The tirelessly touring, already fully tenured guitarist Steve Kimock -- a veteran of the Other Ones, Mickey Hart's Rhythm Devils, and his own Steve Kimock Band, among others -- brought his new quartet to the Tralf on May 16.
On the same night, Santigold played to a packed house at the Town Ballroom, while guitarist par excellence Joe Bonamossa reportedly wowed 'em (and then some) across the street at Shea's. That's an awful lotta incredible talent packed into a few blocks on one single night. (Better not tell any out-of-towners -- let 'em think Buffalo is a deadbeat city. Makes it easier for us to enjoy it!)
My clones were otherwise occupied on Wednesday, so I had to make a choice. I went with Kimock. The prospect of seeing this wonderful guitarist "spar" with Funkadelic veteran and legendary keyboardist Bernie Worrell -- along with bassist Andy Hess and drummer Wally Ingram -- was just too tantalizing.
Kimock and crew played two sets. They started a bit mellow and restrained with a lilting "Nana's Chalk Pipe," but by the time they got to a beautifully drawn-out section that included instrumental interpretations of the Beatles' "You Can't Do That" and Funkadelic's "Super Stupid," these guys were simply on fire.
Set two was even hotter, particularly a searing "Tangled Hangers" and a version of "Long Form" that featured an interpolation of John Coltrane's "A Love Supreme" and a killer drum solo from Ingram.
That a sizable crowd gathered to hear such transcendent music at the Tralf considering all the competition on this particular night -- well, it warms the heart.
And summer's just getting going!
> Looking ahead
* Now this is an idea whose time has come. Without fanfare, an e-mail popped up in my in-box earlier this week announcing an event dubbed "Field Day 2012." I suspected that the writer had mistakenly sent me something that perhaps should have been earmarked for the sports department, but lo and behold -- this one was indeed meant for me.
It turns out that "Field Day" is an all-day electronic music festival featuring dozens of national, international and local artists, all of whom will convene on Allen Street between College Street and Wadsworth Street beginning at noon Saturday. The block will be closed to traffic from noon until 8 p.m. It will open again at 8 p.m., when the action will move inside the participating Allentown clubs, Sample, the Bend and Duke's Bohemian Grove Bar.
This sounds like a blast to me, and props to event organizers Queen City Cartel for injecting some new energy into the scene. Additional information is available via Buffalofieldday.com, and tickets can be purchased at Fuse Salon (984 Elmwood Ave.), Headspace (67 Elmwood Ave.) or through queencitycartel.ticketleap.com.
* French-born Gypsy guitarist Stephane Wrembel -- already a player revealed for his daring blend of tradition and forward-looking virtuosity when he was nabbed by Woody Allen to compose the score to the director's film "Midnight In Paris" -- will perform at Duke's Bohemian Grove Bar (253 Allen St.) at 8 p.m. Sunday. The evening will begin with an opening set from Babik's Joshua Assad, who will be joined by Wrembel's band for a a collection of Django Reinhardt tunes.
* On Wednesday, Western New York indie label Buzz Records will host its first showcase, to be held at the Hard Rock Cafe (333 Prospect St., Niagara Falls). Buzz generated its initial, ahem, buzz in 2011 with the release of the debut effort from Buffalo's the Albrights, a band you've read about in these pages before.
The group's "Ask, Tell" disc generated excitement in Western New York, and since its release, the Albrights have gone on to gain high regard as a formidable live ensemble on the region's independent music scene.
Wednesday's show will feature, in addition to the Albrights, sets from power-pop outfit Breckenwood and still-in-high school ensemble WiT -- an acronym for "What is This." The three Buzz bands will kick off the showcase beginning at 9 p.m. Wednesday Tickets for the all-ages show are priced $5 and will be available at the door.
* Drum & Bass legend Roni Size arrives at the Town Ballroom (681 Main St.) for a "late night, state-of-the-art lighting, huge sound, two-room" celebration at 10 tonight. The main stage will feature headliner Size, along with guests Hoogs, D.A. Dogg and DJ Loki. A secondary room at the front of the venue will feature "an all-vinyl old-school" experience featuring DJ 3PO and McNasty.