Kimock, the name for the newest musical venture of legendary guitarist Steve Kimock, embarked on a brief tour starting last week, and brought it Sunday night to Boston, Massachusetts’ Brighton Music Hall. The latest musical project, which swirls the best sounds of jazz and psychedelia luxuriously together, is a quartet featuring the pristine talents of Kimock’s son John Morgan Kimock on drums, longtime bandmate and friend Bobby Vega on bass, and multi-instrumentalist and singer Leslie Mendelson.
Brighton brought a crowd of mostly Kimock diehards, who know what’s good with the kind of immaculate jams Steve and friends are known for, but mixed with local music lovers that were in for an incredible, unexpected treat. The material from Sunday night’s show was a direct mix of both new and old Kimock songs and some favorited covers. The opening take on “Sisters and Brothers” was a high spirited way to start things off. Soon enough into the show, though, the band began to delve into their own incredible material, such as a beautiful execution of their recently released single, “Sagan.” The tune is a dreamy instrumental that shines from a perfect mingling of Steve’s guitar touch, that is at once delicate while also sounding emotionally heartfelt, with a rippling, syncopated groove from the rhythm section. The song also featured recording of the scientific thinker after whom the song is named for, Carl Sagan. In combination with the playing all around, the vintage, echoes of dialogue blasted the room into a cosmic headspace.
Drummer John Morgan Kimock, powering behind this rhythm section. John Morgan has been playing with his dad since he was a tiny human being, but his recent stellar success as a musician is for sure his own, as he is currently rocking it as drummer for both Mike Gordon Band and Kat Wright’s Indomitable Soul Band. Bobby Vega, likewise, sounds as in the pocket as ever, and so the two make for a fantastic fit for the recently formed project with Steve Kimock, in part because of the way his playing regularly takes on a jazzy feel that comes as a great backdrop for Steve’s more experimental material. And at points in this night, Vega was so visibly invested into the music of the evening that he was dancing in physical sync with his groovy bass lines.
Newest to the Kimock world is Mendelson, who in addition to throwing her own rich tones on both keyboards and guitar into the mix this night, delivered some easeful vocals throughout the night, like “Crazy Fingers” and the awesome Bruce Cockburn hit, “Waiting For a Miracle.” But her voice, and her own playing, sounded especially beautiful on the other recent release of the of band, the spacey funk out “Variation” that also glows with the lure of Steve’s lap steel playing.
As she warmed up and shined in her own right, the mutuality of feel-good enthusiasm between band and crowd was solidified, as Steve effortlessly ushered the crowd into joining Mendelson on belting out the lines of the more classic numbers. The standout of the show was the closer of set one, a righteous performance of the vintage Steve Kimock tune, “Tongue n Groove.” One of the most known songs in the guitarist’s repertoire, here this latest iteration of players breathed new, glowing life into it, to the joyous reception of the crowd.
Catch Kimock over the next four days as they hit Boulton Center and Club Helsinki in NY, Ardmore Music Hall in PA, and, to end the tour, Higher Ground in VT on Sunday.
Article by Miles Hurley
Photos by JD Cohen