Kaki King and Joe Robinson

Joe Robinson

Last weekend I was visiting friends in Massachusetts and they took me to see a show in Northhampton, headlined by Kaki King and opened by Joe Robinson.

I had absolutely no idea what to expect, having neither heard of them nor of the venue (Iron Horse). I walked in, sat down, ordered some food and beer and marveled at the panoply of guitars that were set out on stage. There were a lot and I didn’t (still don’t) have descriptions for them.

Then Joe Robinson came on stage and started playing. Halfway through the first song, I leaned over and whispered to Annie, “This guy is good.”

Then he got better.

And then he got better.

Joe Robinson fucking rocked the house with just himself and his guitar. I think he applied vocals to two or three songs, but I was too fixated on his guitar playing. Wow.

Kaki King

Once Joe was done, to wild applause, it was Kaki King’s turn. I had remarked after the first song by Joe that I hoped the headliner was at least as good or I was going to feel let down. I did not.

Kaki got on stage and proceeded to do things with her guitars so that I couldn’t understand how she was making those noises! She was using a technique that I’d never seen before (partially shown in the image) and was making that guitar sing in ways I’m sure I can’t describe with any sort of fidelity.

It was, possibly, the best concert I’ve been to in years. I was blown away by the musicianship and virtuosity displayed by these two fabulous guitarists. I hope they come to Atlanta soon.

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