Celebrating a life of music with Steve Kimock

Steve Kimock & Friends will perform at the Ridgefield Playhouse on Sept. 25.

Steve Kimock & Friends will perform at the Ridgefield Playhouse on Sept. 25.

Ridgefield Playhouse / Contributed photo

Marking the 25th anniversary of his band, Steve Kimock & Friends, this year guitarist Steve Kimock has a lot to celebrate. He has a birthday coming up, his son, John (the band’s drummer) just made him a grandfather and 2019 also marks the 35th anniversary of his instrumental psychedelic rock group Zero. Zimock will be joined at the Ridgefield Playhouse Sept. 25 by Jeff Chimenti on keys, Reed Mathis on bass and vocals, and John Morgan Kimock on drums, collaborating for a night of psychedelic rock jams and improvisation

Andrea Valluzzo: What can audiences expect at this show?

Steve Kimock: Musical chemistry. These are my favorite guys of all times — there’s just a huge amount of musical respect in every direction.

AV: You got your music start on the San Francisco music scene?

SK: I was a young man and moved from rural Pennsylvania outside a steel town to the North Bay, Marin County, which is where all the cats were living. The sheer number of musicians and creative people that were around was just staggering like the Grateful Dead, Ali Akbar Khan and George Van Eps. The association with the Bay area music scene at the time was super inspiring, super fertile and super creative. I got to know a lot of those players and play with them.

AV: Who were you most influenced by musically in your personal life?

SK: My aunt Dotty was a folk singer, that was a huge influence. That she could just stand there with a guitar and play, it was cool. My cousin Kenny was an actual Tulsa musician, a blues guitar player and singer. He was older than me and he sat me down and said this kind of guitar, this kind of amplifier, here’s how you play these songs.

Later on, one of the cats that I came to California with from Pennsylvania in the Goodman Brothers Band, is my friend Billy Goodman. He’s a great bottleneck guitar player and writer but really the slide guitar was his thing. That was hugely influential on me. I love playing slide and I can’t pick it up without thinking of Billy.

AV: Do you have a favorite place you go to create music?

SK: It’s kind of the opposite. My favorite is the music I make in a new place, like my first impressions of a place musically. That’s what I enjoy so I always carry an instrument with me.

AV: You have a variety of guitars you play from lap steel to pedal. Do you have one you prefer to create with?

SK: Yes and no. I have instruments I’ve been playing for a long time (my old Stratocaster or my #1 Explorer) and am most comfortable with. I don’t know that that has a direct bearing on getting a piece of music together, that’s like more in your head. It doesn’t matter what the instrument is. I love the guitar and I’ve got some nice ones but it’s not the point, it’s just a guitar.

AV: You seem to really enjoy your career, even life on the road.

SK: I still love the parts of it that would drive myself any normal person completely crazy like the air travel is not as easy as it used to be.

AV: Are you excited to kick off your tour at the Ridgefield Playhouse?

SK: I can’t wait. I’m so happy that’s where we are going because I know the room [played here before]. It’s perfect for the band.