Over the last couple of weeks I have been two stonkingly good gigs. Both by the same duo Akoustic Soul.
Now, I know them, but that does not mean that I am biased. I know some of the other local bands but they will not feature in this series. Akoustic Soul Are; Andrew Wilson (guitars) and Kimberly Hill (vocals).
I have known Andrew since he was about 12, he’s 22 now. When I first met him his father said that he was learning the guitar. Even then I was reluctant to show him a few licks – mainly ‘cos I did not have have any good ones (still don’t). He was gratifyingly impressed by my guitars however, a ’76 Strat and ’80s Les Paul DeLux (Starburst, of course). I can’t play them but they look good……
I did not think anything more about this aspiring guitar hero until about 3 years later. It was his dad’s 40th birthday party. Andrew and his friends were to provide the music for the party. They played in the garage that had been turned into a makeshift bar.
I was prepared to make insincere “Oh, aren’t they good?” type comments. No need after 3 years of playing and learning it was obvious that Andrew was talented. I was really relieved that I had not shown him my handful of banal guitar licks.
A couple of years later, after his exams, Andrew went to Spain to find a bar to play in and to teach flamenco guitar. Quite a bold plan for an 18 year old.
That worked out well and Andrew stayed there fo a couple of years. When he returned he said that he was going to give music a go and that he had a singer who was going to come over to join him.
Kimberly is has a voice that is mature betyond her years. It is a great jazz voice that is perfectly suited for songs like “Summertim” as well as being able to interpret and deliver great versions of rockers like “Sweet Chil’ O’ Mine”.
How are they getting on? Put it this way, they were booked to play one night in a bar a few miles away where they are not known. At the end of the night the owner paid them MORE than was agreed and booked them there and then for several more dates! That shows how good they are live.
The scary thing? When I first heard them play they were pretty good, after a couple of months they released their self produced CD and were better. A couple of months later still I saw them live again and they were even better, tighter, better PA, more confident. Just how much better can they be? I have no idea, but I am looking forward to it.