30 November 1956
Mercer County, Pennsylvania, United States
11 October 2015 (aged 58)
"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." - Blues Revue
"Potent, undiluted 100-proof Texas blues honed to a razor's edge." – Guitar One
"I'm very excited to have them in the Delta Groove family. I'm blown away
by their great songwriting and performances - a true Texas duo." – Randy Chortkoff (Founder and President of Delta Groove Music)
Joe Kubek was raised in Irving, Texas, and while still a teenager was playing guitar in the band of the original Texas Cannonball, Freddie King. Kubek went on to forge his aggressive guitar style fronting his own band, and backing many legendary blues artists throughout the '70s and '80s, including Al "TNT" Braggs, Little Joe Blue, and others. Influenced by the hard-rocking blues of the '60s and '70s, Kubek's guitar playing smolders with the same fire that burned in the styles of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Johnny Winter, earning him the well-deserved nickname "Smokin' Joe."
Bnois King is a native of Monroe, Louisiana. His musical influences come from a generation earlier than Kubek's, with the smoother sounds of T-Bone Walker and B.B. King in evidence, along with some of the soulful and jazzier sounds of the 1950s and '60s. He was fronting his own band in the '80s when he first met Kubek backstage at someone else's gig. Together this unlikely pair forged a musical bond that has not only lasted the test of time, but continues to flourish. Joe's hard-edged guitar provides the perfect counter-balance for the jazzy guitar and deep blues vocals of Bnois. King serves to keep their music rooted in the tradition, while Kubek stretches out and provides an energy that has been thrilling audiences over the twenty-plus years of their partnership.
Close To The Bone is a new spin on the Smokin' Joe Kubek and Bnois King sound – it's their 'unplugged' release, played almost entirely on acoustic instruments. It allows their music to breath and flow, and displays some beautifully subtle interplay that might have been overlooked in another setting. But their inspired songwriting is one of the primary elements that sets them apart from the pack – the vast majority of the music on this CD is original. Smart, clever lyrics, toe-tapping grooves and interesting, memorable arrangements add up to one of the strongest releases to date from this duo. But of course they couldn't do it alone; some of the best in the business joined them in the studio, including fellow Delta Groove artists Big Pete, Lynwood Slim, Bob Corritore, Shawn Pittman, Kirk Fletcher, Hollywood Blue Flames' keyboard man Fred Kaplan, former Red Devils guitarist Paul Size, and Randy Chortkoff on harmonica, among others. With over two decades of experience together on stages and in studios around the world, and over a dozen major CD releases, Kubek and King bring the essence of Texas blues to Delta Groove.
Executive Producer / Producer: Randy Chortkoff • Technical Advisor: Jeff Fleenor • Recorded & Engineer: Doug Messenger (Harddrive Analog and Digital Recording Studio - North Hollywood, CA) & David Z • Mixed by David Z (House of Z - Burbank, CA) • Production Coordinator Gina McClain • Mastered by Ryan Foster (Foster Mastering - Portland, OR) • Photography, Artwork & Design by Joshua Temkin • Liner Notes by Scott Dirks • Radio by Steve Dixon • Retail by Jeff Fleenor • Delta Groove Legal Affairs by Malcolm Wiseman
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