Oct 17, 2012 | News & Events
by Laura B. Whitmore
When you sit down to listen to Kaki King’s new release, Glow, you’ll be struck by the pristine recording quality, the crystal-clear tone, the acoustic separation and the compositions that stem from masterful and moving arpeggiations.
But it’s when you see King play live that you experience her true genius.
Words cannot accurately describe her performance technique. It’s a hybrid of taps, slaps, strums, fingerwork and whatever else she has up her sleeve. Even her short piece for a recent ad — part of The Gap’s fall 2012 campaign — pretty much blows your mind.
And yet, King has had her doubts, just like those of us who are not guitar virtuosi. As someone who has been performing since childhood, she took a step back in the last few years and questioned whether playing guitar was really what she wanted to do with her life. Lucky for us, the answer is Glow.
Prior to Glow, Brooklyn-based King has recorded five diverse and distinctive albums, performed with such icons as Foo Fighters, Timbaland and The Mountain Goats, contributed to a variety of film and TV soundtracks and toured the world many times over.
Produced, recorded and mixed by D. James Goodwin at his home studio in Woodstock, New York, The Isokon, Glow also features the talents of the acclaimed New York-based string quartet, ETHEL. It will be released Tuesday, October 9, by Velour Music Group.
I caught up with King as she was on the verge of a new tour, a new album release, and, surprise, a new marriage that she announced on October 5.
When asked about the guitars used on the album, King had this to say of the Bedell Parlor:
"I also had a Bedell Acoustic. It’s a parlor body I used on “No True Masterpiece Will Ever Be Complete.” I met the maker at NAMM, Tom Bedell, and he was like, “Let me help you out.” He eventually sent me guitars. So, one of the parlor guitars I turned into that Koto guitar that you hear on “Bowen Island.”
And the other guitar, I didn’t expect that much sound from a parlor guitar made in China, but it had this tightness, this sound, and it was just gorgeous. And the playability is fantastic. I’m pretty sure that’s all the guitars. It really wasn’t a big guitar bonanza. Everything else was innovation."