Local Wire

Smokin Joe Kubek and B'Nois King

Smokin' Joe Kubek sure lives up to his moniker, and not because this wild-haired, tattooed, guitar-slinging mountain of a man is often seen clutching a coffin nail in his meaty paw. Instead, the towering Dallas-based axeman regularly sets audiences ablaze with his blistering and bluesy guitar stylings, picking and pulling the strings with careless abandon and generating a frenetic, echoing wail. Kubek's sound is a slow burn, a seductive smoldering of Texas-style blues he's been honing for more than 30 years of toiling in roadhouses or sharing the stage with guitar greats like the late Freddy King and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Adding fuel to the fire is B'Nois King, a Louisiana-born six-string superstar who's provided a jazzier, meandering accompaniment to the fiery Kubek since 1989 on both rhythm guitar and vocals, laying down fat chords and spinning yarns about cheatin' hearts, wild women and pretty mamas. They're a pair of blues brothers who'd give Jake and Elwood a run for their money.
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.