The Blues Kings
Keep On Rollin'
Blues Kings Records (2003) 3192
14 tracks, 49 minutes.
by Craig Ruskey
Review date: August 2003
"Keeping the Blues Alive Award"|
Achievement for Blues on the Internet
Presented by The Blues Foundation
Here's a recent self-produced outing from the Twin Cities' band, The Blues Kings, and for fans of 1950s Chicago
Blues, this stripped-down, four-piece outfit does a credible job of
recreating a vintage sound. Jay W. Wilkins stands front and center laying
out greasy harmonica and blue collar vocals, while Jeff Hester handles
guitar chores admirably, and the rhythm section of Jack Taylor's bass and
Dave Larson's drums anchor the proceedings with a relaxed feel. Wilkins
hands in four originals; Sweet Lovely with Hester tearing off West
Side Chicago licks over a thumping shuffle, the title track with its lazy
Jimmy Reed feel, the early rock 'n' roll thrust of She's Crazy, and
Saw You See Me, and if Wilkins reminds some listeners of R.J. Mischo,
it could well be that Mischo's influence is still very apparent although he
vacated Minnesota for California's coast some time ago. The covers are a mix
of old warhorses (Last Night, Everyday I Have The Blues, One More Chance
With You) and less familiar gems (How Many More Years, Too Many
Drivers, Bobby Sox Baby, Hard Hearted Woman), but the crew manages to do
justice to them all with a distinct less-is-more approach too often missing
from young bands. Although blues is well-represented by a healthy number of
veterans on the festival and showcase club circuit, it's also bands like
The Blues Kings who help keep things alive in the small taverns and
bars across the country. Go to: http://bluesonstage.com/blueskings/ for more
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