Artist of the Week: Kaki King

 

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While Kaki King is known to most as an incredible guitarist, this year she’s proven to be much more. Her past albums have showcased her instrumental chops, occasionally including vocals. With Dreaming of Revenge, her new album out on Velour March 11th, King continues to evolve lyrically while still providing fans with the amazing acoustic melodies we’re used to.

The 28-year-old Atlanta native has been playing guitar since childhood, before moving to New York to attend NYU.  She has released three previous albums, mostly instrumental.  Though many elements of her music are folk-infused, there are some prog elements to what she does. Of course, her guitar is always center stage, and her complex melodies are fan favorites in a live setting. She has also been known to loop the guitar and bass parts in lieu of a backing band.

Though King uses words sparingly, when she does use lyrics they are meaningful.  Her album title is of particular interest. King’s lyric, “life being what it is, we all dream of revenge” is the compilation of her song “Life Being What It Is” and her album title. However this line really refers to a quote by the great Parisian Post-Impressionist painter Paul Gauguin, who said: “Life being what it is, one dreams of revenge.” King’s alteration of the quote may seem small, but changing “one” to “we all” changes the quote from a statement about personal hardship to one that evokes camaraderie.

The past year has been a successful one for King: she has recently received a Golden Globe award for her collaboration with Eddie Vedder on the critically acclaimed Into The Wild soundtrack.  She can also be heard on the Foo Fighters’ and Tegan & Sara’s albums, not to mention appearing as a hand-double in the film August Rush.  Dave Grohl reportedly gushed about King’s musicianship, saying of one song: “she shredded it 10 times better than I’ve ever played it.”  And shreds she does, for this songstress will be doing much of that in 2008. Her tour is in full force in support of the album, and we suggest you check her out.

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