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Jam giant Steve Kimock sweetens the Skipperdome



Steve Kimock 1  

Fine, the Grateful Dead is touring this month to the bliss of fervent 'Heads around the country. But not here.

Feeling nostalgic and needing a 100-calorie pack of Jerry’s signature noodly-psychedelic MIDI effects? Steve Kimock goes one better with sustainable, 100-percent organic guitar. One of the greatest slide players in the country (hear that, Derek Trucks?), he touched down Sunday night at the Skipperdome with his new project, Crazy Engine.

Melvin “Master of the Universe” Seals's growly Hammond B-3 organ work outshone that of 12-year-old John Morgan Kimock on drums (OK, maybe he’s like 18) or Janis Wallin on bass. But Cheryl Rucker and Shirley Starks added a welcome new dimension of soul-spiced vocals to about half the songs in the marathon four-hour show (hey, that’s Kimock).

The former guitarist and demiurge of the San Francisco area's Zero, Kimock has played with just about every Dead (and Dead-end) project in recent years, from the Other Ones to RatDog, but he brings his own calm, cerebral technique even to Dead classics like Stella Blue (his encore, which he trotted out after agreeing with the audience to forgo the messy hoopla of leaving the stage, audience whooping, and returning to stage).

No stranger to Robert Hunter-penned tunes (Zero had many), he still has his own style: Finger-in-a-socket grey hair bristling, he takes a long time to develop his thoughts, never slamming and jamming it. A Kimock solo requires ten minutes to reach its effulgence. Why write a sentence when a paragraph will do? From a cover of the Isley Brothers‚Äô It‚Äôs Your Thing to a deliciously exploratory Ice Cream, Kimock is worth shutting your trap for.Do I sound like a total chick, though, if I say the inclusion of some lyric-driven songs is a nice change from the almost-entirely instrumental Steve Kimock Band?

-- Laura Reiley

[Last modified: Monday, April 27, 2009 12:38am]


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