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Judith Hill performs ferocious funk and soulful blues for KNKX

The first KNKX session performance at our temporary location at Avast! Recording Co.'s Seattle studios was a family affair asJudith Hillshared her uniquely funky music with us.

Hill's quartet on this trip to Seattle included drummer John Staten and Hill's parents, funk veterans Pee Wee Hill and Michiko Hill on bass and keyboards.

The session kicked off in high gear with the ferocious funk of "The Pepper Club" from Hill's 2018 album Golden Child. The tightly wound funk carried the swagger of Prince, who produced her debut album, and included a charming piano solo from Michiko Hill.

Judith Hill next sang her passionate blues song "Burn It All" from her most recent album, with Michiko playing a churchy organ backing. It's a classic story of a "sugar man" who turns out to be a "dirty dog" as Hill puts this character in his place. Fuzzy bass and oddly effective synthesizer sounds from Hill's parental bandmates, and her own rocking guitar solo and yearning vocals bring a fresh energy to the song.

Concluding the session, Judith Hill played both piano and guitar on the extended ballad "Give Your Love to Someone Else," also from Baby, I'm Hollywood. This epic, soulful singer-songwriter effort is a showcase for Hill's incredible vocal power as well as her knack for a melody. Decorating the song's story of a failed relationship with a potent guitar solo, Hill was commanding and authoritative as a singer and bandleader.

She is also her toughest critic, maintaining recording studio standards even as those in attendance were knocked out by her incredible talent. Leaning toward a fourth take of her last song, her band and the lateness of the hour convinced her to call it a day. For the KNKX crew, it was a day we'll never forget.

These three tunes are a sampling of the musical diversity on her latest album, and Hill promises more to come on an already recorded (but not yet scheduled for release) next album. Still a young woman in her 30s, Judith Hill has lived an artist's life in a short time, singing backup for Michael Jackson, Prince and more. That experience and her passion and talent are sure to bring her and music fans around the world plenty of incredible music in many years to come.


  • Judith Hill - vocals, guitar, piano
  • Robert Lee "Pee Wee" Hill - bass
  • Michiko Hill - keyboards
  • John Staten - drums


  1. The Pepper Club
  2. Burn It All
  3. Give Your Love to Someone Else
Abe grew up in Western Washington, a third generation Seattle/Tacoma kid. It was as a student at Pacific Lutheran University that Abe landed his first job at KNKX, editing and producing audio for news stories. It was a Christmas Day shift no one else wanted that gave Abe his first on-air experience which led to overnights, then Saturday afternoons, and started hosting Evening Jazz in 1998.
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