Kids & Critters
Steven King Steven King first laid hands on a guitar at age 13, and knew after his first lesson that he would play all his life. He developed a unique highly acclaimed solo guitar style that won him the USA National Fingerstyle Guitar Champion title in 1994. His college studies included jazz improvisation, orchestration, composition, arranging, accompanying, and various guitar techniques. Steven attended college in Southern California, taking classes in a "Commecial Music" major. King has produced 21 guitar CDs, has performed across the country and internationally as an acclaimed master of solo fingerstyle guitar, and is the founder of the Fingerstyle Guitar College Online. Press review excerpts on Steven King: 'Invariably, reviewers marvel at the breadth of King's solo repertoire, but a slower realization, one that gradually crescendos beyond disbelief, isthat 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, 6/98 '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, 8/97 '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 it's 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, November 1996 ''Delight Of String' is an especially apt title for a CD that not only will confound and inspire any fingerstyle guitarist, but also will delight anyone who loves the sound of acoustic guitar played with impeccable taste, wit, classic melodicism and sheer joy. 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. Highly recommended.' ---Dave McCarty, Winfield Review 8/96 '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, 4/96 '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, Summer '96 'If you're in the market for flash, then I recommend 'Delight of String' by former fingerstyle champ Steven King. The opening track, Peter Gunn Theme, is alone worth the price of admission for me, but there is a lot more to follow. King is a master of arrangement' ---James Jensen, Fingerstyle Magazine, July/August 1996 '...Here, (Original Fling) Steven applies his unique fretboard ideas to 13 tunes with 9 originals and 5 neat arrangements of standards including Harlem Nocturne and Route 66 TV Theme. He makes the difficult sound effortless.' ---Mr. Guitar Magazine, Chet Atkins Appreciation Society, Summer '96 '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 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 4/96 '...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, Jan. '95 '... 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 7/94.