Ken puts on a great jam/feast/fest every Labor Day weekend, and I made it to my second one today. I’ve started things out the last two years – I can’t stand an empty stage – so I get to do a set as folks pull in. Unfortunately, I don’t always get to play for some players that get there late but today was quite wonderful

Steve Kimock, formerly from the Valley, was in town visiting family so I asked him to play along. Steve is pretty much internationally known for his near orbit with Jerry Garcia and friends on the jam circuit so I was confident that I could throw things at him and he would pick up on everything. Which he did. Steve listens first (and second) and then finds ways to fit in. He did some fascinating stuff on Legends, Rosie, Barrelhouse and other fairly tough songs. It was pretty cool to play with him, play strong chords and rhythms and let him soar a little on lead.

It would be even cooler to play for a listening audience, but it was a picnic and social gathering. But what made it special was the fact that we both were listening to each other and communicating like two professionals. Steve also made me raise my game and I played really strong. That’s the way it works.