Guitarist Steve Kimock's 2016 album, "Last Danger of Frost," is yet another artistic transgression from his earlier projects.
"I've played rock for years," Kimock says during a telephone interview from Sebastopol, California. "The new album is kind of naive. Part of my mixed-up formative listening included folk, finger-picked acoustic guitar and early electronic stuff. 'Last Danger of Frost' is reaching out to the edges of those influences, electronic and acoustic, specifically, with less of the straight-down-the-middle rock."
Since his move to Northern California in 1974, he's played with a number of San Francisco Bay Area outfits. He and drummer Greg Anton co-founded Zero — regarded as one of the architects of the infant jam band genre.
While still with Zero, Kimock explored new terrain with a looser, bluesier Steve Kimock & Friends. He played for a year with KVHW with Zero bassist Bobby Vega, drummer Alan Hertz and former Frank Zappa sideman Ray White. In 2004, the short-lived quartet morphed into the Steve Kimock Band, and in 2009, Kimock formed soul-rock band Crazy Engine.
Kimock also performed as part of Bob Weir's Kingfish and toured in 2007 and 2014 with RatDog, in addition to post-Grateful Dead ensembles Phil Lesh & Friends, The Other Ones, the Rhythm Devils with Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann.
After taking time away from his band as part of Weir's RatDog from 2013 to 2014, Kimock "returned to the rollicking, revamped Steve Kimock & Friends, widely thought of as the most exciting iteration of Kimock's rock and dance band outfit since its inception," according to his website, www.kimock.com.
"Even the most inspired and free-thinking artist ... can wake up one day with the desire — the need, rather — to flip the table, reshuffle the deck and draw fresh cards for himself," his press material states.
"Last Danger of Frost," released in March, breaks new ground for Kimock as a solo effort, he says.
"It's more of an exploration of music in a quiet, contemplative place," Kimock says. "I kind of wandered around the room strumming things until something lit up."
The album's tracks are completely solo, as though Kimock was looking for sounds from his "big pile of sounds," he says.
"Some people collect instruments, I just accumulate them. When I see something I think sounds neat, I grab it and point myself in directions to apply it."
"Last Danger of Frost" was co-produced with Todd Schied and recorded "over some snowy stretch of time at my barn in Pennsylvania," Kimock says.
According to his website, Kimock dismantles the rock band framework and takes a full stretch to create exploratory sounds and intimate compositions that may have been waiting to be revealed — or rediscovered.
"I'm 61 and still appreciate that there's some aspect to the thing that's rebellious," Kimock says. "There has to be some kind of defiance in it somewhere."
Kimock, along with his son John Morgan Kimock on drums, bassist Bobby Vega and Leslie Mendelson on keys, guitar and vocals, are taking the basic concept of the album and adding the framework of a rhythm section for shows on the West Coast.