Steve Kaul & the Brass Kings
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Steve Kaul & the Brass Kings

Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States | SELF

Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States | SELF
Band Americana Folk


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Unique multicultural musical fusion"

"I'll forgive you for not realizing country blues could be comfortably married to Eastern music, because I never would've thought of that pairing either. Fortunately, the Brass Kings did…(they) conjure up a unique multicultural musical fusion, one that sounds like very little of what gets labeled "Americana" And thank goodness for that." - Pop Matters

"Timeless lyrics"

"Top-notch songwriting from metal-bodied resophonic guitar player Steve Kaul, and listenable, haunting songs with timeless lyrics make this an album you'll want to play again and again." - How Was the Show

"Johnny Cash reborn as an '80s alt-rocker"

"The disc opens with a cover of "Muleskinner Blues," but the originals cut just as deep… Kaul's got a terrific voice, too, that suggests Johnny Cash reborn as an '80s alt-rocker from Athens, Ga." - St. Paul Pioneer Press

"Disarming wit and charm"

"Their first recording displays a disarming wit and charm reminiscent of the Front Porch Swingin' Liquor Pigs…" - City Pages

"A knee slapping good time"

"The back porch, stripped-down approach of the Brass Kings on their self-titled debut release is refreshing, comforting and a knee-slappin' good time." - Rift Magazine

"A master fingerpicker"

"…the sound of a master fingerpicker on a resonator is still something special. Local guitarist Steve Kaul has a way with the instrument that should appeal to fans of Leo Kottke…" - The Onion

"They're not to be missed"

"One of the most unconventional old-timey stringbands in town, their ferocious, world-influenced rhythms take that old-timey sound down some unusual roads… they're not to be missed." - Pulse Magazine

"Bona-fide local treasure"

"...Kaul steps out as a bona-fide local treasure on this disc, from his dazzling resophonic guitar work in songs such as "17th Crow Wing Lake Breakdown" to his vividly drawn story-songs, including "Northbound" and "Killing Time." - Minneapolis Star Tribune


CD - Steve Kaul & The Brass Kings - Live Humdinger
CD - Steve Kaul & The Brass Kings - Washboard Rope Guitar
CD - Steve Kaul & The Brass Kings - The Brass Kings
CD - Steve Kaul - Solo Guitar
CD - Steve Kaul - Utah Sun
CD - Steve Kaul & The New Grass Heads - Lost Episodes



Steve Kaul & The Brass Kings amaze crowds of all kinds with kinetic energy and the huge amount of sound produced with simple old-time equipment. Building their thumping beats around Steve’s propelling resonator guitar and vocals, Brad and Mikkel use their home-made instruments to chart the Bermuda triangle of punk, old-time and experimental music from jug-band swing to wild improvisational ragas. Not only is this percussive wall of sound astounding but also tight and sinuously mesmerizing as a Persian drum. Blend Middle Eastern, Hawaiian & Funk elements with traditional Folk styles? Yep. Use a butter dish, a refrigerator door, a mop handle and a rope to create music? Done. No one even comes close to their sound.
In six years of touring they have appeared at numerous festivals including the Minnesota State Fair, Rock Bend Folk Festival, Famous Dave’s Blues Festival, Global Roots Music Festival, Resophonic Guitar Festival, North versus South Festival and Boats & Bluegrass. The band has supported David Lindley, Beausoleil, Trampled By Turtles, Pert Near Sandstone, Charlie Parr, Purgatory Hill, Hackensaw Boys, Blueground Undergrass, Greensky Bluegrass, The Crooked Jades, Daisy Mayhem and Boiled In Lead.
The band is currently working in the studio on a fourth disc slated for Spring 2012 release.

- Minneapolis September 2011

Steve Kaul plays fingerstyle on metal-bodied resonator and acoustic guitars. Using a variety of open tunings, he blends country- blues fingerpicking with world-music influences. Steve performs as a solo artist and guitarist in addition to playing with The Brass Kings. He has appeared solo at the Healdsburg Guitar Festival (CA), Newport Guitar Festival (RI), Newport Guitar Festival - Miami (FL), Intercontinental Guitar Festival (CZ), The Minnesota Resophonic Guitar Festival (2001 - 2003) and the Minnesota State Fair (2005) He has appeared in support of songwriters Jimmy Lafave, Tom Russell and Fred Eaglesmith. Steve's music has been covered by other artists and has been featured nationally on Pacifica Radio and NPR, in the score for Zenon Dance Company's 'Six Mile Road' and in the soundtrack for the documentary 'Bill's Big Pumpkins'.

Mikkel Beckmen began playing with guitarists and singers on a case of beer bottles many years ago. He honed his skills playing with a host of great musicians including Charlie Parr and the legendary Greg Brown. His dynamic style is built on an old-time washboard approach and includes polyrhythmic riffs normally associated with tabla drums. He plays a 'Brass King' washboard, refrigerator parts, butter dish, tambourine, Djembe and found objects. Mikkel also performs with other local and touring artists and has been featured on numerous recording projects.

Brad Ptacek plays his homemade washtub bass with a punk-rockers energy - coaxing notes from an instrument most people have a hard time just keeping in tune. Formerly the bass player in the Urban Guerillas, Brad brings a real sense of urgency to this old instrument and gives it a newfound sense of respect. He plays notes and scales, bends lines and summons incredibly low tones and constantly pushes the limits of what can be done with a washtub bass.

Jillian Rae is a classically trained violinist and accomplished fiddler as well. When not touring or in the studio, she teaches and runs her own Music School.

Dave Babb is a longtime guitarist with the Front Porch Swingin' Liquor Pigs and also performs as a solo singer songwriter.