|20 April 2010
New Album from Smokin' Joe Kubek, Bnois King
Alligator Records has set a May 25 street date for Have Blues, Will Travel
from Texas guitar slingers Smokin' Joe Kubek And Bnois King. The two Lone
Star guitarists -- one a hard-edged, hard rocking blues player and the other a
jazzy, elegant rhythm player who delivers raw, spontaneous solos -- have
taken their dual guitar attack from the heart of Texas to fans around the globe.
Kubek and King's twin-frontman lineup is unparalleled on the blues scene. Backed
by their rock-solid rhythm section, Kubek's fiery guitar work is perfectly matched
by King's sophisticated rhythm playing and rough-edged, down-home soloing and
his soulfully conversational vocals. Their new CD (their second for Alligator and
the 12th of their careers), Have Blues, Will Travel, is a collection of fresh, original
songs played with passion, taste and a white-hot intensity.
With Have Blues, Will Travel, Smokin' Joe Kubek and Bnois King take a giant step
forward. The chemistry between Kubek's blistering fretwork and King's savvy
vocals and unpredictable, multifaceted guitar work creates a roadhouse blend of
muscular blues-rock, hip-shaking shuffles and slow-burning blues. Each song is
infused with deep, from-the-heart musicianship, carefully crafted, true-to-life lyrics
and delivered with the occasional smile. King wrote or co-wrote every song on
the album, with words that are clever and poetic. The slice-of-life lyrics, delivered
with King's dry, storyteller's drawl, are honest, believable, wryly humorous and
Joe Kubek was born in Pennsylvania in 1956 but grew up just outside of Dallas.
He was leading his own bands and gigging in clubs all around Dallas when he
was only 14. Bowled over by the blues a short time after first hearing Eric
Clapton and Jeff Beck, Kubek soon discovered the music of Muddy Waters,
Howlin' Wolf and other early blues masters including Freddie King, Johnny
Copeland and Lightnin' Hopkins. By the time he was 19, he was backing many
famous blues players in the area, including legend Freddie King. In 1976, Kubek
was about to head out on tour with King when King died suddenly of a heart
Kubek next worked with R&B singer Al "TNT" Braggs and made a host of new
friends, including Albert King, Stevie Ray Vaughan (with whom Kubek became
close), B.B. King and many other blues icons. He often found himself jamming with
these larger-than-life blues stars, while playing constantly around the Dallas
area. He not only learned tips and techniques, but also soaked up stories and
the lessons of being a professional touring musician.
Bnois (pronounced Buh-noice) King was born in Delhi, LA in 1943. He was inspired
to play guitar by his high school music teacher. Before long, Bnois was playing
blues cover songs with a local band. On his own, he traveled through Texas,
Oklahoma and Colorado, finding local bands to gig with and also performing with
carnival tent show groups.
King made his way to Dallas in 1979, gigging with jazz combos until he hooked
up with Kubek ten years later. A master storyteller, King didn't start writing and
singing until he joined forces with Joe, when both duties fell on him. "We needed
a singer so I sang," King recalls, "and every time I did the crowds went wild. We
needed songs so I wrote about things that happened to me, to people I knew.
That's what I still do today." In 1989, Kubek met King at a Monday night Dallas
jam session. The two became fast friends, and melded their seemingly divergent
styles into one of the most potent guitar combinations the Southwest had ever
On the strength of their huge local following, Kubek and King signed to Bullseye
Blues in 1991 and released their debut recording. After conquering the Dallas
scene, the band began touring clubs, concert halls and festivals nationally and
internationally. Following a successful series of Bullseye releases, they signed to
Blind Pig Records in 2003. As their popularity continued to build on the strength
of their recordings and the energy of their live shows, the band's touring
schedule grew to over 150 dates per year all across the United States, Canada
and Europe (where they have toured more than a dozen times).
Kubek and King signed with Alligator in 2008 and released Blood Brothers. The
fresh approach, the smoking hot playing and the original, slice-of-life lyrics all
added up to a blues lover's delight. The Dallas Observer said, "An electric blast of
twelve-bar heaven...they blow the roof off."
More than anything else, Smokin' Joe Kubek and Bnois King love to perform live.
With Have Blues, Will Travel and another massive tour planned, the band will hit
the ground running as they gig from coast to coast, bringing their
no-holds-barred brand of soul-charged, rockin' Texas blues to old fans and
newcomers night after night. Have Blues, Will Travel is not just the name of the
new album. For Smokin' Joe Kubek and Bnois King, it's a way of life.
Text courtesy of Alligator Records
Links: Smokin' Joe Kubek and Bnois King, Alligator Records
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