Saturday night in NYC during the summertime is a beautiful and strange place. For those of us who live in the city, a Saturday summertime evening can be quiet, as all the folk are at the beach, the Hamptons, the Shore, etc. It is an eerie sight to see Varick St. void of traffic and too many people. We were able to find a parking spot around the corner from City Winery with little to no hassle. That says a lot.
We were going to see the great Steve Kimock play with his friends at a local Winery club. City Winery is downtown NYC, but once you walk into the club it feels like you have been transported to Northern California. The oak barrels on stage, the spacious room, the intimacy of sitting next to strangers, who quickly became friends, eating wonderful concoctions (we had the meat and the cheese plates, both to die for), and drinking wonderful wine. It was a relaxing, calm evening filled with great music, and music aficionados. We will be back again.
And now to Kimock. And Bernie Worrell (piano) and Andy Hess (bass) and Steve’s son John on drums, with special guest Melvin Gibbs on bass. They were tight. And jazzy funky, as always. Bernie went off on this crazy Red Hot Mama in the second set that will stay with me for years. He played this off beat, sultry tease at the top of the song. It was reminiscent of how, maybe, Billie Holiday would talk/sing/lounge sing into one of her songs. Bernie did this strange talking/singing thing in the beginning of the song so well, that I settled into thinking they were not going to shred this funk-favorite tune. And then they did. And it was crazy funky. Keys exploding, while Kimock followed Worrell’s lead, no one overstepping anyone, the integrity of this group has grown in the years I have seen them. They are tighter. They have gotten that sixth sense where everyone kind of knows where they are going, but not 100% sure and let each other lead and/or follow. Everyone seems relaxed. Kimock seemed so happy, and obviously adores Worrell, and the rest of the group. It was great fun.
Kimock was chatty this evening, almost every song had a story intro from Steve. During the second set, we had strobes from the police car outside the club flashing red and blue within the club – making for a trippy type of light show. The crowd was happy, there were twirlers in the back dancing to the music, and the whole place was chair dancing. This was a fabulous evening. If you can, make sure you see these guys. They are definitely hitting their stride as a solidified touring band. Can’t wait to see them again.
Tongue and Groove
It’s Up to You
Red Hot Mama w/ Melvin Gibbs on bass
One For Brother Mike
Take Me to the River