Kingdom County
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Kingdom County

Eugene, Oregon, United States

Eugene, Oregon, United States
Band Americana Acoustic


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Northwestern Kingdom"

Seattle sound in the Eug
by Molly Templeton

Kingdom County is a young band with a long history. The band is barely a year old, but songwriters Josh Humphrey and Nick Cervantes have been playing together for 15 years, since their days in high school in Seattle’s suburbs. Humphrey made Eugene his home some time ago, but it was only last fall that Cervantes headed south to join him.

We’re lucky it was Cervantes who moved here — not simply because musicians are always leaving us for the larger cities to the north, but because Kingdom County is a welcome addition to Eugene’s music scene. This week, the band — now a quintet featuring violinist Jenny Lucke Humphrey, cellist Yoko Silk and singer Ali Abbors — releases its first CD, a self-titled collection of just eight tracks of expansive, country-tinged indie folk that’s full of promise.

The album begins with the laid-back, open-skies Americana of “Recuerdos” but shifts into a denser sound with “Came Saw,” on which it’s clear how much richness and texture Silk’s cello and Jenny Lucke Humphrey’s violin bring to the band. The jaunty, lyrical “Happenstance” makes great use of Abbors’ harmonies; she shines as the singer and songwriter of the following track, “Nothing Dear,” a sweet and spry little love song that never fails to remind me of The Sixths’ “You You You You You” (a Stephen Merritt-penned song sung by Squirrel Nut Zippers’ Katharine Whalen that you really ought to track down if you haven’t heard). Throughout, Cervantes’ voice has a perfectly young-but-weary quality around which the cello and violin wrap beautifully, and never moreso than in “Four Chamber Music,” the album’s exceptional finale. “Four Chamber” displays the best of Kingdom County’s moodiness; a swelling, intense verse transforms into an unexpectedly comforting and confident chorus into which is tucked one of the album’s best lines: “The wind will blow and the river knows all the secrets I’ve never told you / But the night will come and the music’s fun and one more drink will unfold you / Like I told you.” - Eugene Weekly

"Friends Get in Tune with New Band"

By Serena Markstrom

The Register-Guard

Appeared in print: Friday, Oct. 16, 2009, page D2

Nick Cervantes and Josh Humphrey grew up in a peaceful King County suburb of Seattle, throwing drumsticks at each other.

Actually, Cervantes threw the drumstick, and Humphrey outed him about it during an interview.

When asked if he threw the stick in anger, Cervantes admitted, “Yes.”

Humphrey looked up from the guitar he was holding.

“You said you just threw it,” he said in mock indignation.

“That was a lie,” Cervantes replied dryly, smiling into his microbrew before taking another sip.

If this kind of breakthrough continues among band members, we can anticipate music with more intensity and emotional honesty in Kingdom County’s future. The young band is off to a good start with its self-titled debut.

The two have come a long way since their days in the middle school band. Almost 20 years later, they have formed a five-piece acoustic folk-rock group that has recorded its debut at Eugene’s Sprout City Studios.

They will release “Kingdom County” on Thursday at Sam Bond’s Garage.

If you enjoy the Wilcos, Fleet Foxes and Blitzen Trappers of the world, this band — although less polished than those others — should appeal to you.

“We’re known for our witty banter,” Humphrey said with a smile.

Music is still developing

It’s clear that the pair have an obvious affection for each other, and a chemistry based on Humphrey playing the straight man to Cervantes’ free spirit. But they have played only 10 shows together, so it’s likely that the musical relationship is still developing.

Musically, the group benefits tremendously from the talents of Humphrey’s wife, Jenny Lucke Humphrey, on violin, Yoko Silk on cello and backup vocals and percussion by Ali Abbors.

Of the chief songwriters, Humphrey, a music teacher with two related degrees, is the one with more technical musical knowledge. He usually finishes Cervantes’ songs.

Humphrey is married, with a child and a mortgage. Cervantes is a former Peace Corps volunteer who works at a cafe; he moved to Oregon to join his friend after a long-term romantic relationship ended in Austin, Texas.

Cervantes said it was too hot to live in Texas. He says the same thing on “Wicked,” one of eight tracks on the CD — but it’s fair to assume that the woman holding all the coffin nails in the song had something to do with his being uncomfortable in the Lone Star state.

“Wicked” is the closest the congenial fellows get to being scathing (although “Happenstance” has a little attitude, too).

“Wicked” unrolls with a steady country-Americana clip, and dispenses the lines, with no hint of rancor in tone, “Your body is yours to keep and to hold your heart in/ Until your final day finds you departing.” Cervantes basically is saying the lady didn’t try; he’s is calling her out for being unfeeling.

Overall, the CD is a good-natured and pleasant collection of songs with lovely female backup vocals, backed by fine cello and violin parts. Abbors sings the song she wrote, “Nothing Dear,” but the rest of the CD features Cervantes as the lead singer.

“At some point, we knew what was important was long-term progress,” Humphrey said. “We didn’t make decisions based on what was trendy. We made decisions based on what was the best music.

“We wanted to just write good songs.”

Eight songs made the cut

That’s also why the album has only eight songs. Kingdom County was limited to two days in the studio, so members kept only the songs they thought were good enough.

Both Humphrey and Cervantes said they would like to get back to King County someday, but they plan to be here at least a few years.

“Eugene seems like a good incubator for starting a band,” Cervantes said.

And today, there is no danger of stray drumsticks flying through the air between the frontmen.

Cervantes plays an acoustic guitar handcrafted by his friend. Humphrey was busy putting the finishing touches on his own guitar in time for the Thursday CD release.
- The Register-Guard


Ninja (EP) - 2008
Kingdom County (LP) - 2009
All tracks available widely on internet distribution channels (iTunes, Napster, eMusic, Lala, Amie Street) and for free on our myspace ( We have regular airplay on several radio stations in the Pacific Northwest (Eugene, Corvallis, Portland and Seattle).



Kingdom County combines driving acoustic sound rooted in Northwest Indie rock blended with warm folk instrumentation. A unique lyrical style, eclectic tones and strong melodic writing define Kingdom County's sound. With songwriting rooted in the style of early American folk masters like Autry, Guthrie, Dylan and Townes VanZandt, songs come to fruition with simple yet subtle arrangements. Syncopated melodic lines, instrumental counterpoint, a full string section and driving rhythms outline a sound with a dynamic range- capable of blending from a single vocal line into a full band sound within each song. Nicholas and Josh- the primary songwriters- combine interest in a vast range of musical styles- from Northwest indie rock, hardcore and emo to African mbira, rootsy blues to North Indian Classical. Nicholas is a prolific writer and a poet interested in raw representations of honest situations, and Josh is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist who has studied middle eastern Oud, North Indian tabla and Western Music theory. They have been writing music together for over 15 years.