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Old 08-13-2019, 04:41 PM
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Default Smokin' Joe Kubek & Bnois King - Roadhouse Research (2003)

Smokin' Joe Kubek & Bnois King - Roadhouse Research (2003)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 347 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 136 Mb | Scans included
Modern Electric Texas Blues, Blues Rock | Label: Blind Pig | # BPCD 5080 | 00:47:16

If the 10 years these Texas guitarists have spent as a team exploring the world bar by bar has been "research," what they've learned is how to please a crowd. The formula's simple: no-frills songs about women and working for a livin', set to meat-and-potatoes arrangements that leave plenty of room for their guitars to roam. Kubek's six-string snarls the loudest, hitting Albert Collins-style sustains and grinding out beefy chords. King skirts around the fringes with his sweet-toned, jazz-informed fills or works at groove-level, anchoring things with his basic, chopping, R&B-style chording. King's vocals are really his trump card. They're smooth and slinky when he's romancing in "Make It Right" or gravelly as Kubek's fluid guitar when he's a driven man in numbers like "Runnin' Blind." The album ends with the kind of guitar grand finale that sets a crowd on fire just after last call. The tune, "Standing in My Door," lets both six-stringers sting. Bnois King lays down a red carpet of sliding chords and Smokin' Joe struts through, doing his own dirty take on B.B. King's vibrato-laden style, bending notes and letting them sing. Then Bnois take the lead, his cleaner fretboard diction cutting even closer to B.B.'s lines before he returns to the microphone to sing the closing chorus. Fans of the Lone Star State's blues guitar tradition need to check these guys out.

Unfortunately for Joe Kubek and his shotgun-riding singer/rhythm guitarist partner Bnois King, in the wake of great Texas guitarists like the Vaughan Brothers, just being a really good Lone Star fret slinger gets overlooked. Which is a shame, because over the course of nine albums, Kubek and King crafted a workmanlike if understated catalog of R&B-influenced roadhouse blues. On their debut for Blind Pig, the duo churn up more of the same fare they refined the previous 12 years. Their blues-rock is genuine if derivative, and Kubek is a rugged six-stringer who makes up for his lack of a distinctive sound with gutsy meat-and-potatoes playing. Thankfully, King adds warmth and class with his smooth, soulful, and entirely unpretentious singing. His relaxed voice contrasts perfectly with Kubek's tensile, rough-and-ready licks, infusing this music with a yin-yang that elevates it far above bar-band standards. Soulful, nearly pop numbers like "Tell Me Why" allow King to croon outside the confines of a tightly constructed blues tune. Suave yet tight, this and the funky "Cryin' Shame" open up the approach and push at the genre's boundaries. Bogged down slightly by obvious lyrics and song titles like "The Blues Is Still With Us" (a thin rewrite of "The Blues Is Alright") and "Got to Get Paid," this remains down-to-earth, often moving music whose heart is as big as the artist's home state.


01. Healthy Mama (3:56)
02. Tell Me Why (3:41)
03. Cryin' Shame (4:10)
04. Got To Get Paid (4:09)
05. Better Be Getting It On (3:44)
06. Runnin' Blind (5:46)
07. The Blues Is Still With Us (4:55)
08. Make It Right (4:32)
09. I Need More (5:10)
10. Standing In My Door (7:13)

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