The Domino Kings
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The Domino Kings

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Despite personnel changes, The Domino Kings continue to offer some of
the finest traditional country music you’ll hear. Stevie Newman, Les
Gallier, and Richie Rebuth all play guitars here, while David Sowers
handles bass. Like the CD, the guitar parts are short and to the point
– a lesson players (and writers) in many genres would do well to heed
these days.
“Some Kind of Sign” kicks things off just like you’d want them to be
kicked off – punchy, tremeloed chords and breakneck solos push it
along. Check out the chromatic lick toward the end. Whew! There’s
plenty of honky-tonk twangers here that sound great, too. “Walk Away if
You Want To” and “It’s All Over But the Crying” are two-step heaven.
The big, fat solo sound on the latter is an unexpected treat. “Pain In
My Past” is a fun samba, the kind the Mavericks sort of made their own.
Here the guitar work features double- and triple-stops guaranteed to
bring a smile to your face. “A Million Miles From Here” is an acoustic
country tune with twangy double-stops and fine stringbending.
Lyrically, things generally deal with relationships, except for the
finale, “Bridges I’ve Burned.” It’s the extremely heavy tale of a
killer, bound for the electric chair, recounting the sorrow he has
caused. The big guitar solo fits the somber mood.
Fans of country music will love this. Guitaraholics, too. Great care is
taken to make sure all the string work fits the tunes, and sounds
great. - John Heidt


This Springfield, Mo band plays vintage honky-tonk and rockabilly without even the faintest whiff of musty obsolescence. That’s because they sing about stuff that really matters, like all the girls who’ve screwed them over or at least one who did a real number on somebody. Every lie, every infidelity drives the rhythm section deeper into the pocked, and bitterness cuts through songs like the twang in Stevie Newman’s guitar. (3 out of 4 stars) - Brian Mansfield


While lots of bands sing about faithless women, getting even, and going back for more, few do it with as much style as The Domino Kings…They’re equally drunk on heartache and hooch, finding just the right recipe for memorable neo-Bakersfield honky-tonk, with a chaser of hillbilly rock. Smokin’. B+
- Alana Nash


The Domino Kings sound like they threw the country radio out the window of the double-wide in ‘63. A little Luther Perkins, a dab of Don Rich, throw in some Merle, sprinkle liberally with Old Crow and- Poof!- you got a band for your rockin’ roadhouse. - Buzz McClain


The fourth CD from this Springfield, MO combo introduces more personnel changes, but with founding guitarist/singer/songwriter Stevie Newman at the helm, the Kings continue to produce some of the finest country and honky-tonk music around. Changes in bass players and guitarists haven't diluted the Kings' twangy roots in '50s rockabilly, '60s Bakersfield country, and South-of-the-Border tinged balladry ala The Mavericks.

Newman...sings with full-throated conviction on the Tex-Mex shuffle "Pain in My Past." The band plays with the sort of roots-soaked electric fervor of The Blasters on the driving title tune, and swings the honky-tonk on "It's All Over But the Crying." They also unplug for the bluesy acoustic rockabilly of "Don't Want to Do That Again," and dial it down for the western swing weeper "Every Night About This Time" and the murder-ballad "Bridges I've Burned."

The Kings continue to be the most traditional country band on the Springfield scene, and one of the best twang-minded combos in the country. Stevie Newman sticks to the meat-and-potatoes country and honky-tonk that is his forte, but rearticulated with flourishes that keep it fresh. - redtunictroll


The Domino Kings are a kickin’ band out of Springfield, Mo, and their debut on Missouri-based indie Slewfoot Records is a retro country romp with solid original material. Largely influenced by 1960’s power country, The Kings play with vigor and attitude… Guitarist Stevie Newman offers languid country three-quarter weepers like “One More Day”, as well as the driving bluegrass romp “The End of You”. Other winners include… the title cut [“Life & 20“], a spooky Appalachian dirge delivered with mournful style. Much of the star quality here belongs to Newman’s wicked guitar chops, often echoing the styles of axe aces of yore like Don Rich and Luther Perkins. - Ray Waddell


Springfield's Domino Kings, a quartet fronted by master guitar twang-banger Stevie Newman, cover broad stylistic territory, from Bakersfield, California-inspired honky-tonk to Lubbock, Texas-spiced rockabilly.
- Austin American Statesman


Like fellow traditionalists BR549 and Junior Brown, the Springfield, Mo based Domino Kings aren’t just committed to recreating the music of country’s golden age, though they can approximate the prototypical honky-tonk of Ernest Tubb, the highly charged rockabilly of Sun Records era Johnny Cash and the hard country “Bakersfield sound” typified by Buck Owens and Merle Haggard with ease. The band also writes it’s own material, providing a contemporary take on honky-tonk that takes it’s place alongside the music of the vintage era.
- David Kuner


Can’t make it to your favorite road house tonight? Then grab a couple of icy long necks, throw some sawdust on the floor and toss The Domino Kings on the turntable. Turn it up real loud and wait for the neighbors to dance over to join the fun. This Springfield, Mo based band has released the best honky-tonk CD as least since Dale Watson made us all jump up and dance in 1995 with “Cheatin’ Heart Attack”.

- Ed Will


Discography

Some Kind of Sign (2005)- HighTone Records

The Back of Your Mind (2002)- Slewfoot Records

Life & 20 (2000)- Slewfoot Records

Lonesome Highway (1999)- Independent release, licenced to Slewfoot records

Photos

Bio

THE DOMINO KINGS

The Domino Kings are the rockin’est country combo in the Midwest and prominent purveyors of a thriving Missouri roots-music sound. Led by master guitar twang-banger Stevie Newman, they garnered much praise for the three CDs they cut between 1999 and 2002 — Lonesome Highway, Life & 20, and The Back of Your Mind, all produced by Lou Whitney — from critics at such publications as USA Today, The Washington Post, Billboard, and Entertainment Weekly.

Now HighTone Records has released Some Kind of Sign, the Springfield, Missouri-based band’s fourth set of songs. The new Whitney-produced disc covers broad stylistic territory, from Bakersfield, California-inspired honky tonk to Lubbock, Texas-spiced rockabilly, all of it singed by the distinctive DK brand. The 11 tunes are originals, written by Stevie Newman, other group members, and close associates.

The Domino Kings’ music reflects Newman’s deep grounding in country music as a boy in rural Hickory County, Missouri. His mom listened to records by Merle Haggard, George Jones, Bill Monroe, the Stanley Brothers, the Carter Family, and the Happy Goodmans on a daily basis. As a teenager, he began playing guitar on Opry-style concerts throughout Missouri, as well as for the Ginnings Sisters, a gospel-singing group made up of his mom and two aunts. He’s recorded six albums with the trio to date.

"We grew up on songs about God and killin’ and Jesus and mother and killin’," he states.

Yet there was a time when Newman considered giving up on country music. "I was pretty discouraged with music in general in the ‘80s," he says. He even thought about chucking music entirely and concentrating on sports. Then, in early 1987, he heard the Desert Rose Band, Highway 101, and Dwight Yoakam on the radio. "They were all great California bands with hot guitar players playing loud Telecasters. That’s when I said, ‘Wait a minute. That’s cool.’" Other contemporary influences include the Paladins, Foster & Lloyd, the Wagoneers, Rodney Crowell, and Steve Earle.

The Domino Kings were launched in 1993 as a three-piece party band playing rockabilly, blues, country, surf music, and whatever else struck their fancy. By the time of their first recording, however, they’d honed their trademark rockin’ country sound. The band now averages around 200 live dates per year and has headlined festivals in France and Holland.

"While lots of bands sing about faithless women, getting even, and going back for more," Alanna Nash wrote in Entertainment Weekly, "few do it with as much style as the Domino Kings."

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Stevie Newman
Stevie Newman, founder of The Domino Kings, grew up on real music. You know, the good stuff. Born into a musical family, Stevie soaked up the constant exposure to Gospel hymns of the churches his family still attends. He was also struck by the music of Haggard, Jones, Williams, Robbins, Cash, the Carter Family, Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis & KISS.

Taking up guitar at age 14, these influences mixed with countless others to form Stevie’s unique style of playing. Self taught, he plays guitar, lap steel, mandolin & upright bass. Guitar Player Magazine & Vintage Guitar Magazine have interviewed Stevie & profiled his style, in addition to reviewing The Domino Kings albums.

Stevie’s songwriting style is as unique as his guitar playing. His appreciation for styles ranging from English & Scottish folk ballads all the way to rock & roll, his rural Baptist Missouri upbringing & his love of literature combine to form a style & point of view all his own.

Bobby Lloyd Hicks
Bobby Lloyd is one of the finest drummers alive today, & that's no exaggeration. His most recent gig was a 12 year run in Dave Alvin's band, The Guilty Men. Before that, he was (& still is) the drummer for the Skeletons. Bobby Lloyd has opened for Bob Dylan & played Madison Square Garden on more than one occasion, first in Granny's Bathwater, backing up the great Martha Reeves. He's also a fantastic singer.

Neil Dirickson
From Tulsa Oklahoma, Neil Dirickson's talents only begin with the bass licks he plays in The Domino Kings and add to the groups versatility. Neil is also the singer, songwriter, guitar player & leader of Tulsa's own great rock & roll band, Nude Furniture. Did we mention he also rocks on the drums?

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For media information on the Domino Kings, please contact conqueroo:

Cary Baker (818) 501-2001 cary@conqueroo.com