TASHA KAME ...who knows how, or why, musicians find each other. if there was rhyme and reason to that riddle of life, then everyone would be paired off with insufferably boring functional combinations and every last ounce of potential grey area collaboration would've been lost in the 'instant-fit'.
So again, I have no idea how a London-based guitarist who embraces the spaces, squeezes the fret with fury and (and who hung with The Orb's Alex Patterson) found a bona-fide richly soul-soaked Guatamalan-American singer with sass, fire and swagger who both found a tall cool lanky London 4-slinger with his rocker-psychobilly-pop hips bashing off his bass. I mean, yes, I can see how it might've happened, because it did happen...but on paper, the musical marriage of Kevin North, Kaylah Marin and John Brooder didn't especially make sense. As for Steven Fox, the original minimal-kit-maximum bash drummer who helped under-pin the sound as it came together, well, put it this way; Fox could have George Bush, Pol Pot and the Dali Lama for dinner with all of them having a blast.
So yeah yeah, Kev knew Jon from London, he'd met Kayla and got her involved in some recording too, and Kev, Jon and Fox had been together in a brilliant electronic-rooted act called Riots Of Boredom, but trust me, this was never a comfy cosy group who would've been friends without their obvious musical synergy. No. What brought them together, as it does so many great bands, was the music. And with Tasha Kame, it is ONLY about the music. It isn't about flash and bang, it isn't about unnecessary fills or parts, it isn't about anything other than that indelible line between your head and your hips, the one which forces them to move, the one which is informed by the heart. Tasha Kame's passion and depth lies in it's purity. They love what they do, they slide into it and wear it to the bone whether there's 10 or 1000 people watching, because for Tasha Kame it's something they need to do. I mean, North knows guitars. He really knows them. He's like one of those crazy 70s guys, he's like Peter Green and Paul Kossoff in a big fight with Eddie Cochran and Jimmy Page, and frankly, he's too old to arse about pretending to be one of those wanky 'guitar heroes', no, he just wants to peel the notes, feel the notes and live the notes with whoever else is interested. Kaylah has a voice which pretty much defies any feeble attempt I could conjure to describe it, needless to say I personally think Aretha Franklin would get a kick out of the smoke and soul in her lungs, and Brooder is driven by the rhythm, it feeds him, informs him and thus he wraps his bass warmly around it all.
Steve Fox moved on, an old friend always welcome, but in Mike McCoy ( a 20 year Bay Area blues-gospel drummer) and Bay Area sticksman Eric Nelson I'm sure Tasha Kame have found the right people to come in and flow with the vibe. They're honest and they're rich...they're rich and they're good...and Tasha Kame always invite you to get lost in the music with them, whether it be on their debut album (available on iTunes) or their live show.
It's a pure escape created by pure people who are driven by a very simple need to play and record. That might sound pretty basic to you, but look around and think again. Because it isn't. The world is full of chancers and illusionists, bullshitters and liars, and worst of all, musicians who deep down don't actually give a shit. Tasha Kame do. You owe yourself a slice of their passion.
--Steffan Chirazi 2013 So What! editor (Metallica)
Anyone lucky enough to have caught Tasha Kame on some of their recent Californian gigs will already be chomping at the bit for their new album, called simply ‘’Tasha Kame’’. (Derailed Records, www.derailed-records.com). With my freshly delivered pre-release copy already on loop I can tell you that it doesn’t disappoint. For those yet to see them, Tasha Kame is an Anglo American blend of two Englishmen (Ken North, Guitars/Mandolin, John Brooder, Bass/ harmonica, Vocals) and Americans (Kaylah Marin, sublime vocals, and Phat phoot Kings Mike Mc Coy and Eric Nelson, Drums). They are currently based in San Francisco and regularly work with artists and bands from around the world, such is their reputation both as a band and as individual musicians. Across the album, the band manages to weave effortlessly through an eclectic variety of blues and rock sounds without ever letting you forget that they forged their sound live. This album demands to be heard, so much so that one of the tracks is even called ‘‘Listen’’. Fortunately, listening is more than worthwhile. The beats are hard, the bass swinging, the subtle interplay of voice and guitar will leave some of us playing endless air guitar and warbling in the shower. Kaylah tells the stories of the songs with all the power and passion that the live fans have come to expect, ranging from deep down and dirty to screaming, wild, harmony. This is a loud album indeed. The blues influence is clear on this album. Hardly surprising with the bands pedigree but that’s far from the whole story. From the opener ‘’Twist The Knife’’ through to ‘’Safe House’’ at the end, you can feel the smoky bars far from anywhere and the dark streets outside. It’s an evocative album as well, you can almost smell the desert one time, a rain sodden grey street the next. Take the track ‘’Listen’’. It’s is a classic, I’m sure. It manages to suffuse a West Coast whimsy, then a brutal crunch, along with a lyric that builds to almost a scream of serenity. You can’t get much better than that. Starting from nothing and building to a sublime, sometimes raucous, sometimes sweet, finish is something Tasha Kame do well as ‘’Listen’’ will attest, but it’s not the only track. Mesmerised, a tune various members of the band have been playing with many years, is a good example of how the band hone their work. Spacious, dreamy and cool in between burst of pure, raw, animated rock, always with consummate musicianship, this is an album to play for many years to come. Then go see them live, it’s where they came from. Henry Harding Tasha Kame Fan Club Review.