Tag Archives: blues band

Josh Hoyer and Soul Colossal

The Monroe Balloon & Blues Festival is proud to announce that the 8:30-10:00pm: Josh Hoyer and Soul Colossal  from The Voice will be playing live Saturday June 16th 8:30-10:00pm

Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal’s combination of soul, funk and R&B is in a word, electric. Best displayed in their high-energy live show, the blend of Hoyer’s honest lyrics and his rich, intensely soulful vocals merge with his top-notch band to create an undeniable chemistry.

Hoyer formed Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal in 2012 in famed blues town Lincoln, Nebraska. The award-winning five-piece band includes some of the area’s most revered and accomplished musicians. Joining Hoyer (keyboards/vocals) is Benjamin Kushner (guitar), Blake DeForest (trumpet), Mike Keeling (bass), and Larell Ware (drums). Inspired by the sounds of Stax, Motown, Muscle Shoals, New Orleans, Philly and San Francisco, the band continuously crosses musical boundaries both in style and era, and joins forces each show with a common goal – to have the crowd dancing so much they forget even their smallest troubles.

On January 26th, 2018, Hoyer released “The End of the Night”, a 3-song EP and solo side project with veteran Nashville songwriters Jay Knowles (Harry Connick Jr, Blake Shelton), and Jon Coleman (Trace Adkins). In the spring, Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal are set to record their fourth full length record which will be released in Europe in August of 2018, followed by a 7-week European tour before its US release.

In 2017, Josh was featured as a contestant on NBC’s The Voice, and the band completed their first European tour; a 27-city stint capped with a live album release from their show in Brussels, Belgium.The hard working band completed several national tours from 2015-2017, playing more than 150 shows in 32 states each year, including opening for George Clinton, Charles Bradley, Booker T Jones, and Muscle Shoals Revue. Their year-round touring schedule took them from coast to coast, including several major summer music festivals.

In 2016, the magic of their live show caught the attention of producer Ken Coomer (Wilco, Uncle Tupelo), who joined with the band to record their third full-length album. Running From Love, was recorded at Nashville’s historic Sound Emporium, and once again features Hoyer’s trademark vocals and the band’s signature groove. The album was released on April 8, 2016, on Silver Street Records, and is available on vinyl, CD, and digital formats.

“If James Brown and Otis Redding had a love child, it would be Josh Hoyer. The Lincoln, Nebraska, soul shouter, and his band of merry soulsters, Soul Colossal, deliver a sound so big, so funky, so wring-the-sweat-out-of-you energetic that it reaches through the speakers and shakes you until you start moving to its groove.” – No Depression

Check them out at:

Website: https://www.joshhoyer.com/

Cash Box Kings

The Monroe Balloon & Blues Festival is proud to announce that the Cash Box Kings, One of the top Blues albums in the World right now! They will will be playing live Saturday June 16th 6:30-8:00pm.

“One of the best blues bands in the land.” – Living Blues

“Virtuoso musicianship…rocking and irresistible.” –No Depression

“Gloriously retro with an inspiring eloquence and grace.” –Vintage Guitar

With deep feeling and top-shelf talent, houserocking blues masters The Cash Box Kings play tough, real deal classic Chicago blues with boundless energy. They also deliver raw, passionate Delta blues, jumping proto-rock ‘n’ roll, and steamrolling “bluesabilly,” their original mix of Chicago blues and Memphis rockabilly. As anyone who has ever been to one of the band’s raucous performances will testify, The Cash Box Kings know how to throw a party. They’re fueled by the powerhouse harmonica work of Madison, Wisconsin-based songwriter Joe Nosek and the huge, gritty vocals of Chicago bluesman Oscar Wilson. Their original songs range from humorous stories of Internet love to harrowing tales of Chicago’s violent gun epidemic. Every song they perform—be it a striking original or a scorching Chess, Sun or Vee-Jay cover—explodes with contemporary authority and radiates old-school authenticity. According to Grammy Award-winning blues legend Charlie Musselwhite, “The Cash Box Kings play with real taste and feel. Not only is it good blues but it’s a jumping good time, too! I ain’t lyin’!”

Joe Nosek founded The Cash Box Kings in Madison, Wisconsin in 2001 and, since 2007, has co-led the band with the charismatic, larger-than-life vocalist Oscar Wilson. Over 20 years apart in age and coming from vastly different backgrounds, the two form an unlikely pair, combining Wilson’s indisputably authentic inner city Chicago blues vocals with Nosek’s harmonica, songwriting and singing talents. The music they create is brilliantly displayed on The Cash Box Kings’ Alligator Records debut, Royal Mint. According to Wilson, “The Cash Box Kings is a throwback to the golden age of blues with some kickin’ fresh young blood. Joe is my best friend in the music world—the band is a marriage made in heaven for both of us.” “Oscar is godfather to my oldest son,” says Nosek. “We have each other’s backs. We’re family.”

Royal Mint features 13 hard-hitting songs, including six impressive originals. From the wry, politically-charged Build That Wall to the chilling Blues For Chi-Raq to the funny and too true If You Got A Jealous Woman Facebook Ain’t Your Friend to the timeless versions of songs by Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Junior Wells, Clifton Chenier, Amos Milburn and Jimmy Reed, Royal Mint shuffles, jumps and gets down and dirty, fueled by the band’s unmatched musicianship. According Nosek, “Royal Mint is our strongest album. The band is at its absolute best.”

Nosek refers to the group of top-notch traditional players who comprise The Cash Box Kings as “a blues collective.” Live and on record, members of the “collective” appear in different combinations for different performances, creating an anything-can-happen experience. In addition to co-leaders Nosek and Wilson, the full ensemble includes world-class guitarists Joel Paterson and Billy Flynn, drummers Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith and Mark Haines, bassist Brad Ber with newest member Lee Kanehira (replacing their longtime pianist, the late Barrelhouse Chuck) rounding out the band.

In their first six years, The Cash Box Kings won a large and loyal audience across the Midwest. Wilson joined the band in 2007, bringing with him an instantly commanding stage presence and an authoritative vocal style that gives fire-breathing power to the music. A self-taught musician and singer with an encyclopedic knowledge of almost every blues song known to man, Wilson—standing 6’1” and weighing over 300 pounds—is a natural-born entertainer and a perfect foil for Nosek and the band. Born in 1953 on Chicago’s 43rd Street (aka Muddy Waters Drive), Wilson grew up in the company of many famous blues artists. Junior Wells, Elmore James, Big Smokey Smothers and close family friend David “Honeyboy” Edwards were all regulars at weekly Friday night fish fries/jam sessions at the Wilson home. Throughout his adulthood, Wilson held regular jobs but was always welcome sitting in with Chicago blues mainstays Melvin Taylor and Johnny B. Moore. His vocal inspirations range from Muddy Waters, B.B. King and Albert King to Jimmy Reed, Jimmy Rogers and Little Walter but he mostly sings like Oscar Wilson. Award-winning harmonica giant and vocalist Rick Estrin (leader of Rick Estrin & The Nightcats) says, “That guy can really sing.”

A self-described blues fanatic, Nosek, born in Wisconsin in 1974 and raised in Chicago, spent his youth soaking up as much blues music as he could hear, both live and on record. In his teens, he began sneaking into blues clubs to watch Junior Wells, James Cotton, Otis Rush, Jimmy Rogers, Sunnyland Slim and others. Nosek recalls, “Seeing those guys work made a huge impression on me and propelled me into wanting to learn how to play the blues.” He took up harmonica, quickly cultivating his own aggressive, fluid style.

After moving to Madison in the early 1990s, he began sitting in with artists such as Clyde Stubblefield and Luther Allison. Finding like-minded musicians hell-bent on playing raw, rough-edged, hard-charging blues, Nosek formed The Cash Box Kings. They released their first album, Live! At The King Club, in 2003, instantly earning praise from critics and fans, and gaining a reputation as one of the hottest live bands on the circuit.

The Cash Box Kings have earned devoted fans in both Chicago and Madison, the two cities where band members live. They regularly headline Chicago venues like Buddy Guy’s Legends and Rosa’s Lounge, and have played major festivals across the U.S. and Europe. They’ve blown away audiences at the Chicago Blues Festival, the Tampa Bay Blues Festival, the Doheny Blues Festival, the Mississippi Valley Blues Festival, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, the Cincinnati Blues Festival, the Cambridge Folk Festival (UK), the Moulin Blues Festival (Netherlands), the Lucerne Blues Festival (Switzerland), the Baltic Blues Festival (Germany) and the Edmonton Blues Festival (Canada). They have also performed in Belgium, France, Spain and Uruguay.

With eight previous releases to their credit and hundreds of live performances under their belts, The Cash Box Kings have won widespread acclaim throughout the blues world. Their 2013 release Black Toppin’ won the 2013 Blues Blast Music Award for Traditional Blues Album of the Year. It was also nominated for a 2014 Blues Music Award in the same category. Their last release, Holding Court, was nominated for two 2016 Blues Music Awards (Best Traditional Album and Album of the Year) and the band was also nominated for the Band of the Year Award. They’ve been featured on NPR Music as well as in the pages of No Depression, The Chicago Tribune, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Living Blues, Vintage Guitar, Blues Blast and many other publications. Living Blues said, ”This accomplished band of musicians captures the vibe of traditional blues and flawlessly spins it in innovative ways.”

According to Alligator president Bruce Iglauer, The Cash Box Kings are a natural addition to the label. “I love this band because they combine the classic Chicago blues style with contemporary lyrics, true blues vocals and terrific musicianship. Oscar Wilson’s voice is a soulful roar like Muddy Waters’ and Joe Nosek plays powerhouse harmonica in the James Cotton tradition. Billy Flynn and Joel Paterson are world-class blues guitarists. The whole band can deliver jumping party shuffles or down-in-the-alley gritty blues. Their fresh songs bring wry humor to subjects like current politics, the pitfalls of social networking and life on the tough streets of Chicago.”

Nosek agrees, saying, “We’re very happy about finding a new home with Bruce Iglauer and the good folks at Alligator Records. As blues musicians who grew up in Chicago, becoming a part of the Alligator roster is a great honor for us. It’s the label that has released some of our all-time favorite blues records.”

With blasting harmonica, soul-deep vocals, original songs and sizzling guitars, The Cash Box Kings boast an array of talent to satisfy blues lovers of every shape and size. On Royal Mint they make old blues new as they continue to create new blues classics, with, according to Elmore magazine, “just the right amount of juke joint grit.” Living Blues says The Cash Box Kings are “straight from the golden era of the blues,” boasting “an impressive line-up of A-list players. Joe Nosek feels Little Walter and Slim Harpo in the essence of his soul. Singer Oscar Wilson could be right out of [Chicago’s famed] Checkerboard Lounge in its glory days. The Cash Box Kings are a dancing and listening pleasure.”

Check them out at:

Website: https://www.cashboxkings.com/


The Monroe Balloon & Blues Festival is proud to announce that the Stackhouse will be playing live Saturday June 16th 2:30-4:00pm

Stackhouse is a Soul & Blues trio featuring Xavi Lynn, Garrett Wartenweiler, and Derek Hendrickson! Bound to make you get down!

“Xavier Lynn is one of the best young guitar players I’ve ever met. He plays with an intensity and poise that you will rarely see in such a young musician. Xavier possesses the technical skill and confidence of someone twice his age. He is like a sponge constantly soaking up any style of genuine American music he sets his mind to play including jazz, blues, soul, gospel, and funk.” (Joe Nosek, Cash Box Kings)

Don’t let his age fool you, 18-year old Xavier Lynn is as well traveled as any seasoned bluesman. Originally born in London to American and British parents, Xavier grew accustom to life on the move, subsequently making his home in San Diego, CA, Austin, TX, Geneva, Switzerland, Madison, WI, and Cleveland, OH where he currently resides. While he was drawn to blues and gospel from an early age, his travels led him to learn and embrace a diverse array of musical styles.

In Geneva, he was introduced to music from Africa and the Caribbean, learning to play Central African gospel music and soukous, a popular form of dance music originating in the Congo Basin; as well as exploring the music of Guadeloupe with vocalist and francophone superstar Francky Vincent. Living in Geneva also afforded Lynn the opportunity to regularly attend the world-renowned Montreux Jazz Festival, where nightly jam sessions allowed him to sit-in with some of music’s biggest names, including the Roots, Jon Batiste, Nigel Hall, and Sam Smith. Ironically, the musician who most influenced him while in Europe was another American – drummer Vic Pitts of the late 60’s Milwaukee R&B group Vic Pitts and the Cheaters. From Pitts, Lynn gained a deeper understanding and appreciation of funk and R&B and was also introduced to Cheaters’ guitar player Van Patterson.

A 2014 move from Geneva to Madison, WI, enabled Lynn to further his relationship with Patterson who happened to still be living in Milwaukee. While working with Patterson, Xavier focused on gospel quartet and soul, and learned to tastefully incorporate his diverse musical background into the blues. Presently, Xavier is regularly playing throughout the Midwest and Europe, captivating audiences with his energetic stage shows and authentic enthusiasm for performance. In addition to fronting his own group, Lynn has also performed with the Jimmy’s, the Cash Box Kings, Russel Thompson (of the O’Jays), and the late Clyde Stubblefield of the James Brown Band. His debut solo album is set to be released in summer 2018.

Check them out at:

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/stackhouseband/