Steve Kimock’s antithetical album “Last Danger of Frost,” due to be released on March 18th, is a marvel to behold. The Jazz innovator Duke Ellington once said “If it sounds good, it is good” and if that timeless observation holds true today, “Last Danger of Frost” is truly miraculous. The music is remarkable in every conceivable way, as I openly wept on several occasions while listening to this crowning achievement. It literally drips with brilliance, and while I don’t subscribe to divinest theories, perceptive listeners can literally peer into Kimock’s musical soul. After I grasped the music the first time I felt like I understood this artist to a greater extent. It manages to be his most personal and honest album to date, yet Kimock does not utter a word, he simply doesn’t have to.
It is this very type of album that is facing extinction in today’s ever increasingly complicated musical landscape. Record companies and musicians alike can no longer spend the time or money creating a timeless piece of music only to watch idly by while losing money for their efforts as we all rip it off the web. In an attempt to turn the enemy to the industry that the web has become into an asset, a kickstart program offering Olympian awards for large donations was used to help assist in funding this release. It’s plainly obvious from the first track, “Music Tells a Story, Part 1. The Old Man” that this was a labor of love and something Kimock was destined and determined to achieve. This album highlight’s Kimock’s guitar skills which, in this writer’s opinion, are technically superior to the vast majority of musicians playing today; but more importantly to his loyal fan-base, so is his heart. At last, the stars and planets have aligned and his magic has spilled out to be captured on a studio album.
The wonderment that is “Last Danger of Frost” is an illustration of Kimock’s obedience to his craft. In layman’s terms, it is a musical masterpiece. The formula is as simplistic as it is revolutionary. Kimock plays acoustic guitar exclusively over the entirety of this musical journey while computer generated effects, soundscapes, and background chatter accompany this heart wrenching music as it transports the listener to an assortment of locales and time periods. Steve managed to record these constructs in an album using the oldest form of communication — music. In one of the diminutive tracks on this album, ”The Artist Dies and Goes to Hell,” only a lonely flamenco style guitar is heard crying in the distance as the beauty is drowned out by conversations and various sounds akin to a crowded cafe. Aside from one familiar track, “Tongue and Groove,” which receives a delicate facelift “Last Danger of Frost” is comprised of all new material that was recorded in Kimock’s century-old Pennsylvania barn last winter. Astonishingly, the entire record was made singularly, by this once in a generation musician. Kimock’s chef-d’oeuvre will be available March 18th in a variety of packages. An ambitious tour begins in just a few short days from now. I am personally anxious to hear how this material gets fleshed out in a live setting. Steve Kimock’s “Last Danger of Frost” is a musical achievement, a jaunt so awe-inspiring it should require a warning label.
Words: Kevin Long
Editor: Rob Frey