The Kingmakers
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The Kingmakers

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada | SELF

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada | SELF
Band Rock Blues


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



"Review in Blue Suede News magazine (USA)"

The Kingmakers - "Last Night In Nashville"

When it comes to selecting a recording studio, The Kingmakers go right to the source of their inspiration. Hailing from Ottawa, Canada, the four-piece Rockabilly Swing outfit traveled to Memphis to record their first album at Sun Studio.

While that experience may be hard to top, the group set their sights on Nashville for their latest effort, and booked time at Jack Clement’s Cowboy Arms Hotel and Recording Spa. They further linked into the Sun heritage by bringing onboard drummer J.M. Van Eaton and vocal group The Jordanaires for guest contributions. With these elements in place, The Kingmakers recorded Last Night In Nashville in one hectic session, overseen by Clement himself. This sort of pilgrimage could be seen as a gimmick (it sure makes for good PR!), or might result in predictable retreads of classic material, but The Kingmakers come out of it with a strong set of recordings that capture the group’s own identity intact. Last Night In Nashville maintains a “live off the floor” feel, with snippets of studio banter, false starts, and alternate takes included to capture some of the studio atmosphere. The band sound at the top of their game, well rehearsed, and ready to rock. Their music absorbs a variety of influences without sticking too closely to any specific genre. There are echoes of Rockabilly heard throughout, most evident in the lively “Eight-Ton Jack,” and Van Eaton’s song “Memphis in ‘55” directly references the glory days of early Rock ‘n’ Roll.

The hoppin’ “Saturday Night” is a horn-driven swing outing, while “Women and Weather” bounces to a Zydeco beat. The vocal harmonies by The Jordanaires lend a gospel feel to “Well Well Michelle” and “Annabelle,” both highlights of the album. The Kingmakers made the most of their brief visit to Nashville, and their sun-baked rootsy Rock ‘n’ Roll sound is well documented on this collection.
- David S. Faris - Blue Suede News

"Radio Airplay and Charts"

March 2011
Thanks to The X in Kamloops and Jack Velvet in Vancouver for the airplay!

Feb. 2011 - over 1,000 fans on Facebook!

Jan. 2011

The Kingmakers "Last Night In Nashville" charting on CKLU Thunder Bay, CHRW London and CKDU Halifax (last week) and thanks to Jack Velvet in BC for more airplay!

The Kingmakers re-enter the roots/country chart in London. Thanks for the spins folks!!!!
!earshot : charts : CHRW 94.9 MHz - London ON : 18/01/2011

The Kingmakers #18 in Halifax. Thanks for the support!
!earshot : charts : CKDU 88.1 MHz - Halifax NS : 18/01/2011

December 2010

Big thanks also to Jack Velvet at CITR in Vancouver. Back to back spins on his morning radio show "Suburban Jungle" heard Wednesday mornings from 8-10am Pacific!

Special thanks to our friends at CJSW in Calgary! Entered the top 50 at #44. Kraft Dinner here we come!!!
CJSW – Charts - Calgary's Independent Radio 90.9 FM

November 2010

The Kingmakers "Last Night In Nashville" #18 on the national folk/roots/blues chart for November! Thanks for all your support! Juno here we come! ;-) - March 2011

"The Kingmakers "a must have" for fans of the SUN sound"

Rockabilly Online reviews The Kingmakers "Last Night In Nashvlle", says it's "a must have" for fans of the SUN sound - - Rockabilly Online (Holland/Netherlands)

"Kickin' Cuts"

In their "Kickin' Cuts" column, Country Music People magazine (UK) says The Kingmakers "Well, Well Michelle" and "Water and Wine" are "Swingin' country/rockabilly pulled off with aplomb" - Country Music People magazine (UK) March 2011

"Ottawa Citizen Article"

The Kingmakers received a half-page writeup in the Ottawa Citizen newspaper for their CD release of Tupelo To Memphis, in the June 4th edition. Please see the full article here:
- Ottawa Citizen

"Live Appearance on Beale St., Memphis"

Video of The Kingmakers performing at Blues City Cafe in Memphis, Tennessee after recording their debut CD at SUN Studio earlier the same day: - Youtube

"Press and Media Summary"

Interviewed on CBC Radio 1 by Adrian Harewood on "All In A Day" re: debut CD release. Regular airplay on CBC Radio 1 and Radio 2

Featured in Ottawa Citizen in entertainment section for release of second CD

Featured in Kitchissippi Times

Live performance on CHUO FM radio

CD review in Ottawa XPress (see separate entry)

Debut CD charted on CJSW (Calgary) and CIUT (Toronto) - Various

"Ottawa XPress Review"

June 11th, 2009
The Kingmakers - (Independent)
Tupelo to Memphis

In 2007, Ottawa’s rockabilly royalty the Kingmakers, hoping to soak in some inspiration, booked time in the shrine of Sun Studios to record last year's “Live At Sun Studio”. Literally breathing in history, the all shook up trio, not surprisingly, parlayed their collective wide eyed wonder into a rousing debut. For the follow up," Tupelo to Memphis", the group wrote all original material and set up shop in its own home studio. No bona fide King and Phillips aura in the air? No problem. In fact, the Kingmakers, thankfully no less inspired, sound rough and ready throughout, their vintage vibe flaunting a certain new found, reckless abandon: the greasy rockabilly burns hotter, the six string twang soars, and the pliant rhythm whomp, at once loose and assertive, jumps with the authority of a band no longer looking back in the reverant rearview mirror.

But what stands out most about "Tupelo To Memphis" is the breadth of it's rockabilly roots: much like the Paladins nearly three decades before them, The Kingmakers-vocalist Clark Lawlor, guitarist John Cormier, and bassist Steve Donnelly joined by drummer Bobby Primeau-dig well beyond the sheer rock of rockabilly, keeping faith with the blues, Bakersfield country, grooving west coast R&B, and shades of swinging jazz.

4 stars (out of 5) - Ottawa XPress (Steve Baylin)


"Last Night In Nashville" (2010) Recorded at Cowboy Jack Clement's studio in Nashville TN, with guests The Jordanaires and JM Van Eaton (Jerry Lee Lewis' drummer). Another collection of originals inspired the rockabilly legends of SUN Records.

“Tupelo To Memphis” (2009) - inspired by the band’s pilgrimage to Memphis and the voyage of Elvis and many other greats from obscurity to stardom. Featuring 13 original tunes. Reached #6 on national folk/roots/blues chart, runner-up for best folk/roots album of 2009 in Best of Ottawa awards.

“Live At SUN Studio” (2008) - recorded “live off the floor” at the legendary SUN Studio in Memphis, Tennessee.

Featured in the Ottawa Citizen and Ottawa Xpress. Interviewed on CBC Radio 1 "All In A Day". Several songs featured on CBC Radio 1 and Radio 2 Drive as well as university radio. Charted or charting on CFRC Kingston, CKXU Lethbridge, CJSW Calgary, CIUT Toronto, and CHUO Ottawa.



This rockabilly jump-jive band from Ottawa Canada has travelled to both Nashville and Memphis Tennessee to record their 3rd and 1st albums, respectively. "Live at SUN Studio", their debut CD of classic covers and originals, was recorded at legendary SUN Studio, the birthplace of rock and roll. A year later they released their second CD "Tupelo To Memphis" containing 15 original tunes, and continued to thrill audiences with their wickedly engaging show. Their third album "Last Night In Nashville" was recorded at country music hall of famer Jack Clement's studio, and features guest appearances by some other notable music legends: The Jordanaires (country music hall of fame inductees) and JM Van Eaton (most-recorded musician at SUN Studio and drummer on Jerry Lee Lewis and Billy Riley's early hits).

Their second and third albums were both nominated for best of Ottawa awards, and both charted (or are currently charting) on the national folk/roots/blues chart compiled from campus and community radio stations across the country.

The Kingmakers play a fiery brand of rockabilly and jump-jive with blues, country and swing influences. They put on a killer live show featuring matching suits, upright bass stunts and spins, and killer tunes. They’re sure to get even the quietest crowd up on their feet.

Featuring the solid thump of the upright "doghouse" bass and the echoing twang of the big hollow-body electric guitar, The Kingmakers ignite the stage with the sound, look and feel of vintage rockabilly, following in the footsteps of greats like Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins but adding a modern twist. It's music for the ages, that appeals to all ages. A mix of rockabilly hipsters, psychobilly punks and some older generation rockers reliving their youth, can all be found bopping along at The Kingmakers compelling live shows.

Never shy and always eager to please, the Kingmakers leave audiences begging for more.


The Kingmakers recently travelled to Nasvhille TN to record at Cowboy Jack Clement's studio, with The Jordanaires guest-starring on 2 tracks and legendary drummer JM Van Eaton appearing on three. Their first album took them to Memphis Tennessee to record at legendary SUN Studio, after which they performed on world-famous Beale St. with The Dempseys (who were featured in the Johnny Cash biopic Walk The Line). Veterans of acts such as Jimmy George. The Lowbellies, Mystic Zealots, Jr. Gone Wild, The Town Cryers and many more, members of The Kingmakers have played virtually every pub, bar and stage in the Ottawa area and at venues across the country, as well festivals such as Westfest, Mariposa, Canadian Music Week, MusicWest, Northern Lights, the Ottawa Folk Festival, and many more.

The Kingmakers recently performed in front of thousands at the Westfest outdoor festival, as well as to sold-out crowds two years in a row at the annual Elvis Sighting Society Black Tie Beanfest.