Jon Sikora Singer/Songwriter
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The Jenner Experience, Phil Saltonstall

The jenner experience was abundant in so many magical ways… truly moving with lyrical eloquence and instrumental clairvoyance, it is hard to overstate how wondrous it really was.

from the serenity of the coastal essence
to the intimacy of the small room
crystal clear harmonic beams jumping from the cerletti
ear to ear smiles on spinning souls
tunes we all know sounding new
and tunes that are new
sounding like what we all know.
and we know
how good it can be
when we’re really attentive
which is what the songs were about lyrically
bringing it all full circle
into a delicious maelstrom of acoustic and emotional perfection
and a nurturing reminder of how the little alternative gigs
can carry a huge influence
over the repertoire as we know it
washing away predictability
and transcending it with brilliant fresh breezes
across the brows of expectation.

—Phil Saltonstall


Charlie Dirksen

Sikora and Kimock were incredible last night. Kota Blue on percussion (a dreadlocked man on tablas, bass tom, cymbals, wind chime, triangle, and a few other drums) tastefully accompanied them as well. Occasionally, a woman whose name I believe was Rachel Tree also accompanied, joining her beautiful voice to Sikora’s on a few tunes.

Sikora’s original songs had wonderful melodies which Kimock complemented expertly on ukelele (“oouu-kay-lay-lay”) and his various guitars, including a magnificent, brand new hollowbody Cerletti that sounds awe-inspiring. My new “favorite guitar” of Steve’s, bumping the Cripe to second place. (Dave Riddle, who had a chance to ask Steve about the guitar, said he’d post something about the guitar to the list shortly (think: gold, silver and acid)).

Sikora’s songs were a perfect match for the Northern California “happy hippie” near idyllic peace that permeated the entire event and all-ages scene. The Jenner Playhouse is an adjunct room beside a volunteer fire station (a red barn that presumably houses a red fire truck), with some theater seats and plenty of floor space in front of the stage. The stage is about 240+ sq feet (a good size) and about two feet or so off the floor. The sound in the room was warm and excellent, perhaps because of the hefty insulation covering the girded ceiling, the wooden floor, and decent house speakers. The house even had a liquor license on hand, with glasses of wine and bottled beers (a wide variety) for only $3 a pop. The room could comfortably hold around 150 (though all could not be seated).

I have to confess to *liking every single one of the songs* I heard last night, which I still cannot believe, because I am often not a big fan of the “singer-songwriter.” Though I make exceptions for Dylan, Paul Simon, Lennon & McCartney, Donovan, Bill Monroe, Ralph Stanley, etc. (ok, well, maybe I do like a lot of singer-songwriters), singer-songwriter types sometimes make me grin
and say “Geee, that’s nice, even talented” but rarely touch my soul in any significant way. The lyrics of Sikora’s songs were hopelessly romantic, but once you get over a gut-judgmental-negative-cynical reaction —which is really unnecessary and even silly and heartless in the face of sincerely
beautiful art — you just might find, as I did, that they mirror the serene quality of the warm tunes beneath/about them. It helps that Sikora’s voice is healthy with a strong tone, one that really doesn’t take much “getting used to” (unlike, say, Dylan's or Jerry’s! ;-). I was surprised, very surprised, to find myself enjoying Sikora’s songs one after another after another. In addition, Sikora and Kimock played so well together that you’d think they'd been playing together for years (rather than only a few weeks here and there off and on, as is apparently the case).

—Charlie Dirksen

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