Kami Nixon and the Skiddy Knickers - November 28th at Hotel Utah
While San Francisco-based singer-songwriter Kami Nixon has performed all over the Bay Area, the Hotel Utah might just be the perfect venue for her. Nixon and her Skiddy Knickers band illuminated the acoustically superior, intimate backroom of the Utah with her buoyant, thoughtful brand of alt-country. The ex-newspaper reporter was in fine form, vocally reminiscent of Emmylou Harris (post-double shot of espresso). She glided through tracks from the rocky-tonk of her debut EP, Boys Named Jon (Self-released, 2003) and the absurdly catchy Fertile Girl (Self-released, 2007). She also played two new songs, “Cool” and “Pray for Wisdom”, which featured her trademark breathy vocals over scintillating guitar work from Bill “Sputnik” Spooner, founding member of new wave oddity, the Tubes.
Nixon has always been able to seamlessly intertwine upbeat, lighthearted numbers with pensive, often touching journeys into issues like war, relationships, and single parenthood. Her background as a journalist is apparent, as she articulately tackles complex topics from a unique personal perspective, while injecting a message of hope without coming off cheesy or contrived. She explained, “I write with the hope of comforting people who are struggling and showing them that problems are temporary—good times come back, and moments of true thankfulness and gratitude are possible.”
The show’s highlight was a dreamy, nostalgia-tinged version of “Chico Rain”, a driving ballad about being overwhelmed by a hefty dose of malaise, exacerbated by dreary weather. It is a microcosm for her impressive ability to write honest, personal songs that listeners can apply to their lives. It is a quality that makes for the most effective, affecting art. – Daniel Alvarez, Crawdaddy!

Leonard Cohen influence?
The verse lyrics (Plans) are really strong and challenging -- especially the first verse. I wonder if I'm hearing a Leonard Cohen influence here? Kami manages to convey a sense of joie de vivre, and exhibits a good sense of song structure. The chorus melody really takes off.

Owl Mag:
Okay, single mom rock isn't as heavy as hard rock, but it's so much hotter. At times Nixon's folkie five-song debut, Boys Named Jon channels the instrumentation of the Eagles and the silly fun of Jimmy Buffet. With "Bagdad is on Fire," Nixon's heartfelt commentary on our nation's conquest through Iraq, is civil disobedience at its finest. Both earnest and sardonic, Nixon's folkie-soft twang is the perfect complement to delicate front-porch finger pluckings.

author: Sandy, posted on CDBaby
I picked this CD up by chance while browsing and very pleased I did. It's quite fascinating in its eclectic style ranging from rock (Not Another One - the "single mom rock"?) to near-Folk (Walk With Me) and in the excellent vocal diction from clear and hard-hitting through poignant/plaintive to breathy/quiet. But the outstanding bit for me is the lyrics with powerful social commentary (eg Starvation Diets and Fertile Girl) mixed with wry comments on life (Not Another One and Nowhere To Hide) and stand-up attitude (eg I Want You To Be My Boyfriend). Quite outstanding. A very good record.

Different but hard to stop listening
Author: Peter Newberg, posted on CDBaby
It is extremely different from the music that I normally listen to, but definitely kept my attention. I played it for my 8th graders in Phoenix, Arizona and they had similar reactions. I will definitely be rotating it through the selections I play in class. Can't wait for more like it.

Author: coolio , posted on iTunes
I've seen her perform before!! I have her autograph in my room!!!!! :)

Author: saved2play, posted on iTunes
This album is a great album from a wonderful unsigned artist. She obviously has many different influences, and you can see this as she really gives a variety of styles on this CD. I recommend the whole album!


©2013 Kami Nixon