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Impressive chops

Live at the Gothic Theatre
Live at the Gothic Theatre (DVD)
By Steve Kimock Band

Big Red Barn Productions: 2004

Buy it on CD now from Amazon.com


This review first appeared in the May 6, 2004 issue of the North County Times.

San Francisco's Steve Kimock is one of those regional artists with the talent, taste and musical vision to rank with the best-known musicians in the country, yet somehow has never quite broken through to the big stage.

If you watch his new DVD, "Live at the Gothic Theatre," you're likely to be left wondering how fame and fortune have managed to avoid Kimock. The video release shows a guitarist with a deft touch, singular virtuosity and an apparently "aw, shucks" stage demeanor that is utterly charming.

Kimock's overall sound has definitely been influenced by his years of association with the Grateful Dead and its various members. He doesn't play guitar like Jerry Garcia (Garcia undoubtedly wished he could play as well as Kimock), but he has a similar groove. It's an infectiously upbeat music, cheery without being cheesy, sunny but not shallow.

There's no singing here – strictly being an instrumental release. It's jam rock, with long songs that give everyone in the five-piece band lots of time for improvising solos and showing off their chops.

The video itself is standard-fare concert footage – wide-angle full-stage shots followed by close-ups of various band members playing their instruments. There's only so much you can do with a concert, anyway. The picture quality is outstanding, the sound quality even more so. You could easily turn the TV off and just listen to the soundtrack through your stereo system.