King Washington
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King Washington

Los Angeles, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2007 | SELF | AFTRA

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF | AFTRA
Established on Jan, 2007
Band Rock Folk




"King Washington: Creating a New American Sound"

Finishing up a 10-week tour across the country, King Washington landed at Rogue Bar in Scottsdale on Dec. 9. The Los Angeles-based band has been hard at work garnishing fans, press, and turning out a sound that stands out against the rest.

Many bands today claim to be inspired by past greats like Queen or the Beatles, but King Washington successfully fuses the sounds of the '60s and '70s with contemporary indie-rock flavor. But rehash it is not -- their sound is fresh and wholly their own.

They opened their set at the Rouge with a bluesy number that made you sit up and listen, progressing into a juicy rock set with "Don’t Expect My Love" -- a toe-tapper reminiscent of Kiss and Led Zeppelin.

Shifting down to a softer sound with "Animal," they combined dreamy guitar rifts that evoked lazy summer days at the beach with delicious harmonies that we could listen to for days. If Peter, Paul, and Mary had ever decided to become a rock band they could have taken notes from King Washington, who also mixes in hints of Santana and Cake, breathing new life into the classic SoCal sound.

The trick for any new band is to create their own sound, and King Washington has done that. Their fusion of rock, folk, indie, blues and pop is so effortless that they can be easily credited with creating a “new” American sound.

That could be due in part to their lineage, which runs with music greatness. Guitarist and vocalist Tyson Kelly is the son of songwriting Hall of Famer Tom Kelly ("True Colors," "I'll Stand by You" and "Like a Virgin").

King Washington hit the L.A. music scene in 2009 with Kelly, George Krikes (guitar and vocals) and Billy Lee (bass and vocals). It was a test of perseverance to get their debut album "Gears" released in 2012, after which they took a break from music. In 2013 they released their second album "The Overload" to wide acclaim. It is the kind of album worth sinking into and stays with you for days. Supposedly a third album is in the works as well as a residency at Rockwood Music Hall in New York City.

You can find their music online at - East Valley Tribune

"In an ideal world, King Washington would be topping the pop charts with this release. Highly melodic and intellectual without isolating the listener... this quartet have far more on offer than their musical ancestors; the members of King Washington are sc"

Hailing from Los Angeles, California, King Washington release their debut album ‘The Gears’ just in time for the summer: cue convertibles with roofs down and stereos high. Due to their polished brand of rock ‘n’ roll, comparisons with west-coast giants of yesteryear are easy to make, but this quartet have far more on offer than their musical ancestors; the members of King Washington are scholars in the arts. ?

Lead singer and principal songwriter Tyson Kelly may be the son of Tom Kelly (the man behind such hits as Madonna’s ‘Like a Virgin’ and The Bangles ‘Eternal Flame’) but he has credentials of his own. Not only a graduate of the New York Film Academy, Kelly is a forerunner in the niche market that is the Beatles tribute act, being one of the most sought after John Lennon impersonators in the world. Kelly’s cohorts Dylan Cronin, George Krikes and Kyle Turek are no less impressive. Cronin, King Washington’s bassist, is a multi-instrumentalist with a degree from the Studio Jazz Guitar program at USC’s Thornton School of Music, while Krikes, the lucid lead guitarist of the group, also has a degree from the same school. Both accomplished vocalists, their warm harmonies create the melodic backbone of the King Washington sound. Turek completes the foursome with his consummate, driving percussion.

Simultaneously intelligent and listenable, the album takes a large chunk of its material from the band’s ‘Part Of It’ EP released earlier this year. The opening title track starts proceedings with a gentle guitar as harmonised vocals bleed into the mix. The vocal refrain “You and I were part of it” then signals the moment at which the band kick off. The listener is taken on a sonic ride that sounds familiar, but undoubtedly new and refreshing. Fluid guitar coupled with a genuinely catchy melody and a thumping rock backing makes for an arresting cut. To top it off, there’s a superb guitar solo from Krikes, who is able to mix the feel of Eric Clapton and the technicality Eddie Van Halen with an added restraint that eluded both those players. His playing may be the highlight of the album.

‘Fourth of July’ starts with a dirty blues-rock groove, before descending into a surf rock extravaganza. A harpsichord, courtesy of Cronin, adds an extra layer to an already interesting chorus. Other standout tracks include ‘Bawl and Change’ that plays with time signatures and the gloriously swelling ode to guitars ‘Rosewood Angel’.

In an ideal world, King Washington would be topping the pop charts with this release. Highly melodic and intellectual without isolating the listener, one would hope that the masses would identify with these 12 tracks (sadly, this writer has little faith in the masses). This is a fascinating, if repetitive, debut, and the future looks bright for this quartet. -

""(The Gears is) a fine new flavor for fans who think indie-rock is too indie for its own good." - BUZZBANDS.LA"

With its comfortable mix of Americana-blues and harmony-laden pop-rock, young L.A. quartet King Washington won’t score many points for coloring outside the lines. But “The Gears” — the band’s debut album, out June 5 — never suffers from lack of execution, thanks to sharp guitar work and crystalline vocals. At the front is 24-year-old Tyson Kelly, who the bio tells us is an in-demand John Lennon impersonator and who our eyes and ears confirm is right for the job. Tangentially, Kelly is the son of Songwriters Hall of Famer Tom Kelly, who with Billy Steinberg co-wrote hits for the likes of Cyndi Lauper, Madonna and the Bangles — and who played in the original Fools Gold [because of their association with my fellow Peorian Dan Fogelberg, that record remains in the Buzz Bands LA collection]. “The Gears’” lineage is easy to trace, which makes it either the perfect Father’s Day gift or a fine new flavor who fans who think indie-rock is too indie for its own good. - Buzzbands LA

""King Washington proved to be one of the best bands playing in L.A., and probably anywhere else for that matter.""

By Veronica Sano

Let me start off this article by saying that King Washington is the best band that I have heard in a LONG time. This past thursday night I had the pleasure of seeing them rock out at famous Molly Malones. I wasn’t exactly sure what I was getting myself into. The preliminary myspace music check was pretty good but a lot of times bands sound better on myspace then they do live and in color so…I walked in expecting the worst. BUT, to my absolute delight, King Washington proved to be one of the best bands playing in L.A., and probably anywhere else for that matter.
They started everything off with a great 3-piece vocal harmony, which made the audience cheer with delight. I mean, how often do you get to go to a show and have EVERY SINGLE MEMBER of the band sing? And not only sing….but sing well. I was so into the different rhythms they had going on through the entire set. They started off with a groovy tune, showcasing the bands style and vocal ability, and by the end of it, the crowd was theirs.
King Washington has a weekly gig at Molly Malones and its no wonder because if any band could get people to keep coming back for a good time, its these guys. There was no pretentiousness, no loud distorted nonsense, no mediocre vocals or retarded, throwaway lyrics. In every single aspect, they put on a HELL of a show. They were on for an hour and looking around, I could see that people were riveted by the performance going on in front of them. The sound was pretty good there and it just made this four-some shine even more.
Upon first seeing them, they reminded me totally of the Beatles. Interestingly enough, the front man plays John in a Beatles cover band. However, as the show progressed, their sound proved to be original and all their own. They mixed their up beat numbers with perfectly placed ‘slower’ tunes that when played with the power of their vocals, really brought the house down.
I must tell you all how much you should go and see this band. I promise that you will be not only impressed by their musician ship, but you will leave a fan that has their catchy melodies etched into your brain until the next Monday. Even if you’re not into this kind of music, I plead that you support the real talent of this city so that they’ll continue to set new bars for what it means to put on a live show in Los Angeles. -

""(King Washington's music) is a unique undiminished experience which goes on to unfold the emotions that even the best of King Washington's modern-peers could not produce.""

"(King Washington's music) is a unique undiminished experience which goes on to unfold the emotions that even the best of King Washington's modern-peers could not produce."

*click link for full article -

""Simply put, The Gears IS something special... Retro sure, but retaining an almost timeless appeal, this is a fine, fine record indeed.""


*Click link for full article. -

""King Washington appeals to fans spanning across four decades...""

Several years ago, the L.A.-based band King Washington impressed us with their debut EP, “Grenadine” (review here). On June 5, the band will release the first full-length record called “The Gears”, which builds from the acclaimed sound they managed to capture on “Grenadine” – a cross between the Beatles and Beach Boys with a hint of angst.

King Washington consists of Tyson Kelly (guitars/vocals), George Krikes (guitars/vocals), Dylan Cronin (bass/vocals), and Kyle Turek (drums/vocals). As you will notice, all of these guys lend vocal support, which explains the abundance of lush harmonies throughout each song – one of the key things you are sure to remember about King Washington. Together with their knack for moody melodies, the amazing harmonies create an otherworldly listening experience. At times you will feel like you’re back in the 60s, but then the next track sounds unequivocally contemporary. Helping with the creation of this atmospheric sound palate is Grammy-Award winning producer Joe Puerta (Ambrosia, Bruce Hornsby).

By far and away, the stand out track is the lead off and title track, “The Gears” – what a terrific creation. Soaring vocals surrounded by melodious guitar riffs usually make for a memorable listening experience, but what puts this song over the top is a catchy hook. While little else on the record made such an immediate impression, there are some gems here that surface after a few spins. Breezy verses flank an uplifting chorus on “Fourth Of July” and the witty “Bawl and Chain” masterfully incorporates 70s rock influences. The mandolin adds a nice touch to the syncopated beat that propels “Anybody Home”.

If you’re in the mood for something mellow, try “Right On”, “IGBR”, or “Fancy.” The subtle arrangements of these tunes make the harmonies stand out even more, at times reminding me of Crosby, Stills, and Nash.

King Washington should appeal to music fans spanning across 4 decades – check them out for a unique listening experience that you’ll be hard pressed to find anywhere else today. -

""(The Gears) is a lucious album full of longing and serious chops... Their sound is nothing short of hypnotic""

I gotta get my hands on this, King Washington's debut album, The Gears. The band is out of Los Angeles, and their sound is nothing short of hypnotic. Love the vocals, love the harmonies, love the texture to the music. Yes they have been compared to The Beatles, which is not such a bad thing if you bring something new to it, which King Washington does. The album came out yesterday, and was produced by the band and Grammy-Award winner Joe Puerta. This is a luscious album full of longing and serious chops. Today's video is
for the song "Bawl and Change." The storyboard for it is a tad on the strange side, but the tune totally rocks. -

"King Washington Live at Molly Malones"

Molly Malone’s has a warm atmosphere which is accommodating to this bands’ unique Style and genre. Just a few minutes into King Washington’s set and it becomes obvious why they have a residency here. There is a nice crowd for a Thursday, very relaxed and grooving to the well-crafted songs and fantastic harmonies that are delivered at just the right volume to appreciate every bit of their talent. One can almost imagine stepping back in time 40 years or so to hear incredible harmonies from songs obviously influenced from a time gone by. From the punchy guitar sounds on “I get By” to “Angela”, it’s easy to get lost and imagine you are watching The Ed Sullivan show, with all the best musical elements from the past. Interactive with the audience and each other, they switch off vocals and even instruments because they can. “Why” has the ability to send one’s mind off into memories of summer nights enjoying life in all its splendor. After forty minutes of aural pleasure it’s obviously not the kind of set where you drown your sorrows in beer and these guys work better than Zoloft as an antidepressant. All this is complemented by a venue that itself has the look of a 50’s hangout for the best of songwriter’s and poets from an era long past. -


The Overload LP - August 27, 2013
Don't Expect My Love - Single

The Gears LP - June 5, 2012
Bawl & Change - Single

Grenadine EP - 2009
I Get By - Single



Saturated in complex harmonies and intelligent chord progressions alike, the music of King Washington is a throwback to when rock n' roll was a songwriter's game, consistently being praised for "bringing a return to true songwriting" (Rapt Magazine). Combining the vocal styles and songwriting ethos of classic writers of yore, with the angst and adventure of growing up in 1990's Los Angeles, King Washington's music lives amongst the precious realm of fully unexpected yet somehow familiar rock n' roll. 

King Washington was born in late 2005 by a then eighteen-year old Tyson Kelly, son of pop songwriting legend and Hall of Fame member Tom Kelly. With the additions of George Krikes (guitar, vocals) and Billy Lee (bass, vocals) the band sprouted and became a Los Angeles indie music scene staple. Since then the band has charged the LA music scene with the release of their debut LP, The Gears, on June 5th, 2012. 

The story of the creation of The Gears is a trying one, filled with record label feuds and a year and a half of cross-country flights to record, arduous recording contract negotiating and in the end an album that was unable to be finished, nor released by the label, forcing KW back to square one. The band immediately decided to initiate a Kickstarter campaign and, with the help of their fans, were able to fund the entire re-recording of The Gears. 

The Gears LP was recorded over a twelve-day, finger-blistering stint at the Exchange Studios in Milwaukee, WI in late summer 2011. Produced by Ambrosia's Joe Puerta, the album quickly became acclaimed by critics and fans alike. "In an ideal world, King Washington would be topping the charts with The Gears. Highly melodic and intellectual without isolating the listener." ( The album showcases a quality and range of songwriting contemporary music has not been exposed to in recent memory. The album manages to be progressive in its writing while still maintaining a pop sensibility the average listener can grasp. The result is a fan-base and demographic as broad as the spectrum allows, while maintaining the envied respect of musicians and critics alike.

Shortly after the Gears was released the band took a six month hiatus, not sure of what the future held.  With an entire new record under their belts, they booked time at their favorite studio "The Exchange" in Milwaukee. They knocked out tracking instruments in ten days and headed back to LA to finish vocals, this time working with long time friend Alex Pfender as mixer and producer.  "The Overload" dropped in August of 2013 and received much praise.  

"King Washington are back with their second offering, an album that is sure to make your ears perk up with excitement. From the layered harmonies that weave amongst melodies that soothe and excite with equal measure, The Overload welcomes you in like and old friend." - Room Thirteen

King Washington is currently in the works of writing their third release and has been touring the nation heavily in 2014, opening for artists such as Crash Kings, Michael McDonald, Ambrosia, Peter Asher, The Georgia Satellites, Denny Laine and Arctic Monkeys.  

Band Members