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Reader Spotlight: Kimberly Lynn

Kimberly LynnMeet Kimberly Lynn, a bassist from Kingston, Washington, and our player in the spotlight for March 8, 2011. We first featured Kimberly on No Treble with her cool looper performance video.

Bio:

I’m an ‘Old School’ bassist from back in the day, starting playing bass in the early 70’s. After fifteen-ish years on the road playing the ‘hotel’ circuits, I got burned out in the mid/late 80’s from being a ‘jukebox’ musician, playing in cover bands. I took a 17 year hiatus, playing seldom, as in hardly ever.

My music came back to me in about 2005. I went through a few bands and rather than run the risk of ‘ruining’ my music again by playing music I had little to no interest in, I decided to become a solo bassist and try my hand at playing music for fun instead of a few bucks. I played my first 2 hour gig in January 2006 with 14 songs, strong improv skills and a lotta heart. I haven’t looked back since.

Solo bass is the most satisfying and gratifying music I’ve ever played and if someone asks nicely and I like what I hear, I might do a sub gig with a band, but it has to be something that ‘touches me’ else I won’t consider it. Solo bass has spoiled me forever!

Location:

Kingston, WA, USA

Day gig:

I’m semi-retired (Manufacturing Engineer) and am playing music for fun, self expression and gratification in learning to use my instrument in a new (to me) way to ‘talk’ to people and touch them with my music. To make them say “Wow!” and as I’ve heard more than a few times when talking to audience members, “I didn’t understand why my friend wanted me to go out and see a bass player until I heard you play!” That’s why I play right there. To touch people and change their perceptions of life and music as they know it, if only for the moment. That’s awesome cool and way awesome good stuff.

Years experience:

41 years, counting a 17 year hiatus.

Bands & Gigs:

I’ve been performing as a solo bassist for the last four years. My first year I played 60-odd gigs. My second year I played exactly 99 gigs. (Try as I might I just couldn’t make that magic ‘100’ number.) Then the sad story. I tore a tendon in my fretting hand and played only minimally for a bit over two years while recovering. I started actively booking in January this year (2011) and have booked (and played most of by now) 16 gigs through the end of February. I have six and a couple more very likely booked for March already.

Gear:

A five string Alembic Epic equipped with a Roland GK3-B for my synth

A six string Alembic Epic also equipped with a GK3-B PU for my synth.

I play through a Yamaha 5016CF 500 watts a side powered mixer.

Using two EV ZX1-90’s and gig dependent, one or two EV SB122 subs.

I also have an Epifani UL600 single 12 combo amplifier for back line.

I have two Boss RC-50 loopers but only use one (for now) for gigs.

I have a Roland GR-20 Synth (my sax solo source).

I have an Eventide Pitch Factor as one of my multi-effects.

I have a Boss ME50B for my other multi-effects.

All going into a two tier 4 foot by 2 1/2 foot custom pedal board.

(Pedal board picture available by request) :)

I pack it all around in a sweet 1990 Buick Estate station wagon. :)

Why I play the bass:

A pretty typical response as to why I started playing bass: a small town with a drummer next door and a guitarist up the street and yep, you guessed it, nobody to play bass.

My bass superpower/claim to fame

I guess this is would be making No Treble’s Top Ten Bass Loopers list. ;D

I had no idea until someone on the Alembic discussion board posted a thread entitled, “Kimberly makes the top 10!”. I saw it and said, “Huh, What’s this?”, opened it, linked to your site and screamed out, “Oh my God! Oh my God!”. I’m still smiling as I write this out. :)

Back to the question, I guess the answer is being a looping solo bass instrumentalist.

By the way, this is the only place it looks as if I can say this so, thank you very much for putting me on your site! Sweetness! :)

My influences

From back in the beginning days of playing, John Paul Jones. Then I heard Stanley Clarke, then heard Jaco and while I couldn’t play their material back then (or even now for that matter), they showed me how the electric bass was evolving from the early days of the 50’s ‘play it like an upright’ days and the potential it had. Drummer influences from back then were Billy Cobham and Lenny White. After my hiatus, I one day stumbled upon Victor Wooten’s ‘Amazing Grace’ solo. I said, “Wow, looks like I’ve got some catching up to do and what the heck is he doing anyway?”

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Kimberly Lynn, Solo Bassist | Port Ludlow Festival by the Bay

[…] I’m an ‘Old School’ bassist from back in the day, starting playing bass in the early 70′s. After fifteen-ish years on the road playing the ‘hotel’ circuits, I got burned out in the mid/late 80′s from being a ‘jukebox’ musician, playing in cover bands. I took a 17 year hiatus, playing seldom, as in hardly ever. more… […]