Steve Kimock at the Oriental Theater, 10/20/12 (review) - Reverb

Steve Kimock at the Oriental Theater, 10/20/12 (review)

Steve Kimock headlined the Oriental Theater on Saturday. Photo courtesy of the artist's website.

Steve Kimock headlined the Oriental Theater on Saturday. Photo courtesy of the artist’s website.

Armed with a massive wardrobe of guitars, noodle king Steve Kimock and his mighty band owned the Oriental Theater Saturday.

From tropical, surfy jams to meandering jazz odysseys, Kimock and Parliament/Talking Heads keyman Bernie Worrell blasted through a diverse, 14-song night rife with plenty of Kimock’s trademark six-string voyaging.

Gov’t Mule bassist Andy Hess and drummer Wally Ingram anchored the effort with jubilant thunder, elevating Kimock’s distinct phrasing. The beautiful “Many Rivers To Cross” saw Kimock and Worrell working in tight syncopation, building around Jimmy Cliff’s tender riffs. Worrell’s “This Must Be The Place” conjured his Talking Heads’ best, with avid participation from the packed house.

The jazzy second-set opener “It’s Up To You” saw trumpeter Willie Waldman join the fray, expanding the free-form jazzy jamming with brassy blasts.

Moving from glass-fingered slide to pedal steel to acoustic to hollow body to Stratocaster, Kimock kept a rotating tone throughout the night. The second-set “54-46 (That’s My Number)” bubbled with Toots and the Maytals’ signature reggae funk, but accessorized by Kimock’s signature noodling. Ernest Ranglin’s interpretation of “54-46” definitely influenced Kimock, who leaked funky blues into the brewing tune. It’s a sweet mix when Kimock finds his groove, singeing every cranny with his fiery licks.

While the Kimock-Worrell jams sometimes tripped into the realms of introspective rehearsal work (as in “Hey Man” or “You’re The One,”) Hess and Ingram kept tight rein on the deep end, corralling the occasional wanderers. Worrell’s fun “Burning (Bernie?) Down The House” saw the four-top stomping in controlled consolidation, each dribbling their own go-go juice into the heady mix.

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Jason Blevins is a strange dancer, but that has never stopped him.

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