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Guitarist for Weird Al Counts On Reliability of OWC


When touring and recording with Weird Al Yankovic, you’ll learn to go with the flow when things get, well … weird. And as a longtime member of Yankovic’s backing band, Jim “Kimo” West has learned to expect the unexpected since joining the musical comedy artist the early 1980s.

West not only tours with Yankovic, but he also records with the international superstar and has appeared in all of Yankovic’s albums and concerts since 1984.

jim_west_weird_alAnd while West might expect the unpredictable in the studio with the leader of his band, when it comes to the guitarist’s recording studio equipment, he knows he can expect the exact opposite.

That’s because West relies heavily on gear from OWC when recording in his portable studio. As a self-proclaimed “Mac guy”, Kimo knows that OWC solutions will work seamlessly with his computer and recording equipment.

“OWC tailors their products to Mac guys and the professional market. They have all the great stuff… I recommend OWC all the time to the pros I know. I even send them the links. I have done that many times!”

West uses OWC gear for connectivity in his portable studio, and he also uses its solutions to maximize the lifespan and performance from his MacBook Pro with Retina display while on the road and Mac Pro tower while at home.

“I have been using OWC products for the last 5 or 6 years. My whole portable recording studio setup is OWC. I have a 2015 MacBook Pro Retina Pro going into a Universal Audio Apollo interface with an OWC Thunderbolt 2 Dock, a NewerTech Voyager, Mercury Extreme Pro 6G 1.0TB solid state drive for my sound libraries as well as some other externals. The Thunderbolt 2 is a great dock. It’s plug and play; you immediately have tons of outputs. Love my SSDs. In fact, in my Mac Pro tower at home, I maxed out my RAM with OWC and I have and one OWC SSD and lots more.”

To get the best performance and connectivity for your Mac, Kimo says OWC is the destination for creative professionals.

“[OWC is my] go to source, and if you’re a audio or video pro you should too! I love the company a lot.”

Photo (c) 2015 David Bergman / -- Jim "Kimo" West is photographed by David Bergman in New York, NY on August 2, 2015 for his new CD album cover.

Jim ‘Kimo’ West Bio:
Hawaiian “slack-key” guitarist and composer, West is one of the few masters of the acoustic guitar style known in Hawaii as “ki ho’alu”, literally “loosen the string”. Besides performing traditional songs, he is best known for creating new compositions and tunings and his original work has been featured in Disney TV movies, Honda commercials, documentaries and independent feature films.

Best known as long-time guitarist for the worldʻs most successful musical comedy artist, “Weird Al” Yankovic. Kimo’s career has seen three Grammys, many gold and platinum awards and most recently a Billboard No. 1 album with their latest release, “Mandatory Fun”. The album is the first comedy set to top the chart since 1963, and logs the largest sales week for a comedy album since 1994. The album was followed many national tours and TV appearances such as the Tonight Show, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, The View, Craig Ferguson, Conan OʻBrien, and many more.

West is a 2008 winner of the Hawaii Music Awards and two-time Na Hoku Hanohano (the Hawaiian ‘Grammy’) nominee. He is also a two-time winner of the LA Treasures Award for his efforts in keeping this important acoustic guitar tradition alive.

For more on Jim “Kimo” West, please visit:

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1 Comment

  • Nice to see this story on JKW. He is a bit of a local hero here in Long Beach because of his appearances in concert at Hale Kipa (“House of Welcomes”).

    Looking forward to your next visit, Jim!