SMOKIN' JOE AND TERRY O': Living up to his word, KLPX "Nothin' But the Blues" man Terry O' brings Smokin' Joe Kubek, featuring Bnois King (currently one of the hottest blues acts on the blues tour circuit) to the Boondocks, 3306 N. First Ave., on Wednesday, January 15. Sponsored in conjunction with the Tucson Blues Society, Kubek and King tear it up as part of an acclaimed national tour to support their fifth release, Got My Mind Back, on Bullseye Blues, an indie division of Rounder Records.

Thick, aggressive Texas blues, delivered with mastery and prowess by Kubek, combine with the finesse of King's jazzy rhythm guitar and clear, soulful vocals. Paul Jenkins on bass guitar, and Mark Hays on drums, round out the rhythm section on this pleasing set of 10 original tunes. The songs are true-to-the-bone blues with a high-energy groove and a vintage, rootsy feel, and are, for the most part, favorably unfettered with cheesy effects. Kubek's sliding, searing forays up and down the Fender fretboard cauterize the right channel as King's fluid, jazzy riffs tickle and soothe the left. All the while the tight, professional rhythm section hangs solidly in the background, sporting the occasional walking baseline and drum flourish.

Riding the line between traditional, straight-up blues and more contemporary jazz/fusion overtones, Smokin' Joe Kubek and Bnois King are the real thing, and are certainly at their best when at their dirtiest. Kubek is a seasoned veteran of the blues, who started his professional career 25 years ago in a funk-fusion band called Robert Whitfield's Last Band. This led to a place in the late Freddie King's band and, following King's death in 1976, a series of projects in the Dallas area.

Well-known jazz inspired rhythm-and-blues man Bnois King entered the picture in 1991, and after a European release of covers called Axe Man, the Smokin' Joe Kubek Band featuring Bnois King was signed to Bullseye. The collaboration has proved prolific, and when not in the studio the band has spent months on the road, both stateside and in Europe, cultivating a wide audience and working to keep their stage show fresh and creative.

Smokin' Joe Kubek featuring Bnois King commands the stage at the Boondocks from 8 p.m. to midnight Wednesday, January 15. Tickets are cheap at $5 for TBS members, $6 in advance, and $7 at the door. Call 690-0991 or 325-4688 for more information.

HOT NEWS: Networking made easy: In conjunction with the 1997 Tammies, the First Annual Tucson Musicians Register will be published in the March 6 issue of the Tucson Weekly. The Register is intended as a comprehensive guide to music--all music made, sold, traded, borrowed, you name it--in Tucson, inclusive of all bands, soloists, recording studios, labels, venues, radio stations, music stores, record stores, organizations and festivals and on-line resources. Everyone is urged to participate because, kids, this is BIG.

Fifty-thousand copies will be available all over town, with additional copies on hand throughout the year at all yer most-frequented musical outlets. And, of course, the Register will also be on-line via DesertNet. It's your big shot at some free and fairly wide exposure. The official Tucson Musicians Register application form is available at the front desk at the downtown Tucson Weekly offices, 201 W. Cushing St. Deadline for receipt of completed forms is Friday, February 14. Call 690-6427 for more information.

LAST NOTES: Well, if you missed this most excellent double bill before, the fates have granted yet another opportunity to catch Blackmoon Graffiti with Shoebomb at the Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., at 9:30 p.m. Friday, January 10. Admission is $4. Call 622-8848 for more information.

UA Presents brings a big night of first-rate jazz to UA Centennial Hall at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, January 11. Featured acts are the Joe Henderson Trio, Charlie Haden's Quartet West and Kansas City All-Stars. See this week's music feature for details. Call the Centennial Hall box office at 621-3341 for reservations and ticket information. TW

--Lisa Weeks
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