"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 you guys take that old school sound and go somewhere new with it." - DAN AYKROYD
How refreshing it is to hear some honest blues. The Cash Box Kings play with taste and feel and it was faith restoring to know there are guys out there that still know and appreciate real blues. - CHARLIE MUSSELWHITE
Considered the "Young Turks" of the Chicago blues scene, The Cash Box Kings are dedicated to carrying on the spirit of the 1940's and 50's post-war Chicago blues sound as well as the Delta blues music of the 20's and 30's. But these illustrious torchbearers also add a bravado, energy and freshness to the mix that results in a distinctive musical experience. 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 anchored by Joe Nosek (harmonica, vocals), Oscar Wilson (vocals), 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), Jimmy Sutton (upright bass, vocals), Beau Sample (upright bass, vocals), Chris "CB" Boeger (bass) and Mark Haines (drums). Barrelhouse Chuck (piano, vocals) also regularly performs with the group.
On 2011's Holler And Stomp, the Kings' Blind Pig label debut, they put together a collection of songs that captured the various byways where traditional blues and country music intersect. They covered Ray Sharpe (dubbed in his heyday "the greatest white-sounding black dude ever") with his own style of rockin' country blues ("Oh My Baby's Gone") and Hank Williams Sr. singing about the 'blues' ("Blues Come Around"). They took a swipe at a country fried number ("Off The Hook") by a group of Brits who named themselves after a Muddy Waters' blues song (the Rolling Stones) and also laid down their own version of a 'country blues' song that Muddy brought with him to Chicago and recorded with a new urban electric sound for Chess studios in 1948 ("Feel Like Going Home"). The rest of the originals and covers on this album had these same underpinnings, thematically and/or musically, making Holler And Stomp one of the freshest and most distinctive blues records in recent memory. It garnered critical acclaim as well as Blues Blast Award nominations for Band of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Traditional Blues CD.
While remaining dedicated to carrying on the musical traditions of post-war 1950's Chicago blues, the Kings stretch out and cover some of the other musical landscapes that blues music has traversed over the last 70 years on their new release, Black Toppin'. On display is their deep affinity for Delta and Louisiana swamp blues, jump blues and their own signature "blues-a-billy." And the Kings don't have a problem delving into the musical styles of groups that were influenced by the blues; on Black Toppin' they cover a tune by the Velvet Underground and include a pair of originals redolent of the 70's era Rolling Stones.