The once brazen Kimock seems finer in his approach these days. The former phenom of the late era psychedelic scene of San Francisco has come a long way from his early days with Zero and Kingfish. His performances with Rat Dog, Phil and Friends, and Steve Kimock Band have become legendary, and the reason is that Kimock has finally solidified his place within the band dynamic. Instead of going all out and simply shredding, he has found a subtlety to his playing that allows for other musicians to engage and compliment wonderfully. I have seen this shift in Kimock’s performances coming over many years. At the Aggie, he seemed to come full circle. Balancing lead and jamming back and forth with legendary keyboardist Bernie Worrell.
The inclusion of Worrell in this lineup is simply breathtaking. This man has so much musical history that to see him play in a room the size of the Aggie is an awesome experience. Worrell single-handedly invented funk keyboard and played in two of the most influential bands in American musical history. No doubt he is getting up there in age, but at 68 he is still touring regularly with several projects. The rhythm section consisting of troubadour drummer Wally Ingram and former Gov’t Mule bassist Andy Hess are the solid foundation on which this group is built. Hess brought the funk from time to time, but mostly stayed in the pocket. Ingram too stayed consistent and conservative throughout most of the night.
They opened with an extended jam on Bob Marley’s “Get Up, Stand Up.”
SET I: Get Up, Stand Up, You Can’t Do That> Super Stupid, Sun, Sun, Sun, Hey Man, This Must Be The Place (Naïve Melody)
SET II: 54-46 Was My Number, You’re The One, Come Together, Y-Spy> Five B4 fUNK, Tongue ‘n’ Groove
ENCORE: Burning Down The House
Thanks to Taper Corey and Kind Recordings for the UPLOAD.
Kimock demonstrated his copious skills on the pedal steel for their instrumental take on The Beatles’ “You Can’t Do That.” They blasted off with Funkadelic’s “Super Stupid,” which saw Worrell on the rapid-fire lyrics and Kimock absolutely exploding on the slide guitar. The went into jazzy rendition of Zero’s “Sun, Sun, Sun.” In just the first half of the first set we were witnessing are real musical meld between not only Worrell and Kimock’s playing, but their actual song catalogs. Sticking primarily to instrumental tunes, original track “Hey Man” began much like a traditional jazz-infused jam, but soon broke down into the avant-garde with Worrell hitting pinging notes on his synthesizer and Kimock wailed away over the top. They ended the set with a much-anticipated trip to the Talking Heads catalog with “This Must Be The Place.” The musical side of the song was top notch, but unlike “Super Stupid” Bernie’s vocals were choppy and he seemed fatigued at times. They jammed on this classic well past the ten-mark before calling the first set to a close.
The band returned to the stage with Toots and They Maytals’ “54-46 Was My Number.” It was a nice way to ease in the set and really demonstrated the diversity of both Hess and Ingram in the rhythm section. “You’re The One,” another Kimock original jam, contains some heavy give and take between Kimock and Worrell, before they busted out their second Beatles jam of the night with “Come Together.” “Y-Spy” was a funky journey that finally saw Hess really taking it up a notch. They segued beautifully into “Five B4 fUNK” which is another Kimock original. They finished the set with a delicate Kimock tune “Tongue ‘n’ Groove.” It was beautifully constructed from the ground up with the virtuoso guitarist showing his range. They encored with the Talking Heads’ “Burning Down The House.” Again Bernie sang and it was a little rough, but the enthusiastic crowd backed him up with a massive sing-along. All in all it was one of the best Kimock shows I’ve seen and best lineup he has put together in years. I hope they continue to tour, write, and grow as a group. There is such an immense amount of talent in the band. It would be interesting to see how they sounded together after a couple years of regular touring.
Everyone Orchestra has become an institution at Summer Camp. They have been playing the “Make A Difference” show for the last few years, which is a private concert that rewards campers for making donations and helping to clean up the environment. This group is always a special treat. Being the fan of jam and collaborations that I am, this band does everything that I hold dear in my favorite genre. EO is always jam-packed with some the very best musicians in the scene all under the confident direction of Matt Butler who acts as the conductor. This lineup included Al Schnier, Jamie Masefield, Steve Kimock, Jen Hartswick, Marco Benevento, John Morgan Kimock, Reed Mathis, and Jans Ingber. This lineup is full of Summer Camp alumni, most notably Al from moe. Saturday was the second of a three night run. Friday saw a big turnout and Sunday featured an afternoon set on the patio. Due to the High Park Fire The Motet’s show at Mishawaka was canceled, so Dave Watts and Friends supported Everyone Orchestra. However first was the surprise of the evening; Huckle performed on the main stage.
Huckle is an acoustic rock outfit from Sebastopol, California. They had a down home feel to their delivery like a band around a campfire. However they were both smooth and complex in their performance. Huckle is comprised of Murph on upright bass, Ezra Lipp on drums, and Simon “Huckle” Kurth on acoustic guitar and 10-string slide. Each one of them are multi-instrumentalists and showed their prowess on their respective tools of the trade. A decent crowd gathered to see them play. I found them to be utterly enjoyable and a great way to start the evening. They did an impromptu version of their original song Ramblin’ out on the sidewalk after their set. MusicMarauders was there to catch it.
Next on the patio were Dave Watts and Friends otherwise known as The Motet. The Motet always brings the heat and this funk filled night was no exception. Dave Watts lead the stripped down group through a series of covers and originals. The highlight of which was a sit in from Jen Hartswick that set the stage on fire. The dynamic between Garrett Sayers on bass and Dave Watts on kit continues to impress me every time I see them play together. They are perhaps the best rhythm section on the Front Range, which is saying a lot considering the pool of talent out here. Jans Ingber was on the mic a lot throughout their two set show, which was woven into the night quite nicely. Matt Grundstad sat in for most of the night on percussion freeing up Jans to play front man full time. He pulled double duty sitting in with Everyone Orchestra as well.
Everyone Orchestra always combines the best talents jam has to offer for a great live event. Super Jams as a rule can be hit or miss. It’s difficult for a group to come together having never played with one another and simply gel. They have to be incredibly talented and Butler has always been a great judge of talent. He is a bus driver who can handle the type of pressure that comes with leading incredible musicians through the murky waters of imporvisation. It was great to see Jaime Masefield on the stage. It has been the better half of a decade since I saw Masefield with Jazz Mandolin Project. In fact one of the first times I got to see Jaime was at the inaugural Summer Camp. I got a chance to talk with him and he informed me that he had been taking it easy for some time with his family. Butler began scribbling on his dry erase board and the band quickly got underway.
You can listen to the show on Archive from Kind Recordings.
I was awed with the young but capable John Morgan Kimock on the kit. He almost looked out of place until he began playing. Al was a treat, after watching him at Summer Camp with moe. and Floodwood it was great to see him let loose in Everyone Orchestra. Jen split her time between vocalizing the instructions on the boards and playing trumpet. Jans harmonized nicely with her when he came to the stage. Kimock Sr. held back quite a bit, playing in the shadows of the stage. However, when he was given the chance to shine he did so brilliantly. Most notably was a slide solo during the second set. Reed Mathis is simply spellbinding on the bass. He effortlessly dictates the flow like a man herding cattle through a canyon. The bass is so important to the Super Jam as a concept that without someone well versed at the position it can all go awry. Thankfully Reed knows what he is doing and helped keep everyone in check immensely. The entire two set show was a blast. It went by quickly as the crowds shifted from the patio to the inside and back again. Ending just before 2 AM it was a great experience all around. I would have liked to have seen Pete Wall sit in with the band on Sunday, but alas it was time to head back to Fort Collins. I look forward to the return of Everyone Orchestra.