I had the pleasure of photographing Kaki King yesterday! I’ve been following her since the very early days of her career, and it was an absolute pleasure getting to take some photos of a musician I admire so much. I took some snaps and wrote up a review of the show for Oregon Music News. Enjoy!
Kaki King brought her “Traveling Freak Guitar Show” to Mississippi Studios on Thursday, March 10th in a return to her roots as a solo multi-instrumentalist. A noted departure from her recent rock-heavy 2010 release, Junior, King employed a variety of guitars–seven in all–to focus on the acoustic sound she is most known for, as well as venture into new musical directions.
Opener Washington captivated with an hour-long set of heartfelt, original songs. Despite winning Australia’s 2010 ARIA awards for “Best Female Artist” and “Breakthrough Artist,” she remains mostly unknown here, a fact Washington seemed happy to reiterate as she recounted recent stories from this first extensive tour across the US. Accompanied only by the sounds of her piano-playing, Washington’s voice filled the room and gave those in attendance an especially sincere look at genuine, honest-to-goodness singer-songwriting.
Kaki King then took to the stage, and almost immediately requested the standing-room-only crowd become a sitting-room-only crowd. A combination of the low stage, her height, and her intentions to play seated had King concerned that most would not be able to see her perform, and those on the main floor were easily willing to comply. She wasted no time in setting the tone for her two-hour set, launching into a machine-gun-speed performance of “Bone Chaos in the Castle,” highlighting her rhythmic tapping, slap-bass, and percussive guitar techniques.
King covered a variety of material, pulling the majority of her own songs from her 2003 debut, Everybody Loves You and 2005′s Legs to Make Us Longer. She utilized a variety of instruments and tunings in showcasing her talents, giving detailed descriptions of each to the curious audience. Most songs made use of her custom signature Ovation Adamas acoustic guitar, while she also used a custom 7-string nylon, a Veillette Gryphon, a Dobro/babjo hybrid (called a Dojo), and a massive harp-guitar in order to cover Michael Hedges’ “Because It’s There.”
King sprinkled stories between songs, providing entertaining banter and giving audience members a chance to offer advice as she polled them on a curious, blossoming Twitter romance with an Italian Suicide Girl. She also spoke of being more of a guitar student than a master, expressing her desire and intentions to continue pushing her talents and venture into new artistic stylings for the future. Whatever that will look like, fans of Kaki King can be assured that she will continue to create a layered landscape of sounds to inspire, influence, and satisfy the auditory taste buds.