Fingerstyle Acoustic Jazz with Octabass?

Swingin'! No Jive: Steven King Live (Independent)
Steven King

By Bob Mitchell

This is an interesting collection of songs, reflecting a wide range of works. A USA national fingerstyle champion performing on solo jazz acoustic guitar skillfully handles each track. Selections include a whimsical "Linus and Lucy," an energetic "Birdland" and "In The Mood," and timeless classics such as Ravel's "Bolero" and Bach's "Brandenburg Concerto."

King played the entire concert on a 1998 Taylor 614ce, but he had a trick up his sleeve. He used a "bass expansion system" which is an added pick-up on the fifth and sixth strings only. Notes were run through an "EBS Octabass" and lowered one octave, allowing for a true bass line to accompany the guitar work. It is a startling effect and the unsuspecting listener will be convinced there is a bass player on stage. In reality, King plays solo on a standard six-string guitar in standard tuning. As a fingerstyle purist, I found the use of an "Octabass" unnecessary and, sometimes, distracting.

To obtain a copy of this recording contact King at PO Box 2027, Granite Falls, WA 98252-2027. His e-mail address is