Smokin' Joe Kubek
Despite fifteen years of incendiary shows and nearly nonstop touring, Joe Kubek and Bnois King's tenth release is, amazingly, their first live recording. "My Heart's In Texas," issued on CD and DVD, documents a blazing New Year's Eve set at the legendary J&J Blues Bar in Ft. Worth, Texas. The holiday cheer and roadhouse ambiance make for a uniquely satisfying taste of Joe and Bnois' trademark Texas blues.
There's no question why they gave Joe Kubek the nickname "Smokin'." He's one of the hottest electric guitar players on the blues scene today. Kubek has the technique and the chops to burn up any stage and has been doing so since the 1970's when he began frequenting the Dallas bar scene, playing with Stevie Ray Vaughan and people like the three Kings, B. B., Albert and Freddie. He settled into playing rhythm guitar behind Freddie King for a while, until King's death in December 1976.
Kubek didn't hit his stride, however, until he teamed up with jazz guitarist and singer Bnois King (no relation to Freddie) of Monroe, Louisiana, in 1989. This union began during a regular Monday-night gig in Dallas when Kubek invited King to sit in and found that King's softer, jazz-based guitar and vocals perfectly complemented Kubek's headier rock-inspired guitar work. The combination just clicked, resulting in a tasteful blending of differing styles with satisfying, fiery results.
The two formed a band and have been playing, touring, and recording together ever since. "We've pretty much been on the road since the first album came out -- we go home for a minute and get back out on the road again," Kubek says. "We've been traveling steady for a little over fifteen years now... but I count my blessings. A lot of people can't do this. It's rough sometimes but it's a neat thing to be able to do."
Joe and Bnois are a study in opposites. The two come from differing musical backgrounds - Kubek was raised on sweaty Texas blues while King has a love for jazz and R&B. Kubek explodes on stage with a blazing blues/rock style born from the guitar traditions of Texas. King finesses fat chords with a hollow body Gibson and belts out blues with his whisper-to-growl voice, his sound rooted in the jazz tradition of Louisiana.
Together, they form a musically intuitive partnership, complementing each other in a dynamic musical tour de force. Blues Revue has stated, "King's jazzy guitar work is the perfect foil to Kubek's more incendiary style. They are simply the best guitar tandem on the scene today." Guitar One magazine observed, "King's jazzman style and soulful vocals have proved the perfect complement to Kubek's full-bore guitar attack and fat, natural tone."Read more
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Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson
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