I saw Kaki at the 9:30 Club last fall, opening for the Mountain Goats. She did a lot of that overhand fretting/tapping at that show, mostly with electric guitars. IMO she is a world class guitarist, and one of the few young guitarists with with a truly innovative style. I became a fan that night.
While there are many women that play acoustics, electric lead guitar has been, historically, apparently a masculine instrument — the lead in the modern rock band seems almost always to be a man. But with Kaki, you don’t have to say that she is one of the best female guitarists in the world, or even the best female guitarist. She is simply among the best playing today.
Tina and I went to Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival when it was here in Dallas back in 2004. Some truly great guitar players… the only problem was that over the entire weekend we saw only one woman playing guitar and she was a member of JJ Cale’s Band, not a featured artist.
I buy and listen to women artists. I’m not particularly taken with the plastic pop sex pots put forth by the mainstream but I love women who are bodacious like Lady Gaga and Pink. And I love the women who defy stereotypes like Ani di Franco and Kaki King as much as I love the folkies who perform the music that wears the official seal of approval as “women’s music” Women and gay men are the audience for women in music. I swear that when it comes to music and movies as well as sports and most other things if the person doing them doesn’t have a dick then most straight men and way too many gay men think automatically that what is being done can’t be very good.
I was first introduced to Kaki from a guitar list I am on. She seems to be continuing something I saw in John Fahey back in the 1960s and 70s. She is extending guitar playing in a way that is so far beyond what someone like John Mayer is doing that it pisses me off that he is getting all the press and Kaki is a cult goddess to those of get what she is doing. But then again he has that extra piece of flesh deemed so important in a misogynistic world.