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The Kingpins
The Kingpins, formed in January 1998, play a slightly modified blues sound caught somewhere between Little Walter and Miles Davis. They play blues standards from people like Howlin' Wolf and B.B. King but with a twist, adding some funk and harmonic distinction with an emphasis on the groove that is highly danceable.

The band's origin came about as a result of a bunch of friends jamming together. "It was just a group of friends playing for fun when something went terribly wrong," joked Joel Parsons, guitarist for the band. "Plans and ideas quickly followed and the "Kingpin" name was resurrected from a previous band Parsons had with harmonica player and vocalist Mark Howley, who is also in this new group. The other members of the band include Mike Schaefbauer on drums and Mike Rivard on bass.

In different combinations, the members of The Kingpins have played with Willie Murphy and his Angel Headed Hipsters, Doug Maynard, The Blues Allegations (a Duluth favorite), The Tomcats, Wingtips, Centerville All-stars and the Chicago band, Aces and Eights. Parsons, with his wry sense of humor, said the members of this band "have quite or been fired from some of the best bands in the Upper Midwest." With a stinging sense of humor and superior musicianship, The Kingpins will provide an entertaining evening of groove oriented blues.

The Kingpins will appear at RT Quinlans after the festival on Saturday night. Zookeeppers will be there on Friday and Azure Du Jour on Sunday.

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Copyright © 1998 by Ray M. Stiles
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