Sophie performed as recently as six months ago with Seattle alt-folk group Tiny Messengers opening at the Tractor. Now that Barker is back, she’s set to perform with Tiny Messengers again. CultureMob sat down with Kimo Muraki, singer/songwriter for Tiny Messengers, and talked about his musical history, why they played before, and why they’re sharing a stage a second time.
â€œI grew up a gothic pig farmer,â€ Muraki said, when asked if he’d always been into country music. Kimo grew up in Hawaii, then moved to Idaho when he was a teenger. He was raised on Stevie Wonder, Fleetwood Mac, but growing up his thing was 90’s alternative. Industrial music particularly. All the while though, the underlying influence of Hawaiian music was making itself felt.
After finishing high school Muraki went to college for a spell, then dropped out and followed the Dead for the final six months of Jerry Garcia’s life. After that he was a little rudderless, so he went back to Idaho, where he met Noah Jeffries, who changed his life. Jeffries is a banjo prodigy, and his love of the instrument found its way to Kimo. Those melodies and musical traditions from his childhood in Hawaii suddenly had a lot more significance, and there was no turning back.
After spending seven years doing the Shakespeare festival in Boise (where he covered many of the musician/actor roles) Kimo made his way to Seattle to make music his full-time pursuit in 2002. In the intervening time he’s been a hired gun for many a band. It’s been quite a juggling act, and it’s led to a bit of a refocusing in recent years. â€œI ended up joining Fences, and it made me realize I wanted to start my own thing,â€ said Muraki. That thing is Tiny Messengers.
In February of 2011 Tiny Messengers released a self-titled E.P., available on the website. In the coming year Muraki intends to record a new full length, and go on tour. In addition to Tiny Messengers, Muraki is part of Surrealized, Slow Bunny, and you are still likely to see him sitting in on many other stages. Just not quite so much.
When Kimo saw that Sophie Barker was coming to Seattle six months ago he made it his mission to get on the bill. â€œI’m a huge Zero 7 fan,â€ Kimo said. â€œI talked to the Tractor into putting me on the bill.â€ For her return to Seattle Sophie reached out to Kimo for a repeat performance, and he was happy to oblige. Judging by the last show, this Saturday should be amazing. Click here to read our review of the last show, and why you shouldn’t miss this one.