The Brass Kings

The Brass Kings

 Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

The Brass Kings play old-time instruments in unexpected ways. Resonator guitars, washtub bass & washboard chart the Bermuda triangle of old-time, middle-eastern and bluegrass music, shifting from jug-band chug into wild improvisational ragas that blend roots music traditions into a pulsing groove.


The Brass Kings formed in 2005 built around Steve's fingerpicked Guitar and original folk-inspired songs. The physical nature of the Washtub Bass and Washboard make for a great live show, and soon the band was very much in demand, They have released three CD's of original music, traveled across the country and have collaborated with artists from all over the musical map.

Steve Kaul fingerpicks on metal-bodied resonator and acoustic guitars. Using a variety of open tunings, he blends country- blues fingerpicking with world-music influences. He has performed across the US and in Europe including the Intercontinental Guitar Festival in the Czech Republic, The Minnesota Resophonic Guitar Festival, the Newport Guitar Festival and the Healdsburg Guitar Festival.

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, tambourine and pieces of wood.

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 - constantly pushing the limits of what can be done with a washtub bass.