Music Review

Book Reviews and Reading Diary
CD Buying Guide and Music Links
Best-of lists
CD Reviews
CDs, sorted by Style
CDs, sorted by year issued
CDs, sorted by publication review ran in
CDs by San Diego bands
All CDs, sorted by band name
All CDs, sorted by album title
Favorite quotations
Contact Me

A productive partnership

Blood Brothers
Blood Brothers
By Smokin' Joe Kubek & Bnois King

Alligator Records: 2008

Buy it on CD now from

This review first appeared in Turbula in May 2008.

With more than a dozen albums over almost 20 years, guitarists Joe Kubek and Bnois King are one of the longest such partnerships still going in the blues. And it's been an uncommonly productive partnership, with Kubek's brawny lead guitar contrasting nicely with King's refined tenor voice to create as instantly recognizable a sound as any blues combo today possesses.

And after all those years together, all those times in the studio, Kubek and King and the rhythm section of Paul Jenkins (bass) and Dave Konstantin (drums) have a musical empathy that makes them sound, as one critic wrote on, like a single musician.

Thirteen of the 14 songs here are originals written by the two; a lengthy, relaxed reading of Lightnin' Hopkins' "Stop Drinking" is the only cover. The songs are all a rock-blues hybrid, with lots of cross-over appeal for anyone who appreciates a solid blues shuffle and a guitarist who knows how to put on a show.