photo by Scarlet_Fyre
I meet a lot of live music fanatics whose only exposure to Steve Kimock is his occasional affiliations with former members of the Grateful Dead in the late 90’s (Kimock played on the Further Tour with the Other Ones and occasionally with Phil Lesh and Friends). Other folks have seen various reincarnations of the Steve Kimock Band and maybe even seen his recent reunion shows with his old Bay Area band, Zero. But a lot of folks don’t know that Steve Kimock once had a near-perfect band: KVHW. Kimock, Vega, Hurtz, and White, was a two-year Kimock project from 1998 – 1999, involving bassist Bobby Vega, drummer Alan Hertz (now part of Garaj Mahal), and rhythm guitarist and ex-Zappa vocalist, Ray White.
While I am a pretty big Kimock fan in general, the reason that this project sticks out most is because of the other members of this band. In particular, it is the inclusion of the tastefully funky bassist, Bobby Vega, that allowed KVHW to bring out a distinctly funky and bluesy side of Kimock. It is a side to his playing that you might not ever hear as a part of a Grateful Dead side project or even in his later playing in any variations of the Steve Kimock Band. It’s funky, bluesy, soulful rock jamming at Kimock’s finest.
For our 58th podcast, I’ve pieced together some highlights from two nights of KVHW at the Wetlands, which basically was the unofficial ‘jamband HQ’ in New York City until it closed in September 2001. These two nights capture KVHW at its peak as a fresh, energetic, and exploratory improvisational rock band made up of four amazing musicians. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do…
Cissy Strut (Meters cover) >
Whipping Post (improv)
Express Yourself (Charles Wright cover) >
‘Down in the Wetlands’ improv
Total running time: 49:21
Both shows are available for download/streaming at the Live Music Archive.