Smokin' Joe Kubek

High Octane Texas Blues

Smokin' Joe Kubek was born in Pennsylvania in 1956, but his family soon moved to Irving, Texas, where he was raised. It soon became obvious that Joe Kubek was born to play the guitar. He had the technique and the chops to burn up any stage and has been doing so for the past 27 years. A guitar prodigy at the age of 14 he frequented the Dallas bar scene during the 1970's and early 80's playing with Stevie Ray Vaughan and all the Kings (B. B., Albert and Freddie). Soon after, he took a deeper interest in blues, prompted by Eric Clapton and Peter Green, and formed his first band. Following that, he played rhythm guitar behind Freddie King until King's death in December 1976. After a short spell with Robert Whitfield's Last Combo, he joined Al Braggs' band. Examples of his work can be heard on Braggs 1979 production of tracks by R. L. Griffin. He also recorded with Charlie Robinson, Big Ray Anderson and Ernie Johnson, and on Little Joe Blue's album, "It's My Turn Now". In 1989, he teamed up with singer/guitarist Bnois King, from Monroe, Louisiana, whose soul-tinged vocals and jazz-orientated style contrasted well with Kubek's more strident finger and slide techniques. "The Axe Man"" is an album of covers recorded before their Bullseye Blues debut. Subsequent releases have consolidated their reputation as a solid, entertaining band.

At present, Joe uses a staggering arsenal of instruments, effects and technique to deliver a frenzied, flame-throwing guitar display that is tempered by the remarkable accompaniment of Bnois King's jazz influenced guitar. Kubek, coming from the blazing Texas blues/rock background, found in Bnois King's smooth jazz guitar stylings a finesse and fat chord sound that was a perfect complement to his technique. The combination just clicked with a seamless mesh of styles. King lays down a bed of smooth supporting jazz chords on his hollow bodied Gibson that allows Kubek to take center stage and play with almost reckless abandon. Together this dynamic duo has recorded 7 albums for Bullseye Blues & Jazz Records.

Muscling his way through the proceedings both live and on disc, Kubek will pull, bend, pick, and push his strings well beyond what you'd think they'd normally endure as he runs through his and King's songs. Using Hendrix-style crybaby wah-wah leads and ear-bleeding, Johnny Winter-meets-Elmore James slide work, he brings things to a boiling point with screeching and shimmering lines that rattle speaker cones and make the fillings in your teeth vibrate. Then, applying the brakes, he runs through some of the sweetest, most beautiful slow blues with shimmering high notes, hanging in the air above heavy turnarounds. Throughout, King (no relation to Freddie) will comp along on his Gibson, shout lyrics, and, in general, make the whole package complete.

Smokin' Joe Kubek plays the blues with Camille and Isabelle 2 x 12 combos from Category 5 Amplification.

Smokin' Joe Kubek's web site

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