For some performers, the idea of warming a seated crowd of 3,000 with nothing but an acoustic guitar and original lyrics would be terrifying.
But for Wilson native and SUNY Fredonia State grad Savannah King — who endured the aforementioned when opening for Emmylou Harris at Kleinhans in 2015 — the experience was exhilarating, as well as illuminating for those who had never heard the singer/songwriter’s soothing work. Amid a trio of solo EPs and group work with the Kings (drummer Loren Metzger, guitarist Mark Bamann and bassist Scott Gergelis) on last year’s revelatory “Bold & Unsteady,” the Stevie Nicks-inspired musician has proven daring in her songwriting and sturdy on stage, whether inside historic music halls or Maker’s-soaked rock holes.
Now working on new music for release this year, King will bring her back catalog and venue flexibility to North Buffalo’s Daily Planet Coffee for a solo gig at 7 p.m. May 13. Before the show, she took some time to discuss promoting her music on YouTube, interpretations of covers and buying the music of fellow redheads.
Question: What's the reception been like for “Bold & Unsteady,” and how have your feelings about the material changed since its release?
Answer: [The album] was a huge milestone for me. I’d wanted a band for quite some time, but never found the right players. Immediately after finding our current lineup, I knew this was something special.
There was so much material I wanted to bring to every practice for them; it was fairly overwhelming. The four of us would practice weekly and work so hard to develop our sound and groove. Eventually, we came out with the 12 tracks you see on the album, and I think all four of us are immensely proud of the album. Even when I look back it today, I’m still very happy with how it turned out. The whole situation pushed me so far out of my comfort zone.
Q: You released 12 live performance videos under your Sunday Song Project last fall and winter. Where did the idea come from, and what did you enjoy most about the series?
A: The idea for Sunday Song Project came from my previous Alphabet Project in 2013. I really enjoyed making videos that all our friends and fans could watch from home. Sunday Song Project was focused more on the band, whereas Alphabet Project was completely solo. I believe a big part of making YouTube videos is keeping the authenticity. All videos from both projects were recorded live on location [around Buffalo], and I really enjoyed the challenge of that.
Q: Those videos included a few covers. Do you think a cover should always be reverent to the original, or should it be allowed to deviate?
A: I’m a big believer in interpretation. It can be boring if you cover a song exactly the way it was written; that’s already been done. The thrill of covering a tune but changing the style has always been attractive to me. I started off covering “War Pigs” many years ago when I first started performing. A young girl standing up on stage with her acoustic guitar playing Black Sabbath drew a pretty good amount of attention. Now that I have a band, I’ve brought that same concept to them.
Q: What does it mean to you to be referred to as a Buffalo musician?
A: We’ve hosted quite a few shows in Buffalo with out-of-town acts and I’ve always heard so many good things about what they find here. We have some of the most enthusiastic crowds who really care about the music they come to hear.
Being a “Buffalo musician” is more than being from here. It’s a group that you identify with and become a part of. Even though I’ve done a fair amount of shows outside Buffalo, I always look forward to returning home. I couldn’t have asked for a better musical community to grow up in.
Q: Finally, if you could only use a full card of Record Theatre stamps toward work by a fellow redhead, whose would you pick?
A: Florence Welch [of Florence and the Machine], for sure. I’ve been a fan of hers since high school. I love her theatrics and how she really paints pictures with her words. That girl can sing!
Who: Savannah King
When: 7 p.m. May 13
Where: Daily Planet Coffee, 1862 Hertel Ave.