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The King Dukes - ‘Numb Tongues’

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The King Dukes
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Bristol R&B
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October 13, 2019
The main objective behind our ‘Progplanet Ultimate Review’ site is to investigate and comment upon music that is firmly rooted within the progressive rock camp. However, every now and then an album outside of this genera grabs our attention and which subsequently deserves a special mention. One such album, to recently charm and delight us, was one from the Bristol (UK) based band ‘The King Dukes’ who describe themselves as the “New Bristol Soul Collective. “ The music in question is entitled ‘Numb Tongues’ and is the debut album from them and one we thought worthy of bringing to your attention here, through our review site. There are two reasons for going off-piste to review this album:-
Firstly, it is important for all progressive rock fans to know that the very essence of R&B music is right at the root core of all things progressive rock and that it is a major influence for many of today’s progressive rock musicians. For example, during the early sixties in clubs like London’s ‘Flamingo’, musicians like 'Georgie Fame and the Blue-Flames' held sway with their ‘Anglicised’ versions of R&B that was saturated with swathes of throaty sounding Hammond organ with jazzy brass interventions. And thus immediately upon hearing ‘The King Dukes’ one is immediately transported back to those halcyon days and the spirit that developed at places like the ‘Flamingo Club’
Secondly, the interesting fact that the King Dukes decided to create their album with a distinctly 50’s-60’s sound by utilising only, the basic recording techniques available of that period and by playing specific instruments of that period. Furthermore, the recording procedure dispensed with multi-tracking, so that the entire recording process involved the need for all instruments to play in real-time as a single unit thus creating a lush warm wall of sound.
So who are the King Dukes? They are the cream of the musicians from several local Bristol-based bands who in 2017 migrated together to form in effect a ‘Bristol’ super Group, pooling their talents to achieve, besides personal ambition, a unique sounding British styled R&B band both in the studio and in live situations. Including a residency at Bristol’s legendary Old Duke.
The ‘King Dukes, certainly recapture those halcyon days with an exhilarating and quite variable set of the fifties sounding tunes all of which really swing along with much pace and utter charm. The entire affair is packed to the brim with combinations of instrumental elegance and interesting arrangements. Especially notable are the excellent vocals delivered, with more than a helping of enjoyable brashness, from ‘Marc Griffiths’. The female backing vocals too are absolutely divine adding a jaunty ‘country swing’ effect along the lines of “Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks” Unfortunately, such female intervention is limited to a few tracks only, which is a shame as they could of played more of a major role throughout. The fifties sounding lead guitar mostly has a distinctly note bending ‘Scotty Moore’ feel but does give a cursory nod towards a fingerpicking Chet Atkins stylisation. Particularly magnificent is the throaty Hammond organ and harmonica both administered by ‘Henry Slim and are a real joy to behold providing the driving force behind several of the tracks, altogether generating a totally exquisite sound. The timekeeping section of bass and drums complete with an energetic three-piece horn section greatly emphasises the sound to full-on rocking proportions.
Summary: This has got to be a go see band, full of fun generating highly charged energetic music, Tracks such as ‘I Gotta Go’ is sure to get everyone up on their feet and the delightful arrangements surrounding ‘A Dying Man’ will astound you.
Caril - Anne.WAV
Coming Right Back For Your Heart.WAV
Dying Man.
Gone Gone Gone .
I Gotta Go
I Guess Mondays (Aren't Gonna Be The Same Any More
Keep On Living.
Kid Gloves.
Mario Cooper.
Rub You The Right Way.
True True Love (ft April Jackson).

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