Jerry Garcia's "favorite unknown guitar player" first came to the band's attention when Steve was tapped by the remaining members of the Grateful Dead to play lead guitar in several post-Garcia, Dead-related musical ensembles (The Other Ones, Phil Lesh & Friends, Mickey Hart Band, Ratdog). "I was listening to a web stream of a live show and a fat, rubbery guitar note squeezed out my computer's tiny, tinny speaker and just dropped itself deep inside me" says Michael. "It was imbued with so much tone and feeling, it completely transcended this limited and crude medium and just resonated with me. I instantly understood what Steve Kimock was all about. I had heard people rave about him and had even attended a show where I really enjoyed his playing; but in that moment, I finally got what is so special about him." Like a smitten fanboy, Mike sent him a copy of Soko's In November Sunlight sometime in 1999. "We received a nice note back from his wife, Jennifer, that said Steve enjoyed the music and would like to play sometime." Fast forward 9 years: Houston has the inspired idea to add pedal steel to the chorus section of version of "Jiriki" Soko was re-recording. After trying a local player to disappointing results, Mike thought he'd see if Steve Kimock might add his gorgeous lap steel touch to the track. A couple of emails and phone calls later, and the guys were driving up to Steve's big red barn in eastern Pennsylvania, laptop in hand, eagerly anticipating the impending collection of ethereal notes. In the cold rain of May Day 2008, huddled in Steve's guitar-filled barn, Houston, Mike, Steve, and Charlie Miller solved the electric guitar puzzle of "Jiriki," finding just the right combinations of guitars and amplifiers for both the explosive opening section and the closing vocal section as initially envisioned. It was a joyful, relaxed day of discovery. Houston and Michael cannot thank Steve and Jennifer enough for their hospitality and generosity, and hope that this wasn't the last such collaboration.
Steve Kimock currently tours with his band, Crazy Engine, featuring Hammond organ monster/ex-Jerry Garcia Band mainstay, Melvin Seals; and his hard-grooving son, John Morgan Kimock on drums. Steve was a member of Keith and Donna Jean Godchaux's Heart of Gold Band; the seminal Bay Area instrumental improv band, Zero (with Martin FIerro, Pete Sears, and Bobby Vega); KVHW with Frank Zappa alumnus Ray White, drummer Alan Hertz, and Bobby Vega; has toured and recorded with Bruce Hornsby; and his own Steve Kimock Band (with bass legend Alphonso Johnson and drummer extraordinaire, Rodney Holmes).
In fact, Kimock has shared the stage with such a long list of luminaries that it would be impossible to include everyone, but highlights include: Steve Winwood, Peter Frampton, Little Feat, Bonnie Raitt, Buddy Miles, Buddy Cage, Trey Anastasio, Mike Gordon, Page McConnell, Jon Fishman, Jack Cassidy, Jorma Kaukonen, Vassar Clements, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Joe Satriani, Baaba Maal, Angélique Kidjo, Stephen Marley, Grant Green Jr., Elvin Bishop, Derek Trucks, Warren Haynes, The Allman Brothers, George Porter Jr., Ivan Neville, Keller Williams, Grace Potter, Grace Slick, Papa John Creach, Todd Rundgren, Norton Buffalo, Amos Garrett, Terry Haggerty, Hadi Al Sadoon, Jesse Colin Young, Stephen Perkins, Vince Welnick, John Kahn, Nicky Hopkins, Jeff Pevar, Freddie Roulette, Sonny Landreth and many more.