Kubek & King Veteran bluesmen heading back to Auburn


Next month, the guitar duo will release a fourth album, their first live recording.

AUBURN – Smokin’ Joe Kubek and Bnois King have been called the most dynamic guitar tandem on today’s contemporary blues scene. Kubek combines his hard-edged rock style with the jazz-influenced chords and soulful vocals of King to produce a distinctive sound that is immediately addictive.

Kubek and King will perform Sunday, April 23, at the Midnight Blues Club and Restaurant. The veteran bluesmen played the Twin Cities last August.

Kubek has recorded 10 albums since joining forces with King in 1989, and is just weeks away from the release of “My Heart’s In Texas,” their fourth album on the Blind Pig Records label. Surprisingly, this is the first-ever live recording for this road-tested band. The CD and a DVD (each with slightly different song lists) will hit stores May 9.

In a recent telephone interview, Kubek talked about why it took so long to record a live album, his feelings about the way it turned out and what fans can expect who attend the show. “When you sign with a particular record label, the last thing you want to do is to record a live album,” explained Kubek. “As a rule, live albums aren’t quite as popular, so you want to get your studio projects out of the way first.”

Kubek’s first effort with Blind Pig was the highly acclaimed album, “Roadhouse Research,” a 10-track effort released in 2003. He followed that up with the release of “Show Me The Money” in 2004, then Blind Pig issued a “Best Of” collection last year titled “Served Up Texas Style.”

The new live recording is a mix of road-tested hits and two new original songs, written specifically for this album. “We’ve had people asking for a live album in recent years, and we finally had the right opportunity to make one,” said Kubek. “It came together late last year, and we felt the J&J Blues Bar in Fort Worth had the right roadhouse atmosphere. It was a blast to do.”

Kubek said the new album is an accurate example of their live shows. “We didn’t do anything special on stage, except to play those new songs. The show was very much like what we crank out every night, it went smoothly and I’m quite pleased with the result.”

The new DVD is a real treat for blues fans, offering an opportunity to see Kubek and King perform several of their greatest hits. The disc also includes interview segments with the two artists, with discussion on how they got together and life out on the road. It is a rare glimpse into the lives of two close friends, men who have devoted their lives to making music.

Asked if he felt intimidated by the cameras used last New Year’s Eve at the famed J&J Blues Bar to record the new DVD, Kubek said, “I did feel a little bit intimidated at first, but you get used to it fairly quickly. I’m used to attention, so after a while I just focused on my playing and didn’t think about it.”

Bues fans can get a sneak preview of the “My Heart’s In Texas,” album Sunday night. “We’ll play all of our hits from recent albums, along with some material from our upcoming release. We’ll deliver a lively show,” Kubek said.