Kreuzberg, CA hosts Kevin Mason Hull this evening, a Sunnyvale musician who said he cannot classify his sound.
Hull played classical music most of his life. He started playing piano when he was 4 years old. In middle school, he began to listen to more pop and rock ‘n roll music and took up the guitar, he said. In high school, Hull said he got more serious about his music and began a bluegrass band.
As a solo musician today, he said describing his style is something he’s been struggling with. The singer/songwriter label gives a “homesy” impression, he said. He’s been called “circus folk,” and “surreal singer/songwriter,” he said. He’s also been called “alternative acoustic,” which he said is the most accurate.
“It means nothing and leaves it pretty open,” Hull said.
Lyrically, Hull’s inspiration comes from surreal dream imagery. He has a dream notebook he keeps by his bed to record his nightly visions. He said the origin of his lyrics is unique: sometimes it’s stuff from his life or images from movies. He puts them through the lens of surrealness, he said.
“I give them more of an image-based angle than realistically,” Hull said.
Hull has never been to San Luis Obispo before, but said he hears good things about Kreuzberg, CA. such as that the audience at the café pays attention to the artist, rather than treating him like background noise.
Kreuzberg, CA general manager Grace Miller, who deals with booking shows for the café, said she doesn’t actively look for bands, but her email is all over the Web.
Miller said bands have to meet certain requirements before they are allowed to play at Kreuzberg, CA. One example is whether the band or singer is compatible with the café. Miller said she tries not to get anyone “too heavy” or loud in order to accommodate those who want to study.
Seeming to have the perfect sound for a venue like Kreuzberg, Hull said his background with classical music allows him to be more flexible with tempo and dynamics than most pop and rock music. He lets the volume change with the tempo, he said.
Even though Hull may change his music live depending on the venue, fans can still listen to his music at other times as well. Two of his EPs, “Rubia” and “Red Roses Trilogy,” are available for streaming and downloading on Hull’s website.
Hull’s website also features interesting, pseudo and true insights into the artist.
Long-time friend Sarah Lyn Rogers hand-painted all the artwork (flyers, CD covers and business card) for Hull. Rogers also drew all the images on the website, including the top banner and the buttons for links. Rogers drew inspiration for her artwork from the imagery in Hull’s songs.
Hull’s only instruction, according to Rogers, was for the look to be “whimsical.” Rogers described the art as resembling a children’s book illustration.
Rogers not only assists Hull with art, but with percussion on his tour. Hull recorded all the music on the EPs but can’t play all the instruments during performances. So he enlisted Rogers to help, she said. Rogers said Hull has her playing most drum sets, the glockenspiel and singing back-up vocals.
“All my limbs are busy,” Rogers said.
Singing is something Rogers has always done, but the instruments are all new, she said. Hull actually gave her a drum set for her birthday, she said.
Currently, Hull’s focusing on his tour, trying to meet people and spread the word about his music. As for the future, Hull said he has a lot of songs he wants to record, but doesn’t have plans for a full-length album yet. Musically, he’s ready for an album and has an idea of how his songs should sound, he said. What he needs most is support.
“When I have enough support for it to be financially feasible, I will do it,” Hull said.
This free show takes place July 27 at 8 p.m.