Kimock, Kreutzmann crash Kaua‘i for annual music festival
PRINCEVILLE — While it won’t draw the massive crowds seen at many music festivals on the Mainland, the talent is just as good.
All the more reason to get your tickets for the 12th Annual Homegrown Music Festival on Kaua‘i, presented by Dove Presents, Dec. 15 and 16 at the Church of the Pacific’s outdoor, ocean view amphitheater in Princeville.
As a fan and avid listener of several featured artists, I can almost guarantee that this two-day rain-or-shine event — unlike anything else offered on island — will be nothing short of spectacular.
Saturday’s headliners include former Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann and legendary rock guitarist Steve Kimock. Both will perform during what has been dubbed a “Tropical Jam,” along with Dan “Lebo” Lebowitz of ALO and Reed Mathis of Tea Leaf Green.
The “Tropical Jam” begins at 7 p.m. Saturday.
One of the more well-known artists on the bill is Kimock, who was kind enough to agree to a phone interview with Kaua‘i Times about his upcoming performance, which is part of a two-week vacation to Kaua‘i with his wife and two young children.
“I’m totally stoked, can’t wait,” he said. “Just being there in the first place is something that I’ve been kind of dreaming about, beating my fists on the ground about, for a while.”
His performance with Kreutzmann, Mathis and Lebowitz is just an added bonus, for both us and him.
“I’m looking forward to some very beautiful and spirited improvisation,” he said. “It’s an embarrassment of riches with this crew.”
As for the location, Kimock puts Kaua‘i among his list of favorite places to perform, although this show will be his first in an actual venue setting.
“As a place to be, to play music, I can’t think of many better, happier places for me,” he said.
Kimock has been vacationing to the islands since the late 80s and said places like Hawai‘i and the forests of northern California have provided him with some of his most memorable musical moments.
“(I enjoy) smaller places where I’m closer to nature,” he said. “New York is like sticking your finger in a wall socket.”
When asked what the crowd can expect during Saturday’s “Tropical Jam,” Kimock said it will be a mix of music, including reggae, blues and rock.
“There’s a huge amount of music that we all know,” he said. “(It’s) probably harder to figure out what to leave off the list.”
Of course, the set wouldn’t be complete without some Grateful Dead tunes to honor the late Jerry Garcia, who Kimock said “casts an inescapable shadow over the recent landscape of improvisational guitar.”
Whether his performance Dec. 15 will become an annual affair, Kimock said he hopes it will.
“Any excuse to get over to the island is a good one for me,” he said. “I hope to just give something back to Hawai‘i. I get so much from coming there. It’s not a place I want to take from. It’s a place that I want to give to. It’s really got a spirit to the land, a spirit to the people.”
“Kimock is my favorite guitar player,” event organizer Dove Liddle said. “He’s kind of what started it all for the lineup this year.”
Liddle says Kimock, Kreutzmann, Lebowitz and Mathis have all played with one another in different formations over the years, but never all together on the same stage.
“I think I went overboard and spent more on this than any other Homegrown,” Liddle said. “It’s the last weekend in the Mayan calendar … we’re celebrating the end of time, the beginning of time.”
Other performances slated for Saturday are Lukas Nelson, Jeff Caldwell Band, Santiago Soto, Hang Time, OCDC, Sudeeka and Kalalea Fire.
On Sunday, NAHKO and Medicine for the People (who will open for Michael Franti on New Years Eve in Bali), Elijah and The Band of Light, Sashamon, Preeta and Friends, Burning Bush, Kalalea Kauhane, Dustin Thomas, SoulGood Family, Island Grass, Jivan and Soul Fire will take the stage.
While he is thrilled to have big-name artists coming for the festival, Liddle says his primary focus is getting the local artists some exposure.
“I try to get a headlining group on each day that will bring a bigger audience to see the local talent,” he said.
Concert performances will run from 2 to 10 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 9 p.m. on Sunday.
This event is open to all ages, with children 15 and under getting in for free. Adult one-day tickets are $35 in advance and $40 at the gate. Two-day weekend passes are $60 in advance and $70 at the gate.
Tickets can be purchased at www.dovepresents.com. For more information call Dove Presents at 635-5556.