Kimo Muraki is finally, truly striking out on his own.
It’s been a few months since the Seattle sideman’s brief tenure with Fences ended. It was tough to see him go from that up-and-coming band, considering the strength of his musicianship — on the ukelele, lapsteel and banjo — and how well his high register vocals blended with the brooding croon of Fences front man Chris Mansfield.There was definitely potential in the pairing of their talents.
But Fences was headed into more pop-friendly territory while Muraki’s interests were clearly tending toward the world of roots music (on tour with Fences, Muraki would sometimes open for the band with a soulful set of acoustic tunes that would include an otherworldly version of “Purple Rain” on banjo). The amicable split just made sense; it’s difficult to imagine a band featuring Muraki opening for Against Me! (which is exactly what Fences will be doing for the next two months).
Instead, Muraki spent the last few months performing his oddly uplifting ouevre for an increasingly interested Seattle audience. Las month he put out an EP of Christmas covers. But last week, the artist emerged from Toy Box Studio with the first EP of original Kimo Muraki material in hand. Produced by former Vendetta Red guitarist and Toy Box owner Justin Cronk, the collection features Jason Williams (Fifth of Country) on pedal steel, Matthew McClusky on organ, Jeremy Lightfoot (Satchel) on bass and Johnny Gunn on drums.
That EP doesn’t come out until February 2, but Muraki let us sneak a listen to the first single “Face This Disaster.” Listen:
If you like what you hear, head down to Columbia City Theater this Friday for a show featuring Muraki, Elk & Boar and Daniel G. Harman.