Kaki King Glow Velour Music Group Groundbreaking solo fingerstylist, darling of the indie-rock world, or both? While both camps can be protective of who they consider “theirs,” Kaki King

Kaki King
Glow
Velour Music Group


Groundbreaking solo fingerstylist, darling of the indie-rock world, or both? While both camps can be protective of who they consider “theirs,” Kaki King is both, and more. If a stamp is required, she’s simply a ridiculously talented guitarist in the vein of those that don’t come around very often. Her sixth record, Glow, just seals the deal a bit more.

“This is a guitar record,” says King. “This is the sound of a person playing guitar.” Sans vocals, King does employ bagpipes to bass, and string arrangements from the acclaimed quartet ETHEL, but the root of Glow is another showcase of what the virtuoso does best. And that’s working a guitar like no one else in delivering her melodies, sounds, and beats that could probably evoke emotion from a stone.

One of Glow’s genre-varying standouts is “Bowen Island,” a koto-esque muse that King pulls off without a koto by slipping a piece of wood underneath the 16th fret of a flattop. “King Pizel” is a fast-paced, Irish-flavored jig that’s shared through the high-strung 12-string that King often favors for songwriting. Probably the best track on the record and what starts out as a gently percussive acoustic piece, “Cargo Cult” makes a nice transformation into a lushly layered, driving ride. Bring in some of King’s slide work for the eerily colored finale “Marche Slav,” and you have an interestingly differing 12-track package of tunes.

King’s vocals will probably be missed by some, but the record breathes quite well without them and concentrates on her skills as a guitarist and sonic sorcerer. Glow is another exceptional addition—possibly the best—to King’s catalog of intelligent, intense, and worldly music. If you’re interested in hearing an artist at the forefront of organically exploring the inner/outer space of a guitar, this record will provide total listening enjoyment. —Rich Osweiler

Must-hear track: “Cargo Cult”

The emotional wallop of the acoustic guitar sometimes flies under the radar. Even if you mostly play electric, here are some things to consider about unplugging.

I have a love-hate relationship with acoustic guitars. My infatuation with the 6-string really blasted off with the Ventures. That’s the sound I wanted, and the way to get it was powered by electricity. Before I’d even held a guitar, I knew I wanted a Mosrite, which I was sure was made of fiberglass like the surfboards the Beach Boys, Surfaris, and the Challengers rode in their off time. Bristling with space-age switchgear and chrome-plated hardware, those solidbody hotrod guitars were the fighter jets of my musical dreams. I didn’t even know what those old-timey round-hole guitars were called. As the singing cowboys Roy Rogers and Gene Autrey strummed off into the sunset, the pace of technology pushed the look and sound of the electric guitar (and bass) into the limelight and into my heart. Imagine my disappointment when I had to begin my guitar tutelage on a rented Gibson “student” acoustic. At least it sort of looked like the ones the Beatles occasionally played. Even so, I couldn’t wait to trade it in.

Read More Show less

Megadeth founder teams up with Gibson for his first acoustic guitar in the Dave Mustaine Collection.

Read More Show less

The bass wiz and author shares deep wisdom about bass, music, and more.

Read More Show less
x