Sunday, September 19, 2010

Smokin' Joe Kubek and B'Nois King Get Their Minds Back

Here is a review from October 1996 of the Bullseye Blues album by Smokin’ Joe Kubek Band With B’nois King, “Got My Mind Back,” that appeared originally in the October 1996 Jazz & Blues Report (Issue 215). I was a bit more concise in those days. They will be appearing in College Park, Maryland on November 6, 2010 as part of the College Park Blues Festival that the DC Blues Society is helping produce. Their music seems to maintain the same qualities today as it did over a decade ago.

Dallas, Texan Smokin’ Joe Kubek’s icy demeanor on stage masks the incendiary flavor of his guitar, while B’Nois King provides a contrasting affable stage presence, and his solid rhythm guitar and jazzier guitar leads are combined with some fine singing, somewhat suggestive of a cool Otis Rush. The two have penned the ten songs on this album which range from Got My Mind Back with its hot groove and Kubek’s hot slide, or the fine slow minor key blues I’m Here for You, which captures the flavor of Otis Rush’s better seventies recordings. Another slow blues, Cryin’ By Myself, also showcases King’s potency as a vocalist as well as letting him stretch out on a solid guitar solo. The instrumental All the Love There Is showcases King’s guitar with Kubek making use of various effects during his solo and his comping behind King, while Kubek’s use of wah-wah effects on She’s It is suggestive of Hendrix and Stevie Vaughan. Let Me Take Your Picture is a Chuck Berry flavored rocker with Kubek’s hot slide helping the number take off. Yet another fine release by one of the top Texas based bands around.

For more information on Smokin’ Joe Kubek & B’Nois King appearing in the DC area, see www. I note that this CD is apparently still in print.

Back in 1996 I likely received the original CD from Rounder Records.

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