Steve Kimock Crazy Engine, Stillwater, Ashland, OR – 10/29
Like pulling feathers off felt without disturbing the lay of the weave, Steve Kimock caresses a subtle power from his many guitars. Soft, quick, delicate, intentional explorations of the strings play like magic. Sound permeates through the room as if sweeping in from the walls on all sides and I wonder: did he touch that string at all? Stroking the guitar like brushing eyelashes from my cheek, he creates tones of a harp, chimes, percussion and a singing bowl circling sound around the room.
I hear his music in an M.C. Escher design of stairs where water flows in smooth ripple fountains over psychedelic landmines. His hands flutter back and forth, playing a faucet that pours both ways, drawing the music up, drawing it down, like wind pulls waves and architects sand. His fingers step up the guitar arm pressing each note along the way in a concise hopscotch mosaic. Sitting down, he plays a high soaring guitar with relaxed intensity, carving crescents traced by a pick’s smooth sway in his mouth.
The band plays in flowing swells that build and crash against my body. An Arabian gyrating jelly arm plunge shoots through my limbs out of some ass-slapping funk led by Melvin Seals on the Hammond B-3, keys and vocals. A back alley strut groove lays its back against the baby blue sweeping sail sound of music caught in a room between tides of consciousness. Drums shake my hips. I thought I was flowing here! The drums, played by John Morgan Kimock, come right up through the floor, lifting legs with deliberate jive.
The sound shifts with vocal accompaniment from the bassist, Trevor Exter. The room takes on the wiggle of a twisting contest. My leg flies up and (to my dismay) my heel kicks down as if strapped in a cowboy boot. My hips lament—feeling the memory of swayed sound hung loosely between heart yodeled strings. They are quickly appeased as Steve Kimock takes a seat to play the slide guitar. Beautiful layers of music paint over the strings in thin paper houses. The sounds don’t leave. Each one remains underneath the next so that by the end of the song he just touches that slide tool down, barely kissing the strings, and music echoes from rippled canyons of papier-mâché sound.