CASH BOX KINGS - BLACK TOPPIN'

Cash Box Kings (from the album Black Toppin') - The Cash Box Kings get very specific in the music that they bring to the world. The band is dedicated to carrying on the spirit of the 1940’s and 50’s post-war Chicago Blues as well as honoring its point of origins, Delta Blues circa 1920’s and 30’s. Luckily, the Cash Box Kings are not content to just offer museum quality replications. The band provides a freshness to their music by adding in energy and bravado to songs that can trace their own heritage back to the heydays of the Chess Records and Sun Records labels.

Sitting amid a few cover tunes, the Cash Box Kings toss in a healthy dose of band originals on Black Toppin’ that stretch out to cover more of the Delta sound, such as Jump Blues and Louisiana swamp Blues. Co-vocalists Joe Nosek and Oscar Wilson trade off microphone turns and songwriting. Oscar Wilson hops in the band car to describe heading out on the highway to ride some white lines on the title track and delivers a love letter straight from his lovin’ oven with “Hot Biscuit Baby”. Joe Nosek divides time between lead vocals and some mighty harmonica blowing. Joe’s turns at the microphone underscore the band’s signature sound style, ‘blues-a-billy’. His country twang steers across a musical landscape strewn with past relationships, sharing breathing space on the track with fat sax riffs and an ever-present flurry of guitar notes on “Trying Really Hard (to Try and Get Along With You)”.

A mean saxophone takes the lead on the Oscar Wilson-penned “Oscar’s Jump”, the rhythm unites with the harmonica to double its force on “My Tinai”, and country guitar plays tag with the barrelhouse piano on “I Don’t Want to Fight”. The Cash Box Kings step into tradition with their cover of “Walking Blues”, bounce out their version of Willie Dixon’s “Too Late” and fuel up with some high test  for a cover of Velvet Underground’s “Run Run Run”, starting up the motor and cranking it out. Black Toppin’ continues the personal that the Cash Box Kings began on their Blind Pig debut “Holler and Stomp”, and makes the world a better place by honoring the sound of Chicago jukeboxes.                      DANNY McCLOSKEY/RA

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