A Weekend of Kimock at Quixote's
June 3rd-5th, 2011
Quixote's True Blue- Demver, CO
Words By J-man
Photos & Video By Carly Marthis & J-man
Audio Recordings By Corey Sandoval
For many folks in Denver, a three-night Steve Kimock & Friends run helped to provide a much needed escape from everyday life. In fact, the weekend was out of this world. The amount of shear talent packed under one roof made Quixote's True Blue the place to be in Colorado. Steve brought with him friends Bobby Vega, Kyle Hollingsworth and Wally Ingram. But wait, that's not all! Owner and promoter Jay Bianchi took the weekend's line up to the next level with the addition of Ray White's Psychedelic Wash featuring Fareed Haque, Joey Porter, Fleeb Thomas and Daren Hahn. The weekend boasted a great turn out, amazing vibes, but most of all, incredible music.
Friday June 3rd, 2011:
One by one, some of the premier musicians from the jam scene came through the doors of Quixote's. Each brought unique energy to the already incredible vibe. The staff prepared for the weekend ahead, stocking the bar, cleaning the venue from the dance floor to the courtyard, cutting tickets and checking the equipment. Watching the folks behind the scenes actually make the magic happen helps to put the whole picture in perspective; much work is required for events of this magnitude and it was a special feeling watching it all come together.
It was great to see so many familiar faces. One of my favorite guitarists, Fareed Haque, was among the first that I crossed paths with. Fareed is always full of entertaining antics, and without second thought we exchanged friendly ribbing. Wearing his excitement on his sleeve, keyboardist Joey Porter was next to arrive. Ray White was short to follow with a smile on his face, clearly sharing chemistry with Fareed through nonsensical banter as well as musical ideas.
Some additional contributors to the already exciting vibe were psychedelic painters Don Callerman and Lauri Keener! My girlfriend Carly and I have truly enjoyed watching as their art has progressed.
Psychedelic Wash's rehearsal sounded great in the back room as the members of Kimock's band set up to sound check on the main stage. You could tell that everyone was feeling really loose and excited, except for Kimock who had a stone cold demeanor.
Before the show got started we had some business to tend to...
As show time neared, the energy could have been cut with a knife. People began to arrive in small clusters until a line was formed outside of the venue. We found ourselves backstage with special guest saxophonist Pete Wall and the rest of Psychedelic Wash as they warmed up and went over a few remaining details.
Ray White's Psychedelic Wash took the stage as the venue filled in at an exponential rate. I was immediately impressed with the group's output. Considering this group had never performed together prior, the songs showed great potential and certainly didn't signal a first-time performance.
Fareed's guitar playing was breathtaking. His precision, accuracy and near perfect tonal quality make him one of the best on the scene and one of my favorite players around. Ray's vocals brought a soulful vibe as his high energy commanded the crowd's attention. Jay made a great choice in adding keyboardist Joey Porter to the line up. His skillful chops were much needed in holding down the groove. Pete's playing was tasteful and straight ahead. The highlight of their set featured Fareed and Pete battling it out at the front of the stage...
Daren Hahn's drumming seemed the perfect fit for the project. His playing was interesting and pushed the music to some interesting high points. Fleeb Thomas' bass work meshed with Ray's project as well, and there were a few moments where I was caught off guard with his playing. All in all, I was impressed with the music, the set, the energy and the stage presence. Hopes began to brew inside of me for the possibility of a continuation of this project. Luckily, there were two more nights of the Quixote's run.
By the time Steve Kimock & Friends hit the stage, Quixote's was packed and buzzing. It was quite a sight to behold. Taper Corey had his mics in the air, Paul was grilling in the courtyard while Shakedown Street played, the bar was packed, the merch table was in business and the sense of community was undeniable.
Steve Kimock Live at Quixote's True Blue on June 3, 2011.
The set began in a style that was characteristically Steve Kimock. The music was a combination of ambient, jam and jazz with a noodly space feel. Kyle's keyboard work stood out to me initially as the most noticeable. His sense of the music was perfect. He had the house organ screaming with musical delight. Wally Ingram was not far behind, stealing many moments with his precision on the drum kit.
Bobby Vega's bass playing was heavy and interesting as his sound reflected experience and deep musical knowledge. Then there was Kimock... the man of the weekend. His playing was laid back and carried a tone reminiscent of Jerry Garcia's. He led the band through several adventurous songs while competing with a surprisingly chatty crowd. There were many quiet moments where the band could hardly be heard.
There is something about Kimock's music that tugs on the heart and takes the mind to the outer realm of jam music. The music picked up with a version of "Going Down The Road Feeling Bad," featuring Kyle on vocals to end the set. Following Kyle's advertisement for his beer, Hoopla, that was available at the bar, the band exited the stage.
It was around this time that things became a little foggy for me...
Saturday June 4th, 2011:
It was a great feeling to once again find myself at Quixote's. We enjoyed the afternoon with some good people as events took place that were worthy of future storytelling. It was fantastic to get to know some of the musicians on a more personal level throughout the three days. Saturday was casual and laid back.
Prior to the show, Kyle helped us pick our second ticket winner and sat down for an interview...
Once again Quixote's began to fill in. Around the same time as the previous night, the crowd seemed thicker. Fareed, always on his game, encouraged us to the bar for a shot of whiskey on him. How could we say no?
Shortly to follow, Psychedelic Wash took the stage for the second night which boasted a larger crowd and a better vibe. They came out swinging, playing one of the same songs from the previous night. The next song followed suit and the next. I was immediately turned off. I understand wanting to do the material justice, but at the cost of repeating? I wasn't feeling it. The music was top-notch, but I expected more variety.
Steve Kimock Live at Quixote's True Blue on June 4, 2011.
Kimock's first set began with more intensity and focus than the previous evening's performance. The crowd, though chatty, was much more attentive. One of my favorites, "New Africa," followed, keeping the energy high and pace uptempo. For the last few songs, the band was joined by Ray White who added some funk to the mix.
The second set opened with Arnie Green joining the band for a cover of Bob Marley's "Stir it Up." A song or two later, Ray was back on stage with Fareed. Fareed's heavy guitar work forced Kimock to step it up, and step it up he did, creating some incredible guitar leads to match his talented counterpart. The duo remained onstage until the close of the second set. Ray stuck around to join Kimock for the encore "Express Yourself" > "Iko Iko."
"Iko Iko" included some really cool crowd singing that allowed Ray to step back and encourage the crowd. It was a surreal moment and a great close to a gem of a show.
Sunday June 5th, 2011:
Sunday's show brought an intimate afternoon in the courtyard. We started out with a couple of interviews. First, Ray White and Fareed Haque...
I really enjoyed their insight during our conversation. The next interview brought Steve Kimock back to the greenroom...
As Psychedelic Wash's set began, it was clear that the third day's performance would offer the same songs played over the previous days. For someone like myself who was attending all three nights, this was disappointing. I can't stress enough how much I dug the actual instrumentation, but variety is an essential part of a multi-night run. The set concluded and Jay approached the stage to ask that they continue to play. This brought out a few unplanned tunes that were refreshing considering the amount of repeats that were heard during the second and third performances.
The courtyard was alive! Children ran around with squirt guns, folks drew on the cement with chalk, Don and Lauri painted and there were smiles all around. We couldn't have asked for better weather, not just that day, but for the entire weekend. This was another sunny day in paradise.
Steve Kimock & Friends took the stage to an intimate crowd. The jams were loose like the Friday night's set. It was a unique experience to see such full sounding music up close, almost like having a supergroup perform in a friend's backyard.
Steve Kimock Live at Quixote's True Blue on June 5, 2011.
Multiple night runs often create a deep connection between musicians and fans, and this three-night Steve Kimock & Friends run was no different. In regards to the Colorado music scene, there is no venue quite like Quixote's. Step inside and find out for yourself!
Photo Gallery From the Shows