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Kaki King's childhood passions were the drums and Brit-pop, and she figured if she ever made it big it would be because of her skills behind the kit. However, her musical talents didn't stop there: she also played the guitar, and though she learned Beatles and Fleetwood Mac songbooks, she found herself drawn to the styles of Preston Reed and Michael Hedges. Moving from Atlanta to New York to attend college, King got her first taste of solo guitar performance thanks to campus open-mike nights, and upon graduation in 2001 she decided to pursue the instrument more seriously. She started playing in subways, a venue that helped her develop her percussive technique, and when passengers would ask her if she had CDs, she realized that she could possibly make a living as a musician.
A copy of her 2002 demo got her a short gig at the Tap Bar in the Knitting Factory, where she was seen by Velour Records head Jeff Krasno, who released her debut, Everybody Loves You, the following year. King moved to Epic imprint Red Ink for her second album, 2004's Legs to Make Us Longer, but she returned to Velour for 2006's Until We Felt Red, which, in addition to including other instrumentation (which was also found on Legs to Make Us Longer), had King's singing prominently featured. After a busy 2007 — not only was the guitarist recording her fourth full-length, she also appeared on albums from Tegan and Sara and the Foo Fighters and contributed to the soundtracks for Into the Wild and August Rush — King released Dreaming of Revenge in March of 2008. After a world tour, she stayed active. Her album Junior was released on Cooking Vinyl/Rounder in 2010. She also co-produced a song for Miley Cyrus with Timbaland. In the fall of 2012, King issued Glow, a collection of instrumentals on which she was backed by a string quartet, bagpipes, organic percussion, and individually designed soundscapes for each track. In 2015, King released The Neck Is a Bridge to the Body, a companion piece to her ambitious multi-media performance of the same name.