If you thought last year was a once in a lifetime chance to catch a Steve Kimock led supergroup honoring the R&B roots and inspiration of the late, great Jerry Garcia, hopefully you caught one of the recent shows that took place at Mill Valley’s Sweetwater Music Hall. As much as last year’s shows were acclaimed by many, from what was offered last Friday night, the band has clearly not only built on their catalogue of offerings, they actually sound like they’re a band out on tour.
It goes without saying that Steve Kimock is a legend. Between all his various projects over the years, Kimock has proven that he can do more than simply slay with the best of them. But even in 2014, watching him effortlessly hit notes, move through chord progressions and take the current song/jam at hand to previously untouched places is uncanny. Some might argue that his connection to bassist Bobby Vega is the key ingredient of bringing out the best in Kimock. That’s not to take any ounce of anything away from Kimock, it’s more of an acknowledgement for how nasty of a bass player Vega is, and how special their relationship is together. Throw keyboardist Jeff Chimenti into the mix and there you have three of tightest musicians that can possibly share a stage. In fact, Chimenti offered some of the most salient improvisation over the course of the two immaculately played sets last Friday night.
Friday’s show also saw two special guests brought into the mix at the intimate Sweetwater venue. In the second set Jason Crosby joined in on the keys for “Bertha,” while at the end of the first set former Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann surprised many in attendance by taking John Morgan Kimock’s place for a memorable, instrumental take on “Help on the Way”> “Slipknot!” > “Franklin’s Tower.”
Set One: Money Honey, Expressway (To Your Heart), Soul Roach, It’s Too Late (She’s Gone), Help On The Way* > Slipknot!* > Franklin’s Tower* (w/audience singing “Roll Away, The Dew”)
Set Two: He Ain’t Give You None, Merle’s Tune, Bertha (w/Jason Crosby joining Jeff Chimenti on keys), Many Rivers To Cross, Mystery Train, The Harder They Come