Hailing from the 'Windy City,' Blind Pig recording artists the Cash Box Kings are keeping REAL DEAL, old-school Chicago blues alive and thriving. The band is dedicated to carrying on the spirit of the 1940's and 50's post-war Chicagoblues sound as well as the Delta blues music of the 20’s and 30’s. But these illustrious torch bearers also add a bravado, energy and freshness to the mix that results in a distinctive musical experience and a high-energy stage show. With a focus on the raw, stripped-down, ensemble playing that was the hallmark of the post-war sound, the band showcases the music of Chess Records and Sun Records while adding a healthy dose of original music that captures the essence of the Memphis and Chicago blues sounds of the 40’s and 50’s.
The Cash Box Kings are fronted by Joe Nosek, who writes and arranges songs, sings, and channels the spirits of Little Walter and Slim Harpo on harmonica, and singer and songwriter Oscar Wilson, a 6’3”, 300 hundred pound Muddy Waters-type throwback to the heyday of the Chicago blues scene. The group is rounded out by Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith (drums), and Joel Paterson (guitar, vocals), augmented by a rotating cast of honorary Kings including Gerry Hundt (bass, rhythm guitar, vocals), Billy Flynn (guitar, mandolin, vocals, harmonica), Brad Ber (upright bass), Beau Sample (upright bass, vocals), and Mark Haines (drums). Barrelhouse Chuck (piano, vocals) also regularly performs with the group.
Living Blues called them simply "one of the best blues bands in the land. Any of these musicians could have played with the great bands of the golden blues era. Together they keep a sound alive that many thought was no more."
On their latest opus, Holding Court, the Cash Box Kings pay homage to some of the founding fathers of the Chicagoblues scene like Jimmy Rogers (“Out on the Road”) and John Lee Hooker (“Hobo Blues”). But the Kings also help keep alive the musical contributions of lesser-known blues artists like Honey Boy Allen (“I’m a Real Lover Baby”), Willie Love (“Everybody’s Fishin’”) and Big Smokey Smothers (“I Ain’t Gonna Be No Monkey Man”). Of course the CBKs have never been a one-dimensional “blues band” and on this release they throw some New Orleans, jump blues, ragtime, and swamp pop sounds into the mix. While the Kings have their feet firmly planted in these timeless musical traditions, they bring a spirited energy and updated approach to the music. While the subject matter of many of the songs is familiar (love, money and good times) they also touch on a number of current issues. “Download Blues” portrays the challenges of selling records and staying financially afloat in the era of digital piracy and streaming services. “Gotta Move Out To The Suburbs” describes the real struggle faced by many who are forced out of their neighborhoods due to the gentrification taking place in inner-city areas of Chicago and other urban centers in the U.S.
You can purchase this CD at most of your favorite local and big chain record stores as well as from online retailers like Amazon and iTunes. You can also purchase the CD directly from Blind Pig Records:
Praise for the Kings!
"The Cash Box Kings rule the roost! This band has taken old school Chicago blues and brought it jumping and hollering into the 21st century. I’ve seen a lot of bands play this style of music, but I gotta say these guys take that old school sound and go somewhere new with it" -Dan Aykroyd
"One of the best blues bands in the land. Any of these musicians could have played with the great bands of the golden blues era. Together they keep a sound alive that many thought was no more."- Living Blues Magazine
"The Cash Box Kings play with taste and feel and it was faith restoring to know there's guys out there that still know and appreciate real blues."-Blues legend Charlie Musslewhite
"Stylistically the effect of the music parallels coming home from a trip to Maxwell Street with a box of dusty 45s and 78s on labels like Ora-Nelle, Blue Lake, Parrot or Cobra - rough and tumble, meat and potatoes Chicago blues. The Cash Box Kings continue and strengthen their breakout from the Midwestern blues bar circuit to international recognition as recording and performing artists. Notice is duly served that they are ready for inclusion among the illustrious torch bearers for not one but two proud blues traditions [delta and post-war Chicago]. With a deep commitment to those roots and a freshness which has generated nine originals on this CD, the Cash Box Kings are starting to make their own mark."-Dick Shurman, noted blues producer and critic
“The word on the street is that The Cash Box Kings are the up and coming young guns of the Chicago blues scene, and with good reason. The Kings are an outfit dedicated to the spirit of post-war Chicago blues and the Delta blues of the 1920s and 1930s, not to the tired song list that many of the bands that also ply these styles tend to stick to. The music has the liveliness and energy that only roots music genius can provide, and it is easy to see just what the Kings’ growing reputation is based on." – Chicago Blues Guide
"The Cash Box Kings are Chicago royalty." -Blues Blast Magazine
“For those questioning whether the blues is still alive . . . here is your answer.” -Blues & Co. (France)
"This is the real deal. The Cash Box Kings take from '40s and '50s post-war Chicago blues, add some '20s and '30s Mississippi Delta blues and some '60s adventurism, and it all comes out as a barrelhouse, honky-tonk good time."-Goldmine