For nearly four decades the guitar playing of Steve Kimock has captivated listeners of all different musical palettes. The master improviser and bandleader is busy as ever, nearing an exciting nationwide tour with his new band K I M O C K featuring his son John Morgan Kimock on drums, familiar cohort Bobby Vega on bass, and Leslie Mendelson on vocals and piano. I’m here today with Steve to talk about this surge of new activity.
Steve Kimock’s imaginative guitar and improvisational prowess continues to evolve. For over forty years he’s crafted boundless music that captivates and expands consciousness. His compositions are distinct in melody and temperament, while his approach will undoubtedly modify as every tune develops, as its own singular organism at any given performance. He began his professional career in the early 1980s as co-founder of the cherished Bay Area band Zero.
K I M O C K is an exciting, new, intimate ensemble from the father/son duo Steve & John Kimock. They have been composing music over the past year, inspired by SK's new solo album, Last Danger of Frost (out on 3/18), a major departure focusing largely on acoustic/electronic sounds. K I M O C K heads in a new direction, orchestrating musical styles across genres and generations. SK's left hand Bobby Vega is on bass for the debut tour, bringing us deep grooves and tones plus 30-years of chemistry and collaboration, along with special guest vocalist Leslie Mendelson.
Few acts have served as large of a spectrum of music as New Riders of the Purple Sage. These psychedelic country-rock titans have been performing for nearly forty-five years with original members David Nelson (guitar, vocals) and Buddy Cage (pedal steel guitar) keeping the flame burning strong. The group began in 1970 when Jerry Garcia was transitioning the Grateful Dead into country and folk territory. Like most instruments he put his mind to, he took to the pedal steel guitar miraculously quick.
Certain bonds never fade away. It has been quite a while since guitar icon Steve Kimock and legendary drummer Greg Anton have performed together as their original band, Zero. They were the originators of “jam band” before that was even coined or acknowledged. Back then there was a variety of genres. Rock, soul, jazz, blues, on and on, Zero encompassed them all.
Iconic guitarist and composer Steve Kimock is a fixture in many different contexts. It’s hard to think of a musician who’s more adaptable and melodically resourceful. While his style gets unfairly lumped into the jam category, those more knowledgeable know better. It’s best to regard him as a purveyor of free music. Jerry Garcia admired his work immensely and proclaimed Kimock his favorite under-the-radar guitarist.
Steve Kimock will host a special tribute show to Jerry Garcia in several Northeast cities featuring an all star cast of musicians from the Grateful Dead universe including Zero bassist Bobby Vega, Jerry Garcia’s drummer Bill Vitt, Furthur/RatDog keyboardist Jeff Chimenti, Dan Lebowitz of ALO on guitar, and Kimock’s own son on drums, John Morgan Kimock.