Royal strings

Voted a ‘Guitar God’ by Rolling Stone, Kaki King electrifies Tel Aviv.

July 16, 2010 16:54
2 minute read.
Kaki King.

Kaki King 58. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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We can thank Tamar Eisenman for bringing ace US buzzworthy guitarist Kaki King to Israel. Tel Aviv-based singer/songwriter Eisenman – who is coming off the high of her own excellent 2009 album Gynmasium – developed a mutual admiration society with King, and earlier this year, appeared with the diminutive but powerful unorthodox performer in Germany. An invitation for a joint performance in Tel Aviv ensued, which King readily accepted, and the big event will take place next Friday, July 23, at the Barby Club.

The 30-year-old native of Georgia with the funny name has already racked up an impressive resume and the accolades that come along with it, for her unique guitar style which includes squeezing all kinds of sparks out of her guitar with techniques like hammering, tapping and fanning; things you or I know nothing about.

Called by one wag the master of the “fingerstyle-meets-folky-shoegaze genre,” King’s early albums featured mostly acoustic music, but by about 2005, she was beginning to employ a fuller band sound with electric guitars, looping and more experimentation. She also widened the playing field by beginning to sing more, adding another dimension to her intriguing music and spurring her artistic growth.

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In 2006, Rolling Stone named her a ‘Guitar God’ and the following year, she was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Original Score along with Eddie Vedder for the American score to the film Into the Wild. Another big fan is the Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl, who invited King to perform on his band’s 2007 album Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace.

She then toured with the Foo Fighters that year and was introduced by Grohl onstage with “There are some guitar players that are good and there are some guitar players that are really **** good. And then there's Kaki King.”

Her latest album, Junior, demonstrates the breadth of King’s musical interests, with the DIY aesthetics of the punkish “Falling Day” and the noisy “Death Head” complementing the dance rock of “Spit It Back In My Mouth,” the electrifying instrumental “My Nerves That Committed Suicide,” and the harrowing folkish ballad “Sunnyside.”

The double bill of Kaki King and Tamar Eisenman is a rare opportunity in our little country to see one of the best homegrown talents meld brainwaves, guitar licks and vocal cords with a deservedly heralded artist on the American indie landscape.

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