Review and photos by Dave Clark-

Jams for J – Steve Kimock with Mickey Hart and Jeff Chimenti, Hop Monk Tavern Sebastopol, CA- 10/26

Steve Kimock and band rocked the house at Hop Monk Tavern Wednesday night. Bringing together an all star cast in Support of Measure J to protect and fund Sonoma County Regional parks. Steve was joined by vocalist & multi-instrumentalist Leslie Mendelson, longtime bassist Bobby Vega, and drummer John Morgan Kimock. As if that lineup wasn’t enough, special guests, keyboardist Jeff Chimenti and drummer Mickey Hart also joined in the fun.

This stellar lineup of musicians brought an electrifying mix of jazz, blues and psychedelic rock to bucolic Sebastopol. Kimock and company opened the show with acoustic numbers “Careless Love” and “Mother’s Song,” followed by several signature Kimock tunes to highlight the first set including “Tongue & Groove,” John’s eclectic “Orson,” and “Ice Cream.” The band punctuated the set by closing with the Grateful Dead classic “Tennessee Jed.”

A palpable buzz filled the air during the set break, as the crew began assembling a small percussion rig in the center of the stage. Mickey Hart, who had earlier been scheduled to appear with tabla master Zakir Hussain and sitar player Niladri Kumar at Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley, was rumored to be en route from that show to join Steve and the rest of the band. Much to the delight of the crowd at Hop Monk Tavern, the rumors proved to be true.

After being introduced by wife Caryl Hart, Director of Sonoma County Regional Parks, Mickey spoke emphatically of his love for parks, nature, music and the outdoors, and joined the group for an improvisational jam. Playing percussion and riffing and rapping as only he can, with infectious and engaging enthusiasm he worked the crowd into a frenzy. Following Mickey’s departure the second set included fan favorites “5 B4 Funk,” “Hillbillies on PCP,” and featured the lovely Leslie on “Oh Babe it Ain’t No Lie,” ending with a stirring “Many Rivers to Cross.”

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