Friday, September 28, 2012

Michael Kiwanuka

Buy this man's music.  If there's any kind of justice in the universe, this man should be making a comfortable living playing his music.  The album is amazing, and I can say from personal experience that his live show is even better.

I saw him last week in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.  I guarantee it's the last time I will be able to see this guy from 30 feet away.  Next time he blows through town, it will probably be at some enormous venue and I won't even be able to afford the tickets. 

His voice was flawless.  Soulful as soulful gets.  His guitar playing was top-notch.  His presence and delivery were enthralling.  I was pretty much entranced from the the first song onward.  A really great moment was when he took a few minutes to talk about one of his heroes, one of the people that inspired him to even pick up the guitar in the first place.  He felt he owed it to his hero to pay respect by playing one of his songs...then he launched into "Waterfall" by Jimi Hendrix and it was incredibly moving.  Instead of trying to be like Jimi, he tried to say thank you to Jimi, and it was one of the most open and vulnerable performances I've ever seen. 

His band.  His band were not just a random group of professional road-warrior types.  They seemed like close, trusted friends and they had a vibe of joy to be playing together.  None of them were flashy; they were all there to support Michael and support the songs.  I think this intention came through with the unbelievable groove they created all night.  I mean, they had a pocket that would make any funk band envious.  This show is going up there in the top all-time shows I've seen.  So, again, check out the songs, and if you like em, support the music and buy some stuff.  See a show when he comes through. 


DC said...

In the running for #1 2012 for me, personally.

rootless said...

Love this album. How the hell did I miss him playing in Williamsburg?? Damnit.