Texas ‘Roadhouse Blues’ is always a popular form of music, and while it rarely breaks new ground, it always makes for a good night out! Smokin’ Joe Kubek and his side-kick Bnois King have formed a very ‘complimentary’ guitar partnership that is far more than the sum of its parts. They have been pounding the highways for over 25 years playing to crowds that always end up dancing, all over The States and Europe. With an output of 18 albums and a strong following of boogie fans who know exactly what they are going to get, they carried the torch for Texas Roadhouse style right to the end, when Joe left us in 2015.
Joe Kubek was born in Grove City PA in 1956, but his family relocated to Dallas, Texas when he was a youngster. Already an accomplished guitarist as a teenager, Joe played with the ‘Texas Cannonball’ Freddie King
, and his first single ‘Drivin’ Sideways’ in 1985 was one of Freddie’s songs. Soon afterwards, Joe teamed up with a Louisiana jazz fan and singer Bnois King to form The Smokin’ Joe Kubek Band, and their reputation grew all over the South in the next few years as they hit the road. They signed for the Bullseye Blues label in 1991, and their first album ‘Steppin’ Out Texas Style’ ran through some classics while the two front men had fun duelling guitars and brewing up a party atmosphere. The boys have put out an album almost every year since then, with more and more self-written material, as they built up a national and international audience.
Smokin’ Joe and Bnois rock Callaghan’s Club in Auburn Hills;
Smokin' Joe Kubek Discography
There is a fine compilation of Joe’s work with the Bullseye label, but this album catches the band in full flow, and Joe shows that he can play all kinds of Blues from old fingerpicking tunes to flat-out rockers.
In 2003, their success continued after switching to the Blind Pig label for three albums and they issued a great DVD of a New Years Eve party in Fort Worth. A couple of years later, ‘Blood Brothers’ and ”Have Blues, Will Travel’, their albums for Alligator Records
, both made the Top 5 of the Blues Album Charts. Joe and Bnois have made many Festival appearances all over The States and Europe, with their band and also as an ‘unplugged’ acoustic duo. Ater label-hopping for a while, they re-signed for Blind Pig and their excellent ‘Fat Man Shine Parlor’ is the result. Sadly, Smokin’Joe passed away in his sleep shortly before a North Carolina Festival gig in October 2015.