Guitarists are a dime a dozen, we all know it. Now, if you want to ensure you’re in constant demand as a working musician, become a drummer. Clearly a young Katherine King – better known as Kaki King – thought the same, as in her adolescence she switched from guitar to drums believing that would lead to her break in the music industry. It wasn’t until attending university in New York that King would take up the guitar again, an instrument she first started playing at the age of four. With her interest in guitar renewed, King played the occasional gig and busked in the subway.

It didn’t take long after the release of her debut album, 2003’s Everybody Loves You, for the critics and listening public to recognise King’s virtuosic talent. As King released more albums, she expanded and experimented with her sound, introducing elements of jazz fusion, post-rock and shoegaze, as well as utilising a variety of instruments and effects. With her 8th record, 2015’s The Neck is a Bridge to the Body, King collaborated with the visual experience company, Glowing Pictures, to create a multi-media audio-visual show that the album acted as a soundtrack to, with the guitar taking on the role of screen and actor in the performance.

2006 saw Rolling Stone magazine name King as one of – and the youngest – “The New Guitar Gods”, and the only women on the list. And it wasn’t only the media that gushed over King’s musical prowess, with Mr. Foo Fighters himself, Dave Grohl, observing that “[t]here are some guitar players that are good and there are some guitar players that are really fucking good. And then there’s Kaki King.” With such critical acclaim for her skills as a musician, and her constant progression as an artist, it is certain that Kaki King is one of the Women-Who-Rocktober, and we are all lucky that she returned to the guitar when she did.


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