Steve Kaul & the Brass Kings

Steve Kaul & the Brass Kings

 Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
BandAmericanaFolk

Steve Kaul & The Brass Kings are a physical, visual band playing resonator guitar, washtub bass and washboard in stunning new ways. It’s as if a rock band grabbed a jug band’s instruments, welded them together into some kind of giant stomping machine and plugged it all into a wall of amps.

Biography

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.


Lyrics

Insurance Adjuster

Written By: Steve Kaul

Insurance Adjuster won't you come on to my home
My good girl's crying we lost everything we owned

it’s three am feel like I’m three years old
freezing on the frontlawn in the february cold
burned out house down on thirty-eighth street
room after room full of nightmare heat
and chances changed to a charcoal gray
what was gathered together has been swept away

Insurance Adjuster won't you come on to my home
Insurance Adjuster won't you come on to my home
My good girl's crying we lost everything we owned

The best things we had are on the floor in a heap
The smoke hasn’t settled but there's not much to keep
Fires take it all they don’t wait around
Burning and looting with a crackling sound
Really, I didn’t know we had that much stuff
According to the tv you can never have enough

Insurance Adjuster won't you come on to my home
Insurance Adjuster won't you come on to my home
My good girl's crying we lost everything we owned

There’s a book still burnin’ out front in the snow
Buried in the pages is a red hot coal
red hot spark of a firefighters fight
flew from a window in the heat last night
Open up the pages and stand there numb
it’s a copy of fahrenheit 451
Insurance Adjuster won't you come on to my home
Insurance Adjuster won't you come on to my home
My good girl's crying we lost everything we owned

Discography

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