Tag Archives: Steve Kimock

Steve Kimock & Friends: A Tribute to Jerry Garcia

Steve Kimock & Friends: A Tribute To Jerry Garcia

Ardmore Music Hall

Ardmore, PA



Kimock & Friends - 3.15.15 (9)“Never miss a Sunday show.”

This statement rang true when Steve Kimock & Friends performed some of their favorite Jerry Garcia tunes at Ardmore Music Hall.  Over four decades of performing live the guitar wizard became close friends and has had the opportunity on many occasions to share the stage with The Grateful Dead. With the psychedelic Bay Area group celebrating fifty-years, it is fitting that Kimock pays homage to his friend and Grateful Dead guitarist/vocalist, Jerry Garcia.  A group of accomplished musicians joined him onstage this evening, Bobby Vega (Bass), Bill Vitt (Drums), John Morgan Kimock (Drums), Jeff Chimenti (Keyboards/Organ), and Dan Lebowitz (Guitar/Vocals).


Kimock & Friends - 3.15.15 (4)As the band took the stage in front of a capacity crowd on Sunday night there were hoots and hollers in anticipation of what the super group was going to start the evening off with. “High Heeled Sneakers” kicked off the set, with Kimock’s smooth guitar and Chimenti’s steady keys starting off the tune.  This was a perfect beginning to the night.  Dan Lebowitz, from ALO (Animal Liberation Orchestra) took the opportunity to let his voice shine on the opener. With the funky bass of Vega and Kimock’s tasty guitar licks, “Merle’s Boogie,” brought a smile to everyone in attendance.  Chimenti took center stage during the song with a flawless solo on his organ.  You could hear a pin drop as the band started into a perfect rendition of the classic number, “Black Muddy River.”  Drummers Vitt and John Morgan Kimock laid down a nice soothing backbeat as the elder Kimock took the spotlight with his graceful lap steel.


Kimock & Friends - 3.15.15 (6)Vega started out “Expressway to Your Heart” with a bassline that led Chimenti and Steve Kimock to join in the tune seamlessly.  This number during the first set reminded everyone in attendance why Vega is considered one of the most well rounded bassists in the jamband world.  The extended take on the Soul Survivors classic gave each band member time to shine throughout the seventeen-plus minutes.  To conclude the opening set guitarists Kimock and Lebowitz stepped up to the microphone to sing

Kimock & Friends - 3.15.15 (18)“Money Honey” which was first recorded by Garcia and longtime friend and musician, Merl Saunders, on The Keystone Companions: The Complete 1973 Fantasy Recordings.  As the band was introduced the sold out Ardmore Music Hall was smiling from ear to ear and waiting to hear what the group had in store for them during the second set.

As the band took the stage and the capacity crowd settled back in the sextet opened the second set with “Aiko Aiko,” which made Ardmore feel like it was down in New Orleans for Mardi Gras. The band then pleased the capacity crowd by performing a stellar rendition of The Grateful Dead classic, “Bertha.” With a deep, prominent bass groove and the backing of Vitt & Kimock on drums, with the pair sounding just the rhythm devils Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzman, the band really connected with the fans on this one.  Lebowitz lent his vocals and acoustic guitar expertise and Chimenti performed a solo for the ages.  You could feel the energy in the room that was going back and forth between the band and crowd during “Bertha.”  It was pure magic.  Next Kimock quieted the crowd with a moving rendition of “Stella Blue,” that was laced with some of his chilling pedal steel work.


Kimock & Friends - 3.15.15 (11)The band threw a curveball into the mix when they started out with the Grateful Dead classic  “Help On The Way,” which slid easily into its common partner “Slipknot!” before throwing the crowd for a loop as it then transitioned smoothly into the Jesse Stone number, “Don’t Let Go,” which then moved into a perfect segue into “Philadelphia Mambo.”  The group capped the night off paying homage to J.J. Cale with a version of “After Midnight,” that included The Beatles “Eleanor Rigby.”



Hot Tuna (Electric Quartet), 6/23/12

Hot Tuna — Electric Quartet
The Wellmont Theatre
Montclair, NJ
June 23, 2012



On a recent June evening, legendary Hot Tuna founders, Jorma Kaukonen & Jack Casady, made a stop at The Wellmont Theatre in Montclair, NJ. The evening was 2012’s 24th outing for Jorma and Jack’s Electric Quartet that includes Skoota Warner on drums and Barry Mitterhoff on rhythm guitar (that occasionally takes a lead). Making this evening extra special was the addition of announced special guest, Bob Steeler. Steeler, who added his drum accompaniment to the beats of Skoota Warner, was a member of Hot Tuna from the mid to late 70s, one of the band’s most regarded periods. Furthering the roster of humble craft masters was none other than Steve Kimock, who joined in on the fun for the final number of the set, “Funky # 7,” and the encore, “Baby What You Want Me To Do.”

If anyone needs to read a review to know whether or not the night with the aforementioned cast was filled with complete amazement, well… we’re sorry.




Serpent Of Dreams, Hesitation Blues, Can’t Get Satisfied, Ode To Billy Dean, Goodbye To The Blues, 99 Year Blues, Mourning Interrupted, Bowlegged Woman, Second Chances, Children Of Zion, Hit Single # 1, If This Is Love, I Want My Money Back, Funky # 7
Encore: Baby What You Want Me To Do 


Click the thumbnail(s) to view photos from the show by Vernon Webb

Follow Vernon’s photo journey via his Facebook page.





Steve Kimock, 5/26/12

Steve Kimock
Variety Playhouse
Atlanta, GA
May 26, 2012



When Steve Kimock announced that he would be launching a “large-scale tour” back in March, immediate excitement pulsed through the tight knit jam community. Having become somewhat road reclusive, the tour — that amounted to a grand total of 13 cities over 17 days — would be the first time that the beloved Kimock hit the road in over three years. For those who have not been fortunate to be in a location where Kimock has played (Jam Cruise, New York City, etc.) during the hiatus, it would be the first time that they had been able to experience the signature sound in much longer than they cared to recall.The unfortunate part: it was over almost as soon as it had begun.

On the night that things were initially planned to wrap, Kimock and his touring band of noteworthy notables rolled into Atlanta for what would be a spectacular evening; a literal showcase of exactly the type of badass that Kimock is.

With classic and new originals including the spine chilling instrumental, “Tongue n Groove,” and “Tastes Like Chicken” (Kimock/Worrell — see below for stream) combined with covers that included the second set opener, “Stella Blue,” (see below for video) that saw Kimock playing the slide in such a soothing manner that it made one wonder if his instrument would actually shed tears, the audience was taken on a journey filled with beautiful vistas and high-flying acrobatics.

We can all only hope that it doesn”t take Steve another 1000 days to hit the road again.




I: You”re The One > Pusherman > You”re the One, TLC, 54-46, Ice Cream, You Can”t Do That > Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) > You Can”t Do That > Super Stupid > You Can”t Do That
II: Stella Blue, Take Me To The River*, 16 Tons*, Part For, One For Brother Mike, Tongue N Groove, Congo Man Chant > Get Up Stand Up*, Red Hot Mamma*

Notes: * w/ Marshall Ruffin


Click HERE to download an audience recording of the show.


Click the thumbnail(s) to view photos from the show by …






Steve Kimock, 5/11/12

Steve Kimock
Brooklyn Bowl
New York City, NY
May 11, 2012



Over the course of May, Steve Kimock hit the road for his first tour in over three years. On night three of the thirteen date run, he and his touring band — that includes Bernie Worrell (Parliament Funkadelic) on keys, drummer Wally Ingram (Sheryl Crow, Stockholm Syndrome) and bassists Andy Hess and Reed Mathis (Tea Leaf Green) — hit up the Brooklyn Bowl.

As one might suspect out of a Kimock evening at the Bowl, the night included guests John Popper, Bobby Bryan on guitar and vox, Todd Reynolds on violin and Kimock’s son, John, on drums for the entire evening in place of Ingram.




I: Five B4 Funk, Thing One, Tangled Hangers, Talk About It Blues, Standing On Sacred Ground, Take Me To The River

II: TLC, You’re The One, Many Rivers To Cross, Family Tree, Red Hot Mama

Encore: Sleepwalk


Click the thumbnail(s) to view photos from the show by Vernon Webb




Steve Kimock and Friends, 11/5/11

Steve Kimock & Friends
Brooklyn Bowl
New York City, NY
November 5, 2011


As part of his recent residence at New York’s Brooklyn Bowl, Steve Kimock brought out a few friends, for the second of a two night stand, to help him bathe the crowd with the mystic guitar work and infamous groove for which he is known.

With Kimock on guitar, Bobby Vega on bass, Bernie Worrell on keys and Wally Ingram on drums, the quartet was also be joined — towards the end of the first set — by Kimock’s son, Morgan, on a second drum kit and Peter Apfelbaum on sax and percussion . Highlighted by what is arguably one of Kimock’s most profound compositions, “Tongue N Groove,” the quartet would later be joined by cellist Trevor Exter who joined the ensemble for the night capping number, “Use Me.”




I: Nana’s Chalkpipe, Rigor Mortis, Ice Cream, Baby Baby, Tongue N Groove

II: Anorexia, Merle’s Boogie, Many Rivers To Cross, Hillbillies On PCP

Encore: Use Me


To download an audience recording of this show, click here.

Click the thumbnail(s) to view photos from the evening by Vernon Webb

Ratdog and Keller close their tour with a bang in LA

Ratdog/Keller Williams

The Greek Theatre

Los Angeles, California

July 28, 2007


Words by Joy Rosenberg and photos by Keith Berson / keithberson.com  


Los Angeles’ Greek Theatre, a 6,200-capacity, open-air theatre at the base of a steep mountainside in Griffith Park, is one of the first public park conservations in the nation.  Its motto is "Live music under the stars in the heart of Los Angeles," and with almost 80 years of concerts, the crowd at the July 28 Keller Williams/Ratdog show was one of the most congenial ever to take in some of the finest music to echo off its slopes.




Keller Williams took the stage to open the last show of this summer tour, predicting things to come as he sang "Freakiness will hopefully ensue" from among his stockpile of instruments, setting out on his one-man mission to create groove loops that would have everyone dancing in the balmy, late-afternoon heat.

Keller’s joy in performing is so evident that it almost doesn’t matter what he’s playing—although covers of "Stayin’ Alive" and a solo version of "Pancho and Lefty" (made famous as a duet between Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard) were a tasty way to kick off the evening as the crowd slowly filtered in through the gates.

It appeared that Keller’s act would be a short one, until Bob Weir joined him on stage and the two paired their acoustic guitars for intimate campfire versions of "Monkey and the Engineer" and "Cadillac," which featured Keller on the Jew’s harp. 

As if to say the evening would break all the rules, Keller said, "We don’t have time for one more, but we’re going to do it anyway—’cause that’s how it goes!"  With that, they broke into "Dark Hollow," with Keller on mouth trumpet, a rare and appreciated treat for the audience just as the stage lights came on and the sun prepared to set over the hillside.

The almost-full moon shone increasingly brightly as the other members of Ratdog took their places behind their instruments to the cheers of the now-full theatre.  The lineup featured Steve Kimock, who has been standing in for Mark Karan, as the guitarist has been undergoing treatment for cancer

Ratdog’s set began with a signature jam opener that eventually coagulated into the dramatic first chords of "Help on the Way/Slipknot!"  An extended jam in the middle provided the first taste of Kimock’s precise riffing as it deftly locked in with Robin Sylvester’s bass, itself coming through strong from the get-go.  It was evident that this was going to be a night of precise musicianship and tight jamming.

The funk that would eventually comprise the second set was foreshadowed with Kenny Brooks’ deep sax as the band slid into "Easy Answers."  At one point, Weir was down on one knee, wailing on his guitar to the cheers of an enthusiastic audience that gave him rock star applause.  The tempo sped up and the crowd was out of its seats and dancing for "Frankie and Johnny." 

A beautifully-executed triumvirate followed: "Lazy River Road," followed by "Cassidy" and "Bird Song."  These flowed seamlessly into each other and the familiar tunes lifted the audience into a state of bliss, evidenced by cheers and whistles throughout the crowd.  Bobby sang, "Laugh in the sunlight…Fly through the night," just in time for the sun to finally set and the moon to take over. 

Set one ended with "Good Lovin’," and the Greek Theatre, from the first row all the way to the highest bleacher, was up shakin’ it as hard as they could, egged on by Bobby’s repeated shouts of "Who needs it?" that echoed the song’s chorus.

When Ratdog said they would take a short break, they actually meant it!  It wasn’t long before Jay Lane’s ominous, commanding drums and Weir’s sparse chords became "Masters of War," the lyrics still as acerbic and apropos as when Dylan wrote it more than 44 years ago.  This heavy political statement interrupted the party vibe of the evening, but no doubt served to remind the audience to remain conscious of world events even as they enjoy the good times. 

From the same vein came "Black Throated Wind," which featured loud crowd cheers on the advice, "What’s to be found running around?  You carry your pain wherever you go…You ain’t gonna learn what you don’t want to know."

For instant fun injection, just add Keller.  He returned to the stage to lighten the mood and add wacky distortion from his guitar to a slow, thumping bass line that led to a seriously funked-up "Althea."  It culminated in a tight, fast-paced crescendo that bordered on chaotic and had all seven musicians jamming at the top of their games.  Kimock was on fire here, every note effortless, lubricated, and defined.




At the height of the jam, Brooks’ sax laid down the mountains and Jeff Chimenti’s piano coated them with a sprinkling of snow.  All 6,000+ people could be heard singing along, "This place is getting hot!" 

The band used that momentum to segue into a joyous "Scarlet Begonias."  If there was prior doubt that the party was on, it was gone at this point.  Weir could barely be heard over all the attendees singing at the top of their lungs in unison, "Had one of them flashes, I’ve been here before, been here before."  The ecstatic audience howled to the dominant moon as Kimock led the band into a crescendo. 

Keller took the mic, improvising trumpet sounds with his mouth—with the sax picking up the cue—and soon the two "horns" were trading phrases, with Keller leading and Brooks echoing impressively.  The piano followed closely behind, eventually merging the duo back into the melee.

Michael Franti & Spearhead’s guitarist David Shul, in town working on an album, emerged in the middle of it all and added to the sound as Kimock, now wailing, skimmed the top.  Sylvester’s bass held the anchor of the still-funked out jam that had been carried over from "Althea" and with a prominent lick, Kimock signaled the end of the megajam and the band segued into a quieter lull that emerged slowly, to the delight of all, as "Dear Prudence." 

An abrupt but deft chord change switched gears yet again, this time back into a "Cassidy" reprise that threw everyone for a loop.  No one in Los Angeles that night believed they would get through the night without a "One More Saturday Night," and Weir delivered.  Changing some of the lyrics, he addressed the president as "George," and advised him: "break out your boogie shoes!"

After briefly leaving the stage, the band came out for one encore, wrapping up the "Slipknot!" from the first set and seguing to "Franklin’s Tower."  As if giving a farewell wish to the west coast before leaving, Weir sang, "May the four winds blow you safely home." 

In an inspiring moment of camaraderie and family, the entire cast and crew—arms around each others’ shoulders—held up a handmade sign on a long white sheet that read in block lettering, "Good Vibes MK," a wish for Mark Karan’s speedy recovery. 

Ratdog is clearly a tightly-knit family, and the crowd was a part of that, all the way to the last note of the tour.







Reminiscing at 10KLF

10,000 Lakes Festival

Detroit Lakes, Minnesota

July 18-21, 2007


Minnesota is known for many things, with lakes among the most popular.  Celebrating summer with good music has always been the way I like to remember my home state best, so heading back for 10,000 Lakes Festival is always a treat.  

This year marked the fifth 10KLF, with ticket sales at an all-time high.  I attended inaugural festival, so it was fun to come back four years later to see how the event had matured.  It was evident that plenty of progress has been made in developing and fine-tuning the grounds, an integral part of what makes the event special.  Surrounded by mature oak trees, green grass, and water, the temperature generally stays cool, making 10KLF an ideal summer fest respite for bands and fans alike.

This year the weather was warmer, but certainly not hot enough to slow the attendees down.  The festival grounds buzzed with seemingly non-stop activity that flowed through the huge festival field and the five campgrounds surrounding it and into the vending area, which was packed with a plethora of great food and craft vendors.

The four main stages were a good length apart, but not far enough that you get exhausted just thinking about moving to the next show.  But if a fest guest were too tired to walk back to their campground, a golf cart cabbie was readily available to give their dogs a rest.

The line-ups at 10KLF consistently provide something for everyone to enjoy.  I managed to take in 18 bands this year without seeing one mediocre performance; not a single show was even close to lackluster.  

I pulled in at dusk on Wednesday to the bluegrass-meets-rock sounds of Blueground Undergrass.  The first evening was mellow but very uplifting, and as the venue began to fill, it rippled with anticipation.

During the afternoons, the shows were played with plenty of verve under the blue and sunny skies.  Galactic, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Outformation, Everyone Orchestra, Keller Williams, Little Feat, and Toubab Krewe all brought an infectious enthusiasm to the midday settings. Crowds gathered early in front of all stages, and sheer ecstasy and rowdy applause could be found at every turn.  Even by day four, when you would expect partiers to show signs of fest weariness, the crowd’s energy remained surprisingly high.




The schedule for every evening was thoughtfully planned.  If someone truly wanted to see all of the evening bands, it was possible – providing, of course, you had the stamina to get you through it.  There was very little overlap of headliners, so you never really had to choose one over another.  Over nine hours of top notch performances were flowing every night

On Thursday evening Zappa Plays Zappa contributed two and a half hours of Frank’s tunes, played to perfection.  This delightful din, fronted by Frank's son Dweezil was followed by a very rambunctious two and a half hour set from Umphrey’s McGee. The Disco Biscuits finished out the night and provided a sort of pulsating electronic lullaby to those who went back to their camps to rest off the well danced day. 

moe. supplied just the right amount of Friday night spunk to prepare adoring String Cheese Incident fans for an emotional three and a half hour set. The usual celebratory weirdness you expect at a SCI show was present in full-force, and it was interesting to witness, knowing that the end of an era for both band and fans was unfolding right in front of me.

There was a sentimental vibe emanating from the audience, and the band was clearly enjoying the warm, err, fuzzies.  Anyone who wasn’t feeling too sentimental to continue rocking out went on to enjoy a riveting high energy performance by The Tragically Hip, but if pure stings strummed heavily in a foot stomping, front porch manner was more your style, the choice to see MN’s own Trampled by Turtles was also available.  TBT was extraordinary and it was pure pleasure to witness their exuberant fans enjoying the heck out of the show.  


Saturday night was definitely set up to be a grand finale.  Gov’t Mule started the evening off with every bit of force they are capable of.  The wind picked up and blew a refreshing breeze over the rhythmically warmed.  Just when I thought the show couldn’t get any better, Derek Trucks emerged on stage to add his slide on "32-20 Blues."  The band was in a rockin’ good mood and did not hold back as they prepared the crowd to embrace Bob Weir and Ratdog.  

Ratdog kicked off their set with "Help On The Way > Slipknot," and never looked back.  An absolutley unforgettable guest appearance by Warren Haynes on "Big Railroad Blues" closed out the first set, working the audience into a massive dancing frenzy in the process.  The second set saw Weir's playful side surface.  No Minnesota performance by any Grateful Dead member would be complete without a Bob Dylan tune, and "A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall" quickly turned into an enormous feel good sing along.  Ratdog has been on the road with Keller Williams for several weeks, and the one-man band joined his tourmates to close out the second set on "Bird Song," "Cassidy," and "One More Saturday Night." 

A 30 min fireworks display was launched after Ratdog’s last note and revved the audience into gear for a phenomenal midnight set from The Derek Trucks Band. The music sounded fantastic under the starry sky, and the band was in great form, smiles beaming from the stage for the entire show.  

The raw and raunchy funk of Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk was also available during the same midnight time slot to assure that all dancers with even an once of energy left could set their souls afire in front of any active stage.  And if one last set was what a lingering guest needed, a great late night/early Sunday morning set came from The Lee Boys.  Nothing is quite as satisfying as a dose of sacred steel in the wee morning hours to close out a phenomenal weekend.  

I left 10KLF feeling tired, yet rejuvenated all the same.  The mind set of the staff who run the show definitely contributed to the culture of the event, and I didn’t meet a single employee who was not glad to be there or enjoying their job.  If there really is such a thing as “Midwestern nice” the people who put on 10KLF fit the definition.  No details were overlooked at this party, and my, what a party it was!


All photos by Candise Kola



The Rhythm Devils take flight this fall

The Rhythm Devils have confirmed a string of dates this fall at theatres across the country.  The new super-group which features Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann of The Grateful Dead, Mike Gordon of Phish, and the ubiquitous Steve Kimock first came together this past spring in New York City.  After a mini-tour in August that included The Gathering of the Vibes Festival, The Rhythm Devils are poised to return to the road this October leading up to The Vegoose Music Festival.  The October dates will also feature vocal sensation Goapele and talking drum master Sikiru Adepoju.

In August, the band debuted new original material penned by Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter including “Fountains of Wood,” “The Center” and “Who Do You Think You Are.”  The group also dipped into the Grateful Dead songbook highlighted by “The Other One,” “Sugaree” and “Comes A Time.”  In the spirit of collaboration, The Rhythm Devils have welcomed many special guests at their recent appearances including Bob Weir, Charlie Musselwhite, Babba Maal, Angelique Kidjo, Stephen Perkins, and the legendary newsman Walter Cronkite.

Hart and Kreutzmann's remarkable cohesion, synchronicity, and driving power became a hallmark of the Grateful Dead's sound for over thirty years, earning them the nickname The Rhythm Devils.  The percussive duo's sole release was The Apocalypse Now Sessions for which they were recruited by director Francis Ford Coppola to bring together the myriad sounds and colors for the legendary film.

Both men have kept busy over the years participating in numerous projects from the Grammy winning percussive super-group Planet Drum which brought Mickey together with Zakir Hussain and many of the world's best drummers, to the one-off power trio SerialPod in which Kreutzmann collaborated with Trey Anastasio (Phish) and Mike Gordon.    Steve Kimock appeared in both The Other Ones and Zero while Mike Gordon has clocked in the better part of the past twenty years with Phish.  This marks the first time that Hart, Kreutzmann, Gordon, and Kimock have toured together as an ensemble.

One of the R&B world’s freshest commodities Goapele, will also be joining The Rhythm Devils for their extended October run.  Goapele has released two critically acclaimed albums via Sony/Columbia and is ready to expose her wonderful talent to a new audience.  Sikiru Adepoju has collaborated with Mickey Hart in past incarnations of Planet Drum.  Sikiru is known as one of the most accomplished Talking Drum players in the world and brings his uncanny sensibilities to the Rhythm Devils mix.

The Rhythm Devils kick off their fall tour on October 17 at The Sunoco Theatre in Harrisburg, PA before heading to The Starland Ballroom in Sayersville, NJ.  Stops in Ohio include Columbus’s Promowest Pavilion, Toledo’s Stranahan Theatre, and The House of Blues in Cleveland.  The band will hit the Midwest with a special show at The Chicago Theatre on October 24 and The Riverside Theatre in Milwaukee on October 25.  The tour wraps up at The Vegoose Music Festival on October 29.  Tickets for all shows will be available through GDTSTOO at www.gdtstoo.com.  Check out www.rhythmdevils.net for photos, mp3s, and the new Rhythm Devils online store.

10/17/06        Harrisburg, PA          Sunoco Thr.
10/18/06        Sayersville, NJ         Starland Ballroom
10/19/06        Columbus, OH            Promowest Pavilion
10/21/06        Toledo, OH              Stranahan Thr.
10/22/06        Cleveland, OH           House of Blues
10/24/06        Chicago, IL             Chicago Thr.
10/25/06        Milwaukee, WI           Riverside Thr.
10/29/06        Las Vegas, NV           Vegoose Music Festival