Wednesday, June 20, 2012

One From The Collection - Kaki King

The other day I posted a link to a performance of Comfortably Numb from Roger Waters's tour of The Wall to my G+ stream. That got me thinking about writing more posts about music I like.  In fact the thought kept me awake for a while, plotting what I might write about.

I'm not going to re-post that video here.  Please chase the G+ link above if you are curious about it (and you should be... it was a historic occasion, and the song is amazing).  Instead I am going to post something else I like.



Here I introduce you to Kaki King.  I think I heard about her some years back on NPR, but I am not sure of that.  Regardless, her work is amazing, and she is an astoundingly talented artist.

She's justifiably famous for her guitar playing, and there really is nothing to do but to listen to her playing something all by herself on an acoustic guitar to understand it.  She has an amazing style.  I guess you would call it finger percussion, but she plays the fretboard from above or below as needed, and she slaps, taps, and otherwise uses the body of the guitar as a percussive instrument.  Her style is generally upbeat and her first couple of albums were just about all instrumental songs.  YouTube can show you many of her works and give you a good idea of how she plays.

Her later work has included electric guitar, drums, and vocals, and I have enjoyed that just as much as her acoustic stuff.  The song I link to below is from her 2010 album, Junior, and while it is an instrumental, she performs it on an electric guitar.  It is titled My Nerves That Committed Suicide.

The gentle opening shows only a bit of her amazing skills, and avoids all the fret board flash that she is justifiably known for.  The song builds, though, and it gets loud.  It's simple, but powerful, and I really like it.

Here's a link to the original album version that I found on YouTube.

It turns out that she plays with this song a fair bit in concert, though.  Here's a link to two tracks: Doing The Wrong Thing  and  My Nerves That Committed Suicide, performed at Cat's Cradle Carrboro, NC 4/30/10.  As with many amateur concert videos the audio quality isn't stellar, but you definitely get an idea of how she performs this one live, as well as the energy she puts out on stage.

Kaki King has several albums out and she is in the process of producing another one even as I write this.   I encourage you to listen to her work and see if it is your thing.  If so, please support the artist and buy the songs in some way.  I'm old fashioned and want the CDs in my hands, but you can buy from whatever source works best for you.  Just so the artist gets some support and can make more music.

Finally, please leave a comment here and let me know if more posts like this would interest you or not. Thanks!

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