Kings & Associates play Blues On Broadbeach and a farewell show at The Gov before they embark on their first US tour.
South Australia may be known for its earthy reds and crispy whites, but nothing is quite as tasty as their blues.
At the top of the list sits Kings & Associates, distillers of some of the finest, well-crafted blues to come out of the state.
Two years on from the release of their sophomore album 'Tales Of A Rich Girl', Kings & Associates return with their latest single 'Tides (Semaphore Song)', which came out at the end of February. “'Tides' and in general the stuff we're writing at the moment, we're finding there's a lot of ties to the last album but we've certainly gone in a new direction,” bassist and songwriter Steve Portolesi says.
“And not really by choice, just by the natural way of whatever experiences we've had and where we are at the moment as people; we absolutely do our best to allow those things to influence our writing.
“I wouldn't say there's a darker angle to this new lot of music because there are some real sweeter moments in it, but it's just an expression of where we are at the moment. It's still bluesy and there's probably a bit more of a quirk factor going on.”
The past two years since releasing 'Tales Of A Rich Girl' have seen Kings & Associates progress from strength-to-strength in the blues community both here and abroad. Last year saw the band pick up three 2018 Australian Blues Music Awards (Best Band, Best New Talent and Best Producer – Jim Scott) as well as being recognised by the US-based International Blues Challenge (IBC) as among the top five finalists for Best Self-Produced CD.
“That was the thing we were happiest about the most,” Steve enthuses.
“The mandate of the IBC is to keep traditional blues alive, so for us to get into the last five, and [with] not what we would feel is even remotely a traditional blues album, encouraged us a lot because it said the strength of the album was pretty good – either that or all the other albums were crap,” he adds with a laughs.
Kings & Associates will be showing Queensland fans what all the fuss is about when they hit the stage at Blues On Broadbeach in May on a line-up that also includes certified 'blues brother' Eric Bibb, Woodstock icons Canned Heat and powerhouse vocalist Tami Neilson.
“This is probably one of the festivals that we pencilled in as wanting to play,” Steve says.
“It's always difficult being based in South Australia – we travel a lot... but this was certainly one of the festivals we wanted to play, so getting up there finally for this year we're absolutely excited. From speaking to the bands we know that have played there, they say it's one of the best festivals on the circuit.
“This will actually be our first formal gig in Queensland. We're getting back up there for Mitchell Creek [Rock 'N' Blues Fest] as well, so we are wanting to get back regularly. I would think we'd want to get up [to Queensland] a few times a year now, so without a doubt this is very exciting for us. We can't wait to get in amongst the atmosphere.”
Kings & Associates play as part of Blues On Broadbeach (Gold Coast) 16-19 May and The Gov (Adelaide) 1 June.