Musician’s Corner Feature – Bnois King

Jan 30, 2023 | Blog, Blues Festival, Musician's Corner, Trinity River Blues Society

Legendary singer and guitarist Bnois King is based in Dallas, TX. He is a Texas Blues and Jazz guitar player, vocalist and composer. His partnership with Smokin’ Joe Kubek took him all over the world for over 25 years and produced 16 studio albums.

Bnois was born on 21 January 1943, in Delhi, Louisiana, and started playing guitar at around the age of eight. King heard gospel music in church but leaned towards jazz having enjoyed the music played on local radio stations. At high school he got his first gig playing in a big band. Hoping to develop a career in music he moved to Houston, Texas, then Amarillo, Wichita Falls, gradually building technical ability and confidence. By 1979 he was performing regularly in Dallas and Fort Worth, continuing into the early 80s.

In the 80’s King encountered electric guitarist Smokin’ Joe Kubek and the two began playing periodically together. The two musicians found instant rapport, even though stylistically they were quite different: Kubek, rock-influenced and aggressive; King, jazz-influenced and relaxed. By the end of the 80s they were teamed up on a regular basis and touring extensively. Along the way, King began singing occasional songs during the duo’s gigs and found strongly approving audience response. Building his vocal repertoire from neglected blues songs, the following for their unusual blending of subtle jazz-inflected playing and attacking no-holds-barred power continued to grow. Their tours continued and their albums expanded their audience still further afield. By the early 2000s, King and Kubek were hugely popular and continued touring and recording regularly until Joe’s passing in 2015.

Well into his seventh decade, Bnois with his soulful voice and rich, thoughtful guitar playing, continues to be an engaging and enthusiastic performer, to the great delight of his many fans.