Brian Capps
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Brian Capps


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Brian Capps: Healin' and Rockin' (and Walking Through Walls)

Brian Capps, the affable singer/songwriter/guitarist best known as a founding member of Springfield’s Domino Kings, does not have a license to practice medicine. Tell him about that weird pain you’ve been having, and he could only hazard a guess as to the cause. Nevertheless, there’s a good chance Capps can cure what ails you. His unique brand of vibrant, infectious Americana goes down so smoothly and consists of such pure ingredients, it could almost qualify as alternative medicine. At the very least, the music has proven anti-depressant abilities; this phenomenon was noted at several memorable St. Louis gigs in 2004. When Capps and his band the True Liars are onstage, you can rest assured that no matter how rotten your day, you’re sure to feel better after the show.

The soothing balm of Capps’ music, which draws equally from traditional country and early rock & roll, emanates primarily from two factors. One is an intrinsic duality in his original compositions arising from his emotional directness and willingness to document episodes of extreme angst while setting the themes in bracingly uptempo arrangements. The results are far more than just catchy honky-tonk or rockabilly songs. Check out “Two Nights Without Sleep,” “Dark Side of Love” and “Don’t Wait Up” from the Domino Kings’ debut album Lonesome Highway. And on Life & 20, there’s the memorable “Borrow a Lie” and the kickass barroom rocker “Alice,” a bitter rant on a spirit-destroying femme fatale of whom the narrator warns, “You couldn’t keep up with her if you had wings/Alice grows tired of everything…” These songs rock madly and sincerely, and Capps sings the ever-lovin’ heck outa them. Yet his lyrics mostly deal with heartbreak, loss and the sort of recurring agitation that anyone who’s been jilted or disappointed by love could relate to. It’s music you can swing your partner to on the dance floor or tap your foot to while you down another brew, but the songs have emotional resonance because you can tell the singer knows EXACTLY what you’ve been through. You feel at times, in fact, that he’s singing the song just for you...

The full article can be read at - Kevin Renick

"The Associated Press"

Brian Capps is no longer a Domino King, but he still retains an affinity for classic country. Although his album and the Kings were produced by the Morells’ Lou Whitney, he establishes his own identity as he delivers strong originals including “The Bottom” and “I Wouldn’t Say That’s Living,” plus songs by Merle Travis and Rodney Crowell, in an engaging low tenor. - Nick Cristiano


On August 18th, 2005, Ken Tucker reviewed new CDs by "Big Noise From Springfield" artists The Domino Kings and
Brian Capps on NPR's "Fresh Air." Following a sound clip from Brian Capps' CD Walk Through Walls, Tucker remarks,
"That's Brian Capps who's just released his first solo album since leaving The Domino Kings. I don't
want to know the possibly sad details of his departure, not when the leave-taking has brought forth such
good music as this..."
( - Fresh Air

"St. Louis Post Dispatch"

Brian Capps’ “Walk Through Walls” mixes hardcore honky-tonk, rockabilly and even a little gospel music, resulting in a particularly impressive solo debut. The former member of Springfield’s Domino Kings has an easy way with classic material, such as Merle Travis’ “The Devil to Pay” and “Dark as a Dungeon,” both of which were recorded by Capps’ hero Johnny Cash. Capps is a fine writer as well, as he proves with original tunes “The Bottom,” the Dwight-worthy “True Liar” and the devout album closer, “God Knows Why.” Capps has what it takes to be a breakout talent. - Daniel Durchholz

"No Depression"

The sleeper of the four records is Brian Capps’ concise (ten songs, 34 minutes) solo debut. After an acrimonious split from the Domino Kings, Capps (who has since mended his friendship with Newman, and contributes upright bass to the Kings’ album) turned to Whitney and the Morells as a backing band. Opening with a menacing but still choogling groove, Capps starts out at the bottom of a personal hell, gets out on the strength of the best guitar work of Thompson’s storied career, and leaves his man-in-black vocal impressions far behind him. He turns “Dark As A Dungeon” into a stutter-shuffle, then echoes gospel on Rodney Crowell’s “Standing On A Rock” and his own “God Knows Why”, which closes this damned-by-Saturday-night cycle with a convincing glimpse of a restorative Sunday Morning.” - Roy Kasten


And, I see/hear Brian Capps as an antidote of Truth/REAL to what's been taking over in Nashville. We generally don't delve into genres outside of the norm unless there is a strong link and Brian Capps' "Walk Through Walls" is outstanding enough to warrant inclusion in REAL BLUES just as Willie Nelson or Hank Williams would be covered for their Blues-of-another-color.

Capps can sing like-the-dickens (very distinct voice-scores large there!) and he writes killer tunes. He also plays upright bass (Whitney handles electric bass parts), while D. Clinton Thompson is the amazing twang-master on all these cuts. Thompson is so good (and tasteful) it's scary and pickers of all kinds will just love this album. "The Bottom" kicks off the CD with chuggin' guitar and a great groove. Hit song potential if Nashville goes on Pure Talent, and it's also Shag Hit potential, as they love funky Country grinders like this. With its Simplicity perfection guitar solo from Thompson, one hopes that Hightones will push this one. And then we get a stormin', and Yahooin' "Next Time" that is also killer-diller Hit Potential. Wonderful guitar in truckloads as D. Clinton Thompson rocks out. Merle Travis' "The Devil To Pay" gets a really fine reworking as Brian takes us into C&W Purity. "True Liar" has an almost Cajun feel to it and again his song-writing shines. The title tune "Walk Through Walls" is one of those "cut-above" songs that packs a powerful punch and lingers in your mind. Very memorable and again the band work is stellar (Les Gallier, Bobby Lloyd Hicks and Ron Gremp share drums throughout but it's Gallier here). "I Wouldn't Say That's Living" is another gem (damn this guy can write: "my heart's drier than desert sand"). "Dark As A Dungeon", another Travis classic, gets the ultimate rendition as Capps lowers his voice in this Miner's Blues and Thompson and Hicks prove their worth as Ace players. Really fine spiritual message in "When We Learn" a tune about relationships that are based on other things besides Love. Rodney Crowell's "Standing On A Rock" is delivered with Gospel fervor and with a rockabilly pulse that cries out for a major C&W video exposure. Rockabilly Gospel! Can't go wrong with that! "God Knows Why" is a Masterpiece. It's about loss, falling down, redemption and transformation delivered on a very Bluesy, old-time Gospel Foundation. This is an incredible song and equally incredible production and musical support make it a song that you'll play over and over again, not wanting it to end and the 3 minutes 25 seconds pass too quickly. I've never come across an album like this before. It's Country (Pure Country), it's Rockabilly, it's retro-R' n R and it's also Gospel and there are at least 4 tracks that one could see at the Top of the Country Charts. I'm not too hip when it comes to White Gospel markets but "God Knows Why" should be on the Radio SOMEWHERE! So, for all of our readers, who appreciate Excellent American Roots Music, this disc is a "must". You can shit-kick with it on Saturday night and then "take-it-to-church" on Sunday morning. Brian Capps should be a Big-Time Country Star. 6 Bottles for this proof that Real Music still lives. Stick a feather in Lou Whitney"s hat.
- A. Grigg


Walk Through Walls (2005)- HighTone Records

Recorded with the Domino Kings:
Life & 20 (2000)- Slewfoot Records
Lonesome Highway (1999)- Independent release, Licensed to Slewfoot records



Brian Capps

Brian Capps’ music “blends traditional country and early rock ‘n’ roll…The results transcend mere honky-tonk or rockabilly catchiness,” writes editor at large, Kevin Renick, of Playback St. Louis magazine.

Capps’ eludes stereotypes as he plays music clubs, casino stages, festivals, and opry shows. The contagious energy of his live performances has cultivated a dedicated fan base, originating in the Midwest, which continues to grow.

“There’s not a person who’s seen his show out here who doesn’t like him,” observes Cherokee Casino entertainment manager, Rusti Love, during an interview for Tulsa World. She explains, “He’s one heck of a performer…You get there and you can’t leave. He’s that good.”

In addition to live shows, fans can listen to Capps’ music on both regular and satellite radio stations, and view his performance at Midwest Country on RFD television.

Capps began his musical career in 1993 when he co-founded The Domino Kings. During the next eight years he performed, wrote, and contributed his music to the band’s first two widely acclaimed CDs, Lonesome Highway (1999) and Life & 20 (2000), while developing his own distinctive voice and style. Capps has since embarked on his solo career. His recent release, Walk Through Walls (HighTone Records; produced by Lou Whitney), is receiving rave reviews.

Music writer Roy Kasten declares that on Walk Through Walls, Capps “…smashes the barriers between country, rock, blues, and rockabilly with his Cash-like, but entirely unaffected, baritone.”

A. Grigg of Real Blues magazine writes, “I’ve never come across an album like this before. It’s Country (Pure Country), it’s rockabilly, it’s retro-R ‘n’ R and it’s also Gospel and there are at least 4 tracks that one could see at the Top of the Country Charts.”

Capps’ ability to channel the essence of all that Americana music has to offer is part of what makes him standout in today’s music market. “Brian Capps’ Walk Through Walls mixes hardcore honky-tonk, rockabilly and even a little gospel music, resulting in a particularly impressive solo debut,” asserts St. Louis Post Dispatch writer Daniel Durchholz, “Capps has what it takes to be a breakout talent.”

Producer Lou Whitney sums up Capps stating, “ He's the real thing."