Review by Andy Robinson for Wood & Steel Magazine:
STEVEN KING, RE-BEATLE-ING! CD
For those unfamiliar with Steven King, here's the quick run-down: he
won the National Fingerpicking Championship at an earlier Winfield (Walnut
Valley) festival (he's going back this year). He's known for performing
solo, acoustic-guitar versions of full, jazz-band arrangements, recorded
"live" with no additional overdubs. He utilizes a system he calls "Bass
Expansion", in which the two low strings of his Taylor guitars have their
own additional pickup; the signals from these strings are fed through an
Octabass pedal, which enables him to play them an octave lower than standard tuning in order to provide "true" bass lines. He is a Taylor clinician who has been wow-ing audiences at Taylor dealers across the country and overseas.
Steven King, Re-Beatle-ing! is King's second album of Beatle songs, and everything that makes the Beatles' arrangements so magical is here in guitar form - the Lennon/McCartney vocal harmonies, the unforgettable George Harrison licks, those great McCartney bass lines.
On this "sequel" to last summer's Steven King, Beatle-ing!, King does
some of the Beatle tunes you'd expect a fingerstyle guitarist to tackle, but
he also delves into more challenging material. There are beautiful versions
of the ballads, including "Michelle", "I Will", and "Yesterday", as well as
Lennon's "Imagine". There's a jaunty "Martha My Dear". Even "Being For the Benefit of Mr. Kite", from Sgt. Pepper (not one of my personal favorites) is a joy, because it's just plain fascinating to hear King work his way through the arrangement.
His version of "I Am the Walrus" is a favorite cut - funky in the same,
low-key way as the original, complete with all the "orchestrated" bits. Of
course, there's a healthy nod to Beatles producer George Martin on this
track and throughout the CD. For example, check out how King replicates the faux-Baroque harpsichord solo on "In My Life", complete with that little
downward smear of notes at the very end!
The album reaches its peak intensity when King single-handedly
recreates the jamming and call-and-response ensemble playing of the Indian musicians on Harrison's "Within You, Without You". He even manages to suggest a tabla [Indian drum] feel on the track (remember, this is all done live, with no additional overdubs!).
King sails through the lilting falsettos of "Paperback Writer", deftly
navigates the vocal counterpoint of "Hello Goodbye", and generally leaves no stone unturned. Even his simulation of the symphony orchestra climbing up those incredible crescendos in "A Day in The Life" is about as good as any one person could possibly do it.
For the Beatles fan, this CD is full of fun. But, for the
guitar-playing Beatles fan, Steven King, Re-Beatle-ing! is, like all this
artist's work, simply mind-boggling.
- Andy Robinson
Andy Robinson is a singer /songwriter and mountain dulcimer player (and
erstwhile drummer) based in Los Angeles. His CD release, The Andy
Robinson Band, is available through Amazon.com or direct from Andy at
"Invariably, reviewers marvel at the breadth of King's solo repertoire, but
a slower realization, one that gradually crescendos beyond disbelief, is
that he's actually playing solo - that he's not the leader of a guitar trio,
but a two-fisted Sybil of melody, chords and bass... and the shaking
heads one sees at King's Taylor workshops attest to the difficulty of a
technique that has won him national fingerpicking laurels, and which
once prompted professor and music columnist Robert Yellin to proclaim
King 'the greatest solo guitarist I've ever seen or heard.' " - Wood and Steel Magazine
"When it comes to repertoire, it’s hard to top Taylor-wielding Steven King.
The 19 challenging tunes arranged for solo fingerstyle flat-top on
"Acoustic Swing" range from Zawinul’s ‘Birdland’ to Mancini’s
‘Dreamsville‘ to the bop classic ‘Anthropology.’ Despite the extreme
technical demands of his orchestral-sounding arrangements, King has fun
with music by Scott Joplin, George Gershwin, and Irving Berlin. He cut
these swinging, polyphonically dense tracks live over a four-day period,
which means he carries all this wonderful music around in his head.
That’s humbling. " --- Guitar Player Magazine, August 1997
"Steven King leaves no doubt here that he’s one of the top players in this
demanding style. Able to execute improvised bass runs beneath his fluid
melody lines, King adapts such seemingly impossible tunes as Weather
Report’s jazz classic ‘Birdland’ in arrangements that defy the limitations
of six strings and ten fingers. Even at its most complex, King’s playing
remains rich-toned and musical and always puts the melody first."
--- Acoustic Guitar Magazine, January ’97
"...his 'Delight of String' record is a canny blend of jazz, pop and folk
idioms. He excels at holding down a driving bass line beneath rich
chord-melody voicings, pulling a deep, commanding, Kottke-esque tone
from his Taylor..." --- Guitar Player Magazine
"Start monitoring the music mags for reviews of Steven King's brand-new
CD, 'Original Fling'. The buzz about King usually focuses on his technical facility, arranging and interpreting chops, and the sophisticated interplay
between his independent walking bass lines and his melodic/chordal
work. But, until now, those skills have been applied mostly to classic jazz,
pop, and traditional compositions. On the aptly titled Original Fling, King
serves notice, to new fans that his writing chops are worthy of equal
consideration. Nine of the cuts on the CD are King creations, and open a
new window into this talented player's musical soul. It's cool how King
can alternate among jaunty, reflective, playful, and poignant vibes and
somehow always convey swing. As always, his choice of cover material
is both tasteful and quirky-fun, and includes an elastic Harlem Nocturne,
Billy Strayhorn's Lush Life, an inventive reading of Greensleeves, and the
theme to the old television show, Route 66. This album is for anyone who
loves either jazz or acoustic fingerstyle, or, especially, both."
---Wood and Steel Magazine
Press Reviews Published about Steven King, email appreciations, and memorable letters
review by Dirk Sutro in Wood & Steel Magazine
And I thought Joe Pass had chops.
I still remember hearing Pass's Virtuoso album for the first time, wondering how one guy with two hands could play so many parts at once. Now, along comes King, transforming his lone guitar into an even fuller ensemble capable of playing more complicated arrangements. Listening to these songs, it's hard to believe a guy can achieve such division of brain waves. You'll swear there's a bassist, rhythm guitarist, and lead fretman on hand... King plays up the tension between signature bass line and melody, or strums chords that are so mellow, full, and sustained that they almost sound like a piano.
Despite gravity-defying earlier efforts, King is still getting better. He has no apparent peers for what he does best: dusts off great songs, freshens them with ingenious new arrangements, then plays them on guitar with the fullness of a small ensemble.
-Dirk Sutro is a former jazz critic for the Los Angeles Times and author of Jazz for Dummies, a reference guide to thousands of jazz artists (with a CD included), and part of the popular "Dummies" series published by IDG Books. In addition to contributing free-lance articles to newspapers and magazines, Sutro hosts The Lounge, a popular live-performance/interview program on San Diego's public-radio station, KPBS-FM.
I don't have enough English words to express my admiration. You are one of the finest harmonizers I ever heard, the master of chord building!
After having listened at some tunes, I've immediately looked at the TablEdit files you sent to me previously in order to understand how it is playable with one single guitar ;-)
this drove me to the following conclusion:
IMHO, your problem is that your music sounds so technically complex that most guitar players think "Even with the tablature, I would never been able to play this arrangement". But in fact, your arrangements and compositions are accessible for any good guitarist. So it would be useful to reassure the potential customer about the playability of your tunes.
-Matthieu Leschemelle in France, creator of the Tabledit software program, the most respected tab software in the world.
"It is amazing, the things he plays on the guitar. Steven has demonstrated a mastery of the individual approach to guitar playing. The guitar/bass voicings he uses are unique and entertaining. Steven King is a very musical guitar player and a joy to listen to."
- Al Hendrickson, master Hollywood session guitarist, the most recorded guitarist in the world from 1947-1980
"... He knocked us silly with solo acoustic/electric nylon-string renditions
of the Benny Goodman staple 'Sing, Sing, Sing' and Dave Brubeck's odd-meter workout 'Blue Rondo A La Turk'..."
---Guitar Player Magazine
"Steven King is a relative rarity among guitarists...Listening to King is an exercise in joyous discovery. The contrapuntal interplay between his gently propulsive bass lines and piquant melodies, his satin smooth octaves, slyly synchronized metric shifts, intuitive sense of dynamics -
you come away feeling like someone who finds a new Fabergé on an Easter egg hunt. ---Wood and Steel Magazine
"Guitarist does wonders with Beatle songs... National Fingerstyle Guitar Champion Steven King, a tremendous instrumentalist, is also a Beatle fan. That's very lucky for all of us. King has issued six CDs of his versions of Beatle songs through his website. We've heard our share of Beatle covers, including guitar-oriented ones, but we have to say, in all honesty, that King's guitar work on these songs is some of the most beautiful we've ever heard. No song is repeated over the six CDs..."
--Steve Marinucci, Abbey Rd Beatles News
Home page: http://abbeyrd.best.vwh.net
entire article URL: http://abbeyrd.best.vwh.net/news/205kingofguitar.html
review published on Yahoo Reviews re: Journey to Love CD
Pros: excellent creative and inspiring instrumental music Cons: none
This work has won Radio Nur world wide awards. Please go to www.kingofguitar.net to hear sound clips and order. Steven King is a USA National Fingerstyle Guitar Championship winner. This is not the other Steven King Trio or Steven King with the "Kiss of Death" CDs advertised on the web, this is the incredible solo guitarist Steven King with CDs sold only at the web site [www.guitarbystevenking.com]
re: Fingerling CD
"Steven King recently burst onto the acoustic guitar scene when he won
the 1994 fingerstyle championship... a player with polished technique,
deep musical knowledge, and an immense repertoire of mind-boggling
arrangements with improvised walking bass lines and simultaneous
chords and melodies - as in his arrangement [on his "Fingerling" CD] of Linus and Lucy... King’s sophisticated bass lines can be heard in his arrangements of Woody Herman’s Four Brothers and the Benny Goodman classic Sing Sing Sing..." --- Acoustic Guitar Magazine
Review by John D'Agostino in Wood & Steel Magazine
People who attend Steven King's workshops and buy his CDs to hear double-espresso versions of their favorite tunes might deduce from its title that Soft-flowing Waters is a musical rest stop for the fleet-fingered jazzbo. Confirmation would seem to come with the opening/title track, a rosewater melody poured into a sensuous samba (the soft-focus Braziliana is echoed later on "Evening in Seattle").
But if King's first album of original material since Journey to Love is a jazz Zen garden, his fidgety fingers can't resist drawing in the sand
and playing with the smooth stones. King doesn't wait longer than the second cut, "Manhattan Monday", to take the A-type train. This Big Apple jam is no
stroll in Central Park; it's a weaving sprint through foot-traffic that bears a roll-call of familiar, Kingly traits: the manic bass figure and lyrical treble phrases in contrary motion; the masterful juxtapositions of chordal movement and rhythmic accents; the cool transitional voicings and
multiple passing tones.
Indeed, there is much here to appease King fans who are drawn to his impossible-sounding bass-melody-harmony legerdemain (they'll love "Cruising" and "String Scat"), but even the Kingster must cool his digits once in a while. He explores more contemplative territory on such elegaic pieces as "My Life is Like a River" and "Cascade Peaks", and their elegance and restraint are a lovely counterpoint to the chops-happy grooves on which much of King's reputation is based.
"Looks Like Another Rainy Day" has that wee-hours, saloon-lament quality that would make it a worthy companion to the Johnny Burke/Jimmy Van Heusen classic, "Here's That Rainy Day". In fact, one of Soft-flowing Waters' selling points is that the music occasionally recalls beloved, even archetypal tunes while showcasing King's skills as composer-arranger.
"Minor Adjustment", for example, is built on a descending figure similar to Davey Graham's "Anji" (made famous by Bert Jansch and later Paul Simon), but it pays off with a deceptively simple and very catchy "chorus" that's all King. Likewise, the chorus of the tender, film-themish "Snow" flashes the
crucial four-note hook of the Beatles' "All My Loving" before disappearing back into the shuffling shell-game of original material.
As much as we King fans love to call out requests from his bottomless repertoire of pop, TV/film, and classical tunes, efforts such as Soft-flowing Waters, like Journey to Love and Original Fling, prove
that the man is much more than an interpreter. It begs for a sequel, but should prove endlessly satisfying in the meantime. * JD
John D'Agostino, after a 15-year tenure as music editor/critic for the San DiegoReader and the Los Angeles Times, is the editor of Wood & Steel Magazine.
King displays a range of guitar skills and musical influences that defy easy categorization. He can render gorgeous guitar ballads like Scarborough Fair and Bluesette with the sweetness and musicality of the best English-influenced players, then turn around and drop you in your tracks with stunning versions of seemingly impossible jazz tunes like Birdland, In The Mood and the Peter Gunn Theme. His exquisite ability to synchronize complex walking bass lines with fluid melodic passages and ethereal passing chords creates a truly complete musical statement on each tune. Nothing here sounds forced or injected artificially into the song. King reaches down deep to extract the essence of the music in his playing. His rendition of Joe Zawniul's jazz standard Birdland practically rewrites the rule book of what's possible with six strings and ten fingers.."
---Dave McCarty, Winfield Review
Review in Just Jazz Guitar by columnist and jazz guitarist Pete Cavano (PETECAVANO@aol.com)
On Steven Kings "Meandering" we have 20 songs performed as only the "Kingster" can. Walking bass lines, swinging rythms,cool riffs it,s all here and then some. The song selections reflect not only Steven's diversity as a guitarist/arranger, but also his mind-boggling repertoire as well. Some real highlights tracks would have to be "Slow Boat to China", and '"Body and Soul" and certainly "Anthropology" is not a selection often heard in a solo guitar setting.
Long a clinician for Taylor guitars, Steven uses both Steel and Nylon string Taylors for a joyous variety of tones and textures. The more string like or "pianistic" sound is a perfect match for this guitarist's style. Steven also uses his "Bass Expansion" system on the steel string guitar. This lowers the A and E strings one octave giving a very rich sound for all those great walking bass lines.
The polished technique and effortless performance make it easy to forget just how much wonderful music is happening here. Anyone who has played solo guitar will really appreciate the inherent artistry and musicality of this recording, plus anyone who just loves good music will as well. -PC
excerpt From published article "Four Fabulous guitarists play the FAB FOUR!" By James R. Webb, comparing Chet Atkins, Laurence Juber, Manuel Barreucco and Steven King's Beatle repertoire CDs:
…here is actually a series of [seven] CDs by the king of Fingerstle Guitar, Steven King. His CD's, "Beatle-ing", "Re-Beatle-ing", [ "3-Beatle-ing", Beatle-ing 4",] "Beatle-ing 5, It's Alive", "Beatling 6, Just for Kicks", [and finally "Beatle-ing 7, from Earth and Heaven"] contain virtually every popular Beatle song as well as some more obscure ones played on solo guitar! It is an amazing feat to have arranged all of these songs for solo guitar in one lifetime, much less play them as flawlessly as they come off on the CDs. I asked Mr. King what made him decide to arrange and record four CDs of Beatle music? He replied, "I realized that not only do I cherish the Beatles' music, but so does almost every guitarist I ever met. I have forever admired the sheer excellence and creativity of the Beatles music that compels generation after generation to love it as I do."
The arrangements are excellent, incorporating walking bass lines enhanced by bass expansion, rhythm, lead and vocals with one single guitar and no overdubs. He says about his playing style, "My style of fingerstyle guitar arranging plays homage to the true melody, while keeping the chords, rhythms and bass lines suggesting the sounds of the entire band." It sounds impossible, but Mr. King does it and does it with sparkling clarity. Listening to each selection, they seem to capture the feeling of the original Beatles recordings very accurately. The key to Mr. King's arrangements are that you can almost hear Paul and John singing the melody, while George and Ringo play their parts in the background! His treatment of "Across the Universe" is exceptional, but there is one other that stands out as a truly special arrangement. The Harrison song, "Within You, Witout You" was one of my personal favorites off of the Magical Mystery Tour album. When I listened to the Beatles original "Within You, Without You" there were a several different exotic instruments weaving a complicated web of sound, each of the many instrumental parts running simultaneously through the song. Steven King's arrangement for solo guitar captures both the feel and the intertwining elements built around a driving bass part that replaces the percussion. An amazing feat! Mr. King told me that "Within You Without You and "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" were two of the most challenging pieces.
One is always tempted to compare the treatments different artists give the Beatles tune... Yesterday". Chet Atkins plays it solo with his electrified hollow-body Gretsch to great effect, playing an upbeat version of his Fab-4 classic. There is no better description than it is classic Chet Atkins style.
Manuel Barreucco plays Yesterday solo but at a much slower pace… more pensive and dramatic than Chet's version. The clarity of the nylon strings gives this arrangement a definite classical feel. Laurence Juber's version of Yesterday has the melody played in lower register giving the song a slower, sadder feeling... Steven King's arrangement of Yesterday has a much more positive feel. It is more upbeat, the melody is played in higher registers, and he inserts variations off the original melody giving some nice counterpoint to the song. They all are different, all masterfully arranged and performed, and all are my "favorite" versions! King's web site is www.kingofguitar.com, where he has all of his "Beatle-ing" CD's, as well as instructional videos... Finally, if you want to literally hear John and Paul's voices in the guitar strings and again, exquisitely well-played guitar music, put on any one of the Steven King CDs. You will not be disappointed by any of these CD's. - JRW ===============================================================================================================================
subject: Magic Fingers....
I just heard, this afternoon, your rendering of Martha My Dear... Couldn't have enjoyed it without saying how much I loved it, and of course, a big thank you for permitting Pete Dicks to play it on his Beatles and Beyond Show.
You are a great guitarist, with a soft touch like the one of Chet Atkins, the Master. I will visit your site tomorrow. It was the first time I heard of you. and I sincerely hope that it won't be the last. Please forgive my bad english. Have a nice day...and again, THANK YOU !
Danielle St-Pierre Lacombe
Hi Steven - I'll be playing your cds on the show tonight, and am inviting you to join my listeners on my site while the show plays. The show starts at 8pm UK time on: www.thebridgewalsall.co.uk - click 'listen' and make sure you have 'real player'
Best wishes, Pete Dicks (Host of Beatles and Beyond radio show in the UK)
subject: Reminiscing CD
I've finally gotten a minute to send you a note. I've been driving around for the last three weeks listening to your Reminiscing and I've got this to say. Some day your going to be approached by a gnarled, wretched deformed hunchback of a viperous looking guy, drooling and spitting through bad teeth who'll try to beat you to death with his cane while muttering obscenities under his breath because, until he started trying to play guitar like you, he had been a normal guy. The sad truth is that it'll probably be me.
I've got to say that I think this is the best thing you've done since the CD you did with Peter Finger. Great arrangements and the sound quality is excellent. What's wonderful to hear is that you've gotten your lead lines in the variations to a very sophisticated level and they fit rock solid with the rest of the tune. The fullnes of your big chordal playing doesn't get lost when you do the single line stuff now because your arpeggiating the chords so well. You're moving from one chord into another so nicely that I can't help but grin when I hear it. Congrats dude. You're going to start getting fan mail from John Williams and Angel Romero one of these days. You are starting to piss me off though. Any hope I ever had of catching up is 10 miles down the road now and going the wrong way. This is great stuff.
Jim Lynch (guitarist and music store owner in Erie PA - Lynch Music)
I just wanted to tell you what a pleasure it was to see and hear you at Appalachian Guitars. Your masterful play of the guitar was something I had not experienced before. As I watched I was amazed at the extraordinary dexterity of your hands, especially the pinky of your left hand (you've got to insure that baby!). I was so impressed I bought 5 CDs and wished I had bought more. At the break we got to talk and you were not only cordial but extremely gracious and down to earth. I've been fortunate to meet some of my guitar heroes but have found some of them to be bored with the public. Certainly count me as one of you faithful followers. I hope I again have the pleasure to see and hear you.
Thanks, Ed Ernst
Thanks Steven, I read your article in Wood & Steel about over doing it with the rharms, substitutions etc. Thanks for the insight! I have all the Howard Morgen
arranging books (and some others), and I get more confused with every page. It's too overwhelming and counterproductive. I spend so much time trying to figure out what substitution I should use to make my arangement "more interesting" and "jazzy" than what Cole porter, or George Gershwin composed.
- Stephen Savastano in NH
I received your wonderful book, [The Big Book of Riffs] and have started to piece my way thru it. I just wanted to drop a note asking if you might anticipate producing a CD or DVD that would compliment this work of yours. You know, we earthlings are sometimes a dense bunch, and we like to hear clips, see video, etc. of what things should sound like. Please consider it for us small minded folk. Keep up the great work. And to quote a Hollywood earthling "I am not
worthy", but I still love your stuff. Hope you come back to St. Louis sooner than later.
One of your earthly admirers
Keith Vidal, M.S., P.E., CXLT
From W. Holt in Houston, TX
"...Thanks for the reply, Steven... I will look further at the Baha'i writings; I have been a reader of comparative religion for a while but only have a superficial knowledge of Baha'i. It certainly seems like a clear alternative to the fundamentalist extremism of so many sects worldwide these days.
By the way, I know you’ve heard it a million times before, but I have never heard any guitarist with the ability to make the melody and supporting lines SING like you do. I swear I can almost hear the voices in there. An amazing gift and one you use to really beautiful purpose. No need to respond to this post, just wanted to let you know. I’ve played solo guitar professionally around Houston for about 15 years, and I have listened to everyone out there is. You’re in the cream of the cream of the crop. Take care | w
The cds are fantastic! I think a lot of people go on about your Beatles recordings but way too little has been said about the original stuff - very entertaining to listen to and it has a great energy.
The Tico Tico transcription is fantastic. It lays very nicely on the fretboard and the left hand fingerings make perfect sense. I've had to learn it on my telecaster because it has a lighter gauge than my acoustic and makes the barring easier. The arrangement is just beautifully done and really appeals to me on both the musical and logical levels. I can't say enough how much it makes sense. Thank you so much for making it available. I'm going to stop there before I start gushing.
Gerry Nelson (fan in Austrailia)
I just want to let you know that I received the
arrangement of "That's a Plenty" yesterday and can't stop playing it. I can't say that I had alot of familiarity with the tune before, but the arrangement is wonderful. I wish I knew how you do it. All of your arrangements are gems...they are just so logical, it's amazing. Ususally, when read through arrangements for guitar, they just don't work- they seem to be cluttered with too many notes and the voicings don't really work and sound well on the guitar. when I see and play yours, everything looks so clean and makes perfect sense.
Have you ever considered a method book for "arranging" for the guitar?
I have noticed that since I have been playing your arrangements and interpretations now for 4 years or so, I tend to automatically employ alot of your style into my arragnements, albeit not as creative and imaginative.
Steve Savastino (professional guitarist in Salem, NH)
"...Here, (Original Fling) Steven applies his unique fretboard ideas ... He makes the difficult sound effortless."
---Mr. Guitar Magazine, Chet Atkins Appreciation Society,
"For Beatle-ing!, King established an appealing middle-ground between his jazzer's impulses to stretch and reconfigure, and a reverance for the structural perfection of songs that are, let's face it, mini-masterpieces.
The result is a loving translation that showcases King's impressive playing and arranging chops while leaving the hallmark components of Lennon-McCartney tunefulness intact and sparkling. Get ready to be renewed. " - Wood and Steel Magazine
review published by Acoustic Guitar on web at: http://www.acousticguitar.com/issues/ag118/reviews118.html
Steven King, Meandering
Steven King has a knack for making his intricate solo guitar arrangements of jazz, pop, and bossa nova pieces sound right at home on the fretboard, as though tunes like Charlie Parker's "Anthropology" were written for the guitar. This piece and others on Meandering get the deft, simultaneous bass-harmony-melody treatment for which King is known. He makes it all sound so effortless that it's easy to get lost in the music. Highlights include his treatment of "Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most" and a beautiful version of Stevie Wonder's "Overjoyed." -Ron Forbes-Roberts, Acoustic Guitar
1986 letter to Steven King from Henry Mancini
A cherished letter to Steven King from guitarist legend, the late Ted Greene (around 1982), responding to a demo tape by King.
email letter disseminated in Houston by professional guitarist and fan, Wayne Holt (he begins by quoting Robert Yellin's accolade):
To All Lovers of Great Guitar Playing:
"... I wrote 33 articles for ‘Guitar Player.’ I have more than 8,800 jazz guitar recordings and nearly 2000 jazz guitar videos...I feel qualified in saying Steven King is the greatest solo guitarist I’ve ever seen or heard!"...
------Robert Yelin, jazz columnist and music professor
Who is this Steven King he’s talking about?
I hope you don’t mind me contacting you about the upcoming performances of one of the planet’s best solo fingerstyle guitarists. I really wanted to get the word out that USA National Fingerstyle Guitar Champion Steven King will be in Houston for a Monday, February 20 performance at The Hobby Center for the Performing Arts Zilkha Hall. This guy is a one-of-a-kind virtuoso, doing the seemingly impossible…and making it all look easy.
Don’t think Steven is a one trick pony, doing just one kind of music. His repertoire is dizzying in its range, everything from bebop and big band to Beatles, bossa, Dixieland, movie themes, and classical excursions as well as his wonderful original compositions. I don’t know anyone else that has a personal letter from The Pink Panther composer Henry Mancini congratulating him on his solo guitar arrangements, do you?
He has an uncanny ability to make melody lines literally sing above the chord textures and mind blowing bass lines in the bottom. And with the split pickup arrangement on his lower strings, it sounds just like an upright bass is accompanying him the whole time.
His concerts are a blend of virtuoso playing combined with playing tips on how he does it all…it’s like getting a one-on-one lesson thrown in for free. And all of it is delivered with warmth and humor; even non-playing significant others will find it an entertaining evening.
If you really love guitar and want to expand your idea of what one person can do on it, you owe it to yourself to discover this incredible player. Learn more about him at his website: http://www.kingofguitar.net... -Wayne Holt (an earlier email from Mr. Holt is quoted below also)
"...From 1968-1982 I wrote 33 articles for ‘Guitar Player.’ I have more than 8,800 jazz guitar recordings and nearly 2000 jazz guitar videos...I feel qualified in saying Steven King is the greatest solo guitarist I’ve ever seen or heard!!"... ---Robert Yelin, jazz columnist and music professor
From a review by Anthony Adams of King's Reminiscing CD, in Wood & Steel Magazine:
"...If music is magic, King is one of the world's great magicians, able to move musical mountains without a single thumbpick. And this album proves that he's not proud - if it's a good melody he'll play it, regardless of genre, era, or artist. Be forewarned: no fine melody is safe from this man; he'll take a good thing and make it better. Reminiscing is a smorgas- bord of songs and styles united by King's protean talent and devotion to melody. It's an extraordinary album... -AA