Kings of the Killerfish
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Kings of the Killerfish

Washington, D.C., Washington, D.C., United States | SELF

Washington, D.C., Washington, D.C., United States | SELF
Band Rock Jam




"Kings of the Killer Fish Reunion at Rhythm & Brews"

"Kings of the Killer Fish once ruled not only Chattanooga, but the southeast. The talent was amazing, and this group packed the house on a regular basis."

"Killerfish Reunite"

“These guys were not playing around,” he said of the Cleveland, Tenn.-based jam band, which played its last show in 1998. “When they picked up an instrument with them, it was like the NFL. -


As Kings of the Killerfish:

Through the Door (1998)
Colorblind (1995)

available at -

As individuals:

Paul Henson-

w/ Oteil and the Peacemakers
Believer (2005)
The Family Secret (2003)

w/ The Aquarium Rescue Unit
The Calling (2003)

Jon Steele

w/ Wendell Kimrough
Things that Can't Be Taught (2012)

w/ Kathryn Brunner
Made for Me (2011)

w/ Christy Danner
Turning Corners (2010)

w/ The Tenessee Sheiks
Self Titled (2007)

w/ Satan's Nuisance
Burnt Offering (2005)

w/ Jeorge Stoeffel
The Distance (2004)

w/ Joel Fairstein
Square with the Universe (2003)



The Kings of the Killerfish have been around for about 18 years...and have had about as many members. In the early days, Mark Ingram and Paul Henson wrote songs influenced by sounds of the Allman Bros., Col. Bruce Hampton, and the Grateful Dead. The band also included, Mitch Ward on rhythm guitar, Jonathan Horton on bass and Cleve Rankin on harmonica.

In 1994, the Kings added the explosive chops of Shawn Perkinson on lead guitar. Influenced by Eddie Van Halen and Al Di Meola, he introduced a heavier, more aggressive style to the Kings' front line. About the same time, Kenyatta Westfield came on board as drummer.

"Yattie", is a phenomenon. Check him out on Youtube playing drums and guitar at the same time. (He also plays bass, keyboards, harmonica, and anything else that he spends a little time with). The band's sound changed again under Yattie's killer right foot and hip-hop/gospel roots. This to proved to be so funky that Horton quit, and so Jon Steele came in on bass. The band was about to bust outta Cleveland with one more last minute addition, Jon Whitlock on percussion. The Kings started touring the Southeast.

At that time, Yattie was heavily influenced by the Aquarium Rescue Unit while Shawn and Jon Steele were in and out of jazz school. Jon Whitlock was drifting to the bitter end of a percussion degree and Paul was drifting towards a higher profile gig. And so he did.

Sometime in late 1994, Paul joined the Aquarium Rescue Unit.

Undaunted, the Kings picked up a home town hero on vocals named Hagen Cantrell. Hagen had enough charisma and stage presence to carry the band through the next three years. In this period, they produced two studio albums., "Colorblind" (1995), that included material from the first encarnation of the band and some new material, and "Through the Door" (1998), which included songs written by Hagen (and his girlfriend), Shawn, Jon, Jon, and Yattie.

This became the new standard. They gained quite a following throughout the southeast and shared the stage with the likes of Widespread Panic, Charlie Daniels, 311, and Verticle Horizon. In 1998, they disbanded.

Fast forward 10 years...

By now, Paul Henson had finished his run with ARU and Oteil, Shawn and Jon Steele had finished their degrees, Jon Whitlock was on the road with Cristabel, Yattie became a "stage terrorist", and Hagan was nowhere to be found. Yattie had been talking to Paul and it seemed that a reunion was in the works. In 2008, the Kings played the show that brought them full circle. They played old songs, "Colorblind" and "Through the Door" songs, and songs Paul had written while with Oteil and the Peacemakers.

Now...FINALLY, the band has regrouped in earnest as a tight and highly energetic improvisational quartet with a loyal group of fans. They are once again bringing the sound of heavy-funk grooves, masterful improvs, and crafted forms of original sound to live audiences.