Thursday 17 Apr

Dustin Prinz - Eleven

Few musicians take the time to master their instrument in the way that Oklahoma City singer-songwriter Dustin Prinz has; he’s a guitar virtuoso in every sense of the word, and Eleven gives him the chance to show just how far he can push that skill.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Horse Thief – Fear in Bliss

Listening to Horse Thief’s previous release — the haphazardly melodramatic Grow Deep, Grow Wild — felt like a chore. Whatever potential the Oklahoma City folk-pop act demonstrated on the EP was obscured behind a formulaic, contrived and ultimately hollow cloud. But it at least offered a glimmer of promise for a band consisting of, frankly, five pretty talented dudes. Critics saw it; the band’s management saw it; its current label, Bella Union, saw it; and its increasingly fervid fan base saw it.
04/08/2014 | Comments 0

Colourmusic — May You Marry Rich

There’s always a sense of danger when debuting songs in a live setting and playing them well. Without having heard the studio versions, expectations are set according to the live incarnations. But capturing the breadth of free-flowing atmosphere and sheer volume on a disc, vinyl or digital file isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially for a band as vociferous as Colourmusic.
04/01/2014 | Comments 0

Em and the MotherSuperiors — Churches into Theaters

As titles go, Churches into Theaters is an apt descriptor for the debut album from Oklahoma City rockers Em and the MotherSuperiors. It’s a reverential record, one that shares the gospel of classic rock, blues and soul but embraces the need to refashion it for modern times, channeling The Dead Weather, Grace Potter and Cage the Elephant along the way.
03/25/2014 | Comments 0

Rachel Brashear — Revolution

Rachel Brashear’s second EP, Revolution, starts with a kick to the shins.
03/18/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Still Smokin’

Still Smokin’

The Surgeon General has determined that Smokin’ Joe Kubek and Bnois King’s blues may be addictive.

Joshua Boydston May 4th, 2011

Smokin’ Joe Kubek and Bnois King
8 p.m. Saturday
Oklahoma City Limits, 4801 S. Eastern, 619-3939

There’s a reason why the best blues musicians from the ’60s and ’70s are still the best blues musicians today: They tend to get better with age.

Texas-based guitarist Smokin’ Joe Kubek is a perfect example. His first album to land on the U.S. Blues chart came when he was in his 40s, and he’s only improved his standing since.

“I’m 54 years old and have been playing since the first grade. I’ve played all my life,” Kubek said. “Things make a little more sense as time goes on. You know what works, what doesn’t work. I’m just a lot more confident ... I’ve found myself a little more than I did in the beginning, and I’m still growing.”

Developing as a musician in the Lone Star State helped feed his desire to get bigger and better, and getting the opportunity to play alongside bigwigs like Freddie King at a young age only made him all the more hungry.

“Texas has got a little edge to it, and there’s also a little friendly competition,” Kubek said. “It’s a big state, and we’ve got a lot of good guitar players here. You got a lot to try and keep up with.”

Kubek’s brand of scorching, rockinfluenced, guitar blues had simmered for several years around the Dallas area before he found an unlikely partner in smooth jazz guitarist Bnois King, who helped light the fire. The similarly sea soned veteran has teamed with Kubek for 14 studio albums — including the recent “Have Blues Will Travel” — and 22 years of touring, and Kubek has never stopped singing his praises.

“He’s an incredible guitarist and great singer. It’s added a lot,” he said. “Bnois does what he feels, always pulling something out of the hat. Even after all these years, he’ll do something different in a solo, and I say, ‘Damn, that’s cool.’ You sort of want to challenge it. It’s not necessarily turning it into a gunfight, but to add on to what he was doing.”

They’ll probably have to bury us out here.

—Smokin’ Joe Kubek

The two continue to up the ante on each other after more than two decades on the road, where the pair spends much of its time. It’s resulted in not only growth, but new friends.

“We’re on the road everywhere, always touring with or without an album out,” Kubek said. “We’ve got a lot of fans who are just friends, and it’s cool to roll into a town to see everybody.”

He doesn’t see that stopping anytime soon.

“They’ll probably have to bury us out here,” he said, laughing. “We’ll always be playing and trying to do better, as long as people still dig it. ... I’ve done it all. I have no gripes.”

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5