spring rapidly approaching, fans old and new can anticipate the group dusting off traditional Kimock standards and covers, as well as a full recipe of brand new collaborations and arrangements.

Mar 11- Red Fox Tavern: Eureka, CA
Mar 13- Great American Music Hall: San Francisco, CA
Mar 14- Great American Music Hall: San Francisco, CA
Mar 15- Forestville Club: Forestville, CA
Mar 16- Forestville Club: Forestville, CA

Upcoming Steve Kimock Dates, Including Langerado w/Mickey

Steve Kimock- for the Grateful Web

Steve Kimock gets back to his Bay Area roots with a very special line-up of old and new FRIENDS. SK&F, Kimock's feel-good side project for more than a decade, will rehearse and perform in Northern CA from March 9-16, 2008.

Kimock is basing the group around an old friend, the Great, Melvin Seals on B-3 organ and keyboards, along with prodigal son, John Morgan Kimock on drums. Joining them are, veteran Bay Area bassist and Bonnie Raitt Band music director, Hutch Hutchinson and singer/songwriter Billy Goodman, of the Goodman Brothers, the band that first brought Kimock West to the Bay Area in the mid 70s.

Fans will be treated to new songs, being incubated in the Kimock laboratory, known as the performance stage, as well renewed renditions of acclaimed Kimock standards and covers.

Confirmed Dates :

3/11/08 Red Fox Tavern - Eureka, CA

3/13/08 Great American Music Hall - San Francisco, CA

3/14/08 Great American Music Hall - San Francisco, CA

3/15/08 Forestville Club - Forestville, CA

3/16/08 Forestville Club - Forestville, CA

Steve will play with the Mickey Hart Band at Langerado & Wakarusa.  More dates announced soon.

How often do you get to hear Steve Kimock playing a mutron solo to a Clash tune on a boat in the middle of the ocean?

Listen Here to Kimock playing the Clash's The Magnificent Seven with Karl Denson's Super Jam on JamCruise 6.

Kimock also had the opportunity to sit in with Warren Haynes on JamCruise.

Wild Horses (Warren Haynes with Steve Kimock, Grace Potter and Ivan Neville)

Stella Blue (Warren Haynes and Steve Kimock)

Upcoming Steve Kimock Dates, Including Fall with Ratdog

Copyright© 1995-2007 for the Grateful Web

KIMOCK W/ RATDOG - Once again, Steve will endeavor to keep Mark Karan's seat warm with RatDog during their October/November Fall Tour.

From the MK PAGE : "Many of you already know that Mark is battling throat cancer. For the latest update, please visit:  Unfortunately, you have to sign in, etc. to get to the "getwellmark" (all one word) page. But once you've saved your info, it's just two clicks in to check on him. We'll be putting updates there regularly to let you know the details of his treatment and recovery. Meanwhile, we are overwhelmed by the love, support, and prayers that have come from around the world. Please keep him in your thoughts for the journey ahead. -MK family."

It's really important to show your love, support & healing vibes for our brother Mark, who is fighting to return to good health, so he can rejoin his band and continue to delight all the Bone-Heads out there. Tons of love to Mark and Maile! - the Kimock Family

Bob Weir & Ratdog - Fall Tour 2007

Oct 26 Hampton Beach, NH - Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom

Oct 27 Hampton Beach, NH - Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom

Oct 28 Lebanon, NH - Lebanon Opera House

Oct 30 Westbury, NY North Fork Theater

Oct 31 Westbury, NY North Fork Theater

Nov 2 Burlington, VT - Memorial Auditorium

Nov 3 Albany, NY - Palace Theater

Nov 4 State College, PA - Eisenhower Auditorium

Nov 7 Norfolk, VA - The Norva

Nov 8 Charlotte, NC - Ovens Auditorium

Nov 13 St.Petersburg, FL - Mahaffey Theater

Nov 14 Jacksonville, FL - Florida Theatre

Nov 16 Lake Buena Vista, FL - House of Blues

Nov 17 Boca Raton, FL - Mizner Park Amphitheatre

For more info & tickets visit:


KIMOCK W/ RATDOG - Once again, Steve will endeavor to keep Mark Karan's seat warm with RatDog during their October/November Fall Tour.

From the MK PAGE : "Many of you already know that Mark is battling throat cancer. For the latest update, please visit:  Unfortunately, you have to sign in, etc. to get to the "getwellmark" (all one word) page. But once you've saved your info, it's just two clicks in to check on him. We'll be putting updates there regularly to let you know the details of his treatment and recovery. Meanwhile, we are overwhelmed by the love, support, and prayers that have come from around the world. Please keep him in your thoughts for the journey ahead. -MK family."

It's really important to show your love, support & healing vibes for our brother Mark, who is fighting to return to good health, so he can rejoin his band and continue to delight all the Bone-Heads out there. Tons of love to Mark and Maile! - the Kimock Family

Bob Weir & Ratdog - Fall Tour 2007

Oct 26 Hampton Beach, NH - Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom

Oct 27 Hampton Beach, NH - Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom

Oct 28 Lebanon, NH - Lebanon Opera House

Oct 30 Westbury, NY North Fork Theater

Oct 31 Westbury, NY North Fork Theater

Nov 2 Burlington, VT - Memorial Auditorium

Nov 3 Albany, NY - Palace Theater

Nov 4 State College, PA - Eisenhower Auditorium

Nov 7 Norfolk, VA - The Norva

Nov 8 Charlotte, NC - Ovens Auditorium

Nov 13 St.Petersburg, FL - Mahaffey Theater

Nov 14 Jacksonville, FL - Florida Theater

Nov 16 Lake Buena Vista, FL - House of Blues

Nov 17 Boca Raton, FL - Mizner Park Amphitheater

For more info & tickets visit:


Steve Kimock & Friends will be headlining the final 2 nights of George's 80th Anniversary Music Festival in Fayetteville, AR on September 8th & 9th . This event is also a benefit for NW Arkansas'  Music will run from 7:00pm to 2:00am, both nights on.  In keeping with the celebratory intent of this event, ticket prices were held to a minimum. $20 per night or $35 for a 2 day pass!  Lodging specials for those attending from out of town include a $79 rate at The Cosmopolitan, formerly The Radisson (6 blocks):479-442-5555, ask for George's Majestic's special rate.


12 Galaxies for two special engagements on Friday & Saturday, September 28th & 29th.

Also joining the ever-revolving cast of players of this eclectic acid-jazz, improvisational musical experience is bass player Tony Franklin, who most notably was a member of the Firm with Jimmy Page. The weekend will also feature the West Coast debut of the Paul Thiessen Band, with John Morgan Kimock on drums!

Shows are 18+ @ 10:00PM and will end late!


Mexicali Blues has been a warm and wonderful venue, where all of these musicians have had many magical moments in a variety of music configurations. We look forward to celebrating this auspicious evening with our good friends Rob, Eli, Josh and all of our friends at the neighboorhood club.

Steve Kimock will be performing as part of the Symbiotic Orchestra at the Symbiosis Gathering on September 23rd, 2007 in Angels Camp, CA. Featuring KIMOCK, MEMBERS OF STRING CHEESE INCIDENT, ZILLA, THE GLITCH MOB, AND MORE, this special event is not to be missed. Experience a fusion of Organic, Acoustic, Electronic, and Vocal Soundscapes as they explore new sonic territory together...Sunday Night @ 7PM on the Field Stage.

Symbiosis has begun a tradition of full-scale atmospheric design, bringing together a massive range of creative talent to inspire, awe, and activate your mind... The event seeks to integrate a number of healthy and conscious lifestyle elements into all areas. Musically, Symbiosis Gathering features a combination of bands, DJs, and live electronic acts from the West Coast and beyond... The artists represent a cross-section of the predominant underground music styles of the community.

For tickets & more info please visit: Symbiosis Gathering


Steve Barton- for the Grateful Web

You have heard Steve Barton on Translator's huge hit "Everywhere That I'm Not." The veteran San Francisco alt-rock outfit recorded four albums on 415/Columbia, and toured with R.E.M., Gang of Four and David Bowie. And Translator lives on to this day, soon to announce new recordings, rarities and reissues. However, in Barton's other, more day-to-day life, he's the vocalist/songwriter/guitarist in Steve Barton & the Oblivion Click, whose new album, Flicker of Time, will hit the streets on June 12. The album is on the Sleepless label, distributed through Redeye Distribution.
With 2005's Charm Offensive, Barton created the perfect pop monster. The Boston Phoenix wrote: "The high quality of the songwriting makes the album more than the sum of its influences: the hooks and riffs come so dependably that it all feels effortless. And the lyrics take a few sharp looks into the dark corners of love affairs, proving that the thoughtful streak of Barton's younger days hasn't waned." PopMatters called it "a most energetic and enjoyable effort, one where both the power and the pop are present and accounted for."  Mojo awarded it three stars, and the Sunday London Times called it "one of the year's unexpected delights."
The new album, Flicker of Time, presents a more varied musical palette, the result of Barton's band of two years  — Oblivion Click — road-testing the material before they hit the studio. The band contains Casey Dolan, guitar; Derrick Anderson, bass; and Robbie Rist, drums. (As an inevitable footnote, Rist is known to many as Oliver in "The Brady Bunch" television series and has accrued many Google-able TV, film and indie music credits since then.) Bassist Anderson contributed a photograph to the album's surreal cover graphic.
One of the pivotal songs on the new album is "Beverly Park," about an amusement park Barton used to frequent as a boy – until it was torn down to build a shopping mall. The themes of time and change continue throughout the album with such songs as the angular rocker opening track, "Cartoon Safe," the epic "Maps & Bridges," and the solo piano performance on his ballad "Under A Broken Sky." Fans of Barton's short rock 'n' roll bashers will be thrilled by the 2-1/2 minute "You Make Me Smile As Big As I Can" and the trashy pounding of "Winter Light." The album closes with the lovely instrumental "End Credits" (music supervisors, take note).

The band will tour behind this release, and the songs from this album and from Steve's previous solo releases, The Boy Who Rode His Bike Around the World and Charm Offensive will be featured, as well as gems from his Translator past.

Speaking of Translator, there's a lot happening in that band's world as well. All four 415/Columbia albums were recently reissued on the Wounded Bird label – their first time on CD. Different Time, an album of outtakes, demos and live recordings will come out on Almacantar Records this summer. Almacantar will also release Time of the Miracles, a document of the band's first reunion in 1993. And UK label Evangeline Records will release a two-disc set this June. Translator will tour this year at times in which Steve Barton & the Oblivion Click are off the road.

Every Now is a New Now for the Steve Kimock Band

Steve chatting up the crowd in VT- for the Grateful Web
SKB in Burlington, VT 10/29/05- for the Grateful Web

Alright, so timeliness is not my forte.  I'm always getting caught up in the moment, hence my lateness with papers, reviews, bills, and work, but perhaps it is also a reason for my being drawn to The Steve Kimock Band, whose tendency to explore the moment through improvisation, emphasizes "the now" in music.  In my opinion, SKB consistently illustrates one of my favorite observations about existence that every "now" is a new "now", and they will continue to explore that maxim in their New Years Eve Celebration, The New Now Ball at San Francisco's Great American Music Hall.

Perhaps the only thing that really matters in music is the moment.  Or maybe not, but if so, is this "review" of an SKB show from late October still relevant?  Well, I'd like to think so.  There is at least some value in past and future, in memory and anticipation.  If this fall tour is any indication, the upcoming New Now Ball will be a moment in time to be remembered!

The "new now" theme for the upcoming NYE celebration is a fitting opportunity to explore some of the seeming contradictions of the jam band scene.  Improvisational music is by definition "about" the moment.  Is it strange that a type of music so tied to the moment has a fan base that places so much emphasis on capturing and cataloging that music?  Can the fan who "knows" all the "greatest" versions of a particular song ever be satisfied with an average performance?

Comparison and its bastard sibling Expectation often mar the moment.  The many blissful experiences I've had seeing Kimock have created the foundation for my anticipation of seeing him play.  I am always hopeful that this show will be among the best ever.  Oftentimes for me the first notes of a particular song will yield a rush of all the hopes and dreams tied to the memory of a particularly spectacular performance.   The better the performance memory, the higher the expectation. 

But how can you really compare performances?  How can a memory be better than a live experience?  If you are concernerd with how the present performance compares, then you are hardly experiencing the moment, right?  Not to mention how many variables play a role.  The scene, the sound, the weather...every listening experience is going to be different.

This particular performance, October 28th in Burlington, VT, was the show I've been waiting for. The Steve Kimock Band brought it all to the table this particular Friday night.  The song selection was top notch.  The venue was superb. And my wife and I were finally out without the kids!  Could it get any better than that?  Well, the lovely city of Burlington topped things off with an idyllic sunny fall day at the Farmers Market, plus a yummy Indian lunch and a Halloween parade the next day.  Not a shabby weekend, I must say!

Where do I start?  I suppose when I saw that Steve was going to be in Burlington on a Friday night, I immediately hoped to myself that my mother-in-law might be able to come stay with the kids so wifey and I could make the road trip from Saratoga Springs and have a night to ourselves.  Lo and behold it worked out.  Thank God we called her the day before to remind her, because she said she thought it was Saturday night...ugh.  What a nightmare that would have been! The stars were aligned!

Time for some music!  Higher Ground is a well designed venue.  It is a ballroom style floorplan with chandeliers and plenty of dancing room with a bar along one side and one in back.  I liked that the bar in the back was raised a couple steps, with some tables and the like.  There was a tiny little balcony overlooking stage right that was accessable to press and guests...nice view, but the sound was primo out fact there wasn't really anywhere that didn't sound great.  Gotta hand it to Steve, I have never heard any band he has been involved with that didn't sound great.

Many of you are already familiar with the ineffably cosmic guitar playing from Steve Kimock, and most of you who know about Steve are likely familiar with his incomparable band. All of them of virtuostic talent. Rodney Holmes on drums provides unparalled dynamic range and heart.  The only name I would drop that Rodney might compare to is Billy Cobham.  Billy was the first drummer I had ever heard who could play "lead drums" without breaking out of the song into a drum solo per se.  He could simply overtly or subtley control the song's shape and feel and not break the momentum.  Rodney does this, maybe even better! He is one of the most captivating drummers I can remember.  And it isn't just that his playing commands yoiur attention and respect and awe, but he simply exudes a warmth and plays with such heart that you can see and feel how real he is.  There is no bullshit agenda with Rodney.  He makes me want to keep writing about him until i get it right.  We'll leave it at that (Heck, one other note:  be sure to check out Rodney's new album to be released next week, Twelve Months of October).

Reed Mathis plays bass with a fluidity and sincerity that makes you groove.  His smiling and dancing is so infectious that you can't help but enjoy just watching him enjoy playing, but even more you can't help but dance! His other band, Jacob Fred Jazz Odysey is another mostly instrumental, expeditious trio of sonic explorers.  Steve always finds great players, but Reed is a revelation.

Last but obviously not least, Robert Walter's funky organ fills this music with depth and soul.  Sometimes you look up and wonder, "What the F**k is making that sound?!"  And Rob is hunched over his keys, wailing away.  He mixes in these crazy, complementary rhythms that trip you up and make you dance like nobody I've heard play in a long time.  Plus, when Rob breaks out the B-3, look out, the New Orleans native will surely be cookin' up of some kind of soulful stew, a groovin' gumbo if you will.

Burlington was a blast.  The crowd filled in nicely, yet there was still plenty of dancing room, which made both my wife and I happy, we like our space.  The band was all smiles and apparently much happier with this crowd compared with the poor turnout I witnessed two nights earlier in Troy. Catching Reed's ear to ear grins during pregame warmups set me up for the great night ahead, as my notes confirm, "Reed a very happy boy tonight."

The highlights of the evening included the lead off number "Moon People" which I hadn't heard without former SKB guitarist, Mitch Stein, but Rob's crazy keyboard matched Mitch's whacked out rhythm work.  A nice warm up, but the "Ice Cream" that followed typified for me how this tour has been for this line up. It wasn't the smoothest version ever, but it hardly mattered as the highs were very high and the perseverence the band showed to reach those highs was gratifying indeed.  Steve kept regrouping the band so to speak and taking further charges that paid off with some hard dancing and a blissed out climax on the third peak.

My wife likes to go explore the venue and we meet up to dance every other song or so.  She checked in with her report on what the music did for her.  She rambled on about this bubbling of light that finally broke through on that last peak of "Ice Cream"...I thought that was apropos.  Apparently this night was going to be a battle of light and dark..."Incantation", according to my wife, revealed the darkness "yelling to get back in".  But Rodney's drumming helped to "chase the darkness away".  I don't remember at which point she exclaimed to me, "And he's winning!"

I had not heard a Mitchless "Weapons of Moose Destruction" yet and found this one quite satisfying.  The transition from Rob's solo to Steve's (Walnut Tripleneck Stringmaster) solo was so smooth you probably missed the handoff.  "Twinstar" was led in by a gorgeous bass solo from Reed, as my wife said it was like floating downstream while rapids slowly built, but never lost control.  I thought it was more like a sweet dream gone awry.  "Dr. Zaius" closed the first set.  I think this has been one of the great songs for 2005.  Always a little something for everyone.  And Rodney always makes this one intersting.  If anything, as a fan, hearing Steve take the song into a looser and less formal realm would be fun, but that might not mesh with the feel of the song.  I forgot to ask my wife what she thought.

I love to hear people's far ranging interpretation's of the music.  It goes to show just how subjective it all is.  I am always humbled by seeing a show that I thought was mediocre only to take my first step out the door and over hear someone say, "That was the best ever!"  Yet, I feel there must be some type of objective nature to the music that allows folks to collectively deem a particular performance "great" and another "mediocre".  There are times when the music is just so hot you have no choice but to believe, and yet, it always comes back to the listener. Go figure...I guess that is why I appreciated my wife's interpretation so much, because it was based on what the music did to her and how she reacted, rather than judging it as good or bad per se.

That is exactly what I love about the SKB experience.  It is a trip every time.  And the second set exemplified that for me. I had been waiting since KVHW (circa 1999) to see "It's Up To You" live, so I was fully satisfied with this perfunctory performance of it.  The thing about this song is that is is wide open for literally anything to happen - Steve's "Dark Star" if you will.  The song reminds me of the first time I visited Yellowstone.  I drove in from the north and remember climbing a mountain, expecting some amazing peak at the top...I had no idea what the view was going to hold.  And when I came to the top of the mountain, I was blown away that it was no mountain, but rather a huge plain.  All I could see was flat grassland for miles, and some more mountains far in the distance.  I drove for a long while before coming across a herd of bison.  I drove on and on and came to the grand canyon of Yellowstone (or whatever it is called).  Holy Moly!  Whole worlds hidden away in this seeming barren plain.  The geysers, the forests, the lake, the Tetons in the distance...This was a place in which to get lost in the moment.  Around every corner was a new place and time.  And therein, every now a new now.  I have always felt that way about the vast possibilities of "It's Up To You". This may not have been my favorite version or the most fully explored, it is always worth the trip.

Next up was, in my opinion, perhaps the song of the year, "Elmer's Revenge".  There have been a number of decent versions throughout the years, characterized by what I think of as a sort of "triumphant redundancy" of the main riff as the song builds intensity.  I was first struck by the use of the end of this song as an oppportunity for Rodney to go off.  The so-called lead instruments and bass hold down a steady rhythm, allowing for Rodney's turn to explore, usually blowing the doors off the place.   This year the mellow first section has developed into one of those timeless spaces for exploration.  I quite enjoy the mellow side of SKB, and some of the spacey noodling that Steve partakes in this section nowadays can be mind boggling.  I love it.  Robert is assured an opportunity to unleash his super heavy oprgan here, too, before Elmer finally got ahold of that wabbit.

I found my wife upstairs having a nice conversation with Steve's sister Anne (I didn't ask if she spells it with an "e" or not).  She lives in Vermont and said she loves to see Steve when he is in the area.  She was adorable talking about her big brother and how proud she is of him.  I asked my wife how that conversation developed, and she said she just asked her if she was with the band, because she thought Anne must be related to Steve, "They have the same hair!"  I had to laugh at that one. Meeting her and hearing a new perspective on Steve added more color to an already colorful experience. 

After the that little interlude and the two jammy juggernauts, we got some old fashioned funk, Robert Walter style, with "Hover" and "Aquafresh" which are prime dance numbers for the masses.  The addition of the "Rob tunes" has been a nice new twist to the usual SKB fare.  They tend to be more consice songs with some raunchy soloing by both Rob and Steve.  Next was a sweet and melodic version of "Stella Blue" that always makes for a happy crowd.  Steve stayed with the Stringmaster for nice run through "Samba", which makes for a good closer. A truly satisfying and exhausting night!  But this poor body was ready for my feet to leave the dance floor, and find a new now with my head on my pillow.

All in all, the "new" Steve Kimock Band proves to be as fun and danceable a band on the scene today!  They keep everyone happy from the guitar geeks, to the funksters, the trippers, and even those who are just looking for a good night of music away from the kids.  If you can't catch them live, you can buy pristine recordings of their shows at or oftentimes you can find many of their great fan recorded shows on

The SKB archivist, Charlie Miller, has put together some highlights of this fall tour on his Road Notes Vol 2 released through (yes, of course there is a volume one from late spring, which I also highly recommend).  This is a phenomenal three disc set which is missing only one piece to make it "complete" in my opinion.  It needs a good "Elmer's Revenge".  But lucky for us, Charlie uploaded the soundboard/audience "matrix" version of the show from Dallas on 10/01/2005 as a special treat for the fans on the Live Music Achirve. Also check out the version of "Eudemon" from that show as it is amazing (which is included on Road Notes).  It is the title song form the first SKB album which came out in August.  If you look around, you can find plenty of great freebies all over the internet, and the archive is the jackpot.  You are sure to get great sounding fan recorded music there.  If you want a premium sounding recording of a show you have seen or simply want to hear, will have it, most everything from 2003 to present.  They also have begun podcasting some highlights from various shows for the occaisional treat. 

Check out for details of upcoming shows.  I believe SKB is on its way toward the great Northwest before they head down to San Francisco for their New Years Eve run.  Get out to see them durng this particular now, because you never know how long your now is going to last. Better Now than never...

Thanks to all the Kimock Band and crew.  You are putting out some great music and taking us all to some crazy new places!



Past stories from Chris:

Rather Sit Than Dance To It?

The Dead & DeadHeads celebrate Jerry's Birthday

5.8.77 - Cornell University - 28 Years Later...

Dark Star Orchestra Provides Fun and Nostalgia in NY

Thoughts on American Music and Jerry Garcia

Gathering of the Vibes 2005

Thoughts On Katrina