The KingmiXers

The KingmiXers

 Victoria, British Columbia, CAN
BandBluesClassic Rock

THE KINGMIXERS - Dynamite/pro blues; fiery harp, boogie piano; upbeat energetic personalities. Nine Euro tours, with 2017 already in the works. CBC Blues Odyssey Saturday Night Blues, Belgian Beer Fest, Calgary Blues Fest, Islands Folk Fest, Vancouver Island Musicfest, Filberg Festival.

Over the years Gary Preston has played everything from blues joints to festivals, sharing the stage with James Cotton, Louis Meyers, John Hammond, Colin James, Lee Oscar, Otis Rush, and Junior Wells.

Biography

THE KINGMIXERS
All seasoned players; Gary Preston's fiery harmonica, piano and vocals supported by Anita Bonkowski's rhythmic grooves, capped off by David Schade's tasty guitar, and the steady bass of Ron Lukawitski.

The KingmiXers play as a duo, 3 piece, or quartet. No matter the size, you get humor, energy, and a surprising range of blues styles - from lonesome harmonica to New Orleans grooves.

Award Winning CD
FLYBOY was selected by the Victoria Blues Society as "Best Self-produced CD" to represent our area at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis

QUOTES
TASTEFUL PLAYING nicely unpretentious and direct music. I enjoyed hearing you.
Bruce Iglauer, Alligator Records

SERIOUSLY GOOD MUSIC. Jazzy Blues and much more, at its very very best .. my highest rating of 5 stars
John Vermilyea, Blues Underground Network

WOW THIS IS SOME CD! I listen to a lot of CDs in the course of selecting material for my program, I've got to tell you this is one of the best I've listened to in a very long time. I have marked every track for airplay, most of them 4 star on my 4 star rating system. Geoff Pegler, BluesBeat Radio, Australia

MASTERFULLY PLAYED. You can hear echoes of Chicago blues, Delta blues and jump blues, blues-rock ... a good illustration of how diverse this wonderful music can be, especially if it is masterfully played.
Leonid Auskern, Jazz-Quadrat, Belarus

PERFORMANCES
Mainstage at Calgary International Blues Fest, Vancouver Island MusicFest, Islands Folk Festival, The Filberg Festival, Du Maurier International Jazzfest & more.
Performed with top Canadian artists like Carlos Del Junco, David Gogo, Tim Williams, Amos Garrett, David Vest, Big Dave McLean, Suzie Vinnick. 9 tours of Europe, including The Belgian Beer Festival
Radio, TV and special events like CBC Saturday Night Blues, Hornby Island Blues Camp, CBC Blues Odyssey

GARY PRESTON a triple threat on vocals, harmonica and keys, plays blues with a strong personal style. He has performed from Toronto to Detroit to Vancouver, in Europe and the Caribbean. Gary's been a regular headliner at the Vancouver Harmonica Blast, and instructor at the Hornby Island All Star blues camp. He's also been featured at the Winnipeg Folk Festival, Vancouver Island Blues Bash, Calgary International Blues Festival and the International Jazz Festival. Gary's also been heard on CBC Radio, and made numerous other appearances in recordings, jingles, television and radio. Over the years, he's shared the stage with Eric Burdon, James Cotton, Lee Oscar, Colin James, Dutch Mason, The Ray Charles Orchestra, Otis Rush, John Hammond, and Mark DuFresne. Junior Wells, after hearing Gary play, called him: Good - Damn good!

ANITA BONKOWSKI  works nationally and internationally as an instructor, drummer, bassist, composer and arranger. She's played numerous festivals and clubs across North America, Europe and the Caribbean. Her musical performances include events with Johnny Mathis, Englebert Humperdink, and The Moody Blues. Recently she performed in the David Foster Miracle Concert, playing with Sarah McLaughlin, Kenny G, Josh Groban, Ruben Studdard, and The Canadian Tenors. Anita also freelances in jazz and R&B bands, musical theater, and show bands. Anita teaches theory and history of music, as well as  piano, bass, and drums. As a composer and arranger, Anita's pieces are heard on recordings and radio in Canada and the US.

DAVID SCHADE is a brilliant blues guitarist with a unique style. David began a life-long relationship with the blues after being exposed to the music of Elmore James in the 1960s. He was fortunate to have seen club gigs by many of the greatest generation of electric blues players like Howlin' Wolf, Freddie King, Muddy Waters and countless other masters.
After a decade of playing professionally, David became obsessed with understanding the nature of the universe and dropped guitar for 25 years to study physics and astronomy, observe on many of the world's greatest telescopes, and work for Cambridge University and the University of Toronto before coming to Victoria. David believes that science and music are both, fundamentally, the act of people trying to explain the universe to one another.

RON LUKAWITSKI has been playing bass for 35 years and been a bass instructor for 20 years. He's toured extensively, recorded under the Atlantic Records label, opened for acts such as The Byrds, Canned Heat, Rare Earth and Savoy Brown, and toured the world playing on cruise ships. Ron is accomplished in many musical styles including rock, blues, Latin, R & B and jazz. Ron’s talents are the perfect fit for our musical projects. In Ron’s words, “I love the feeling when the group of musicians I'm playing with gels and the music is flowing effortlessly.



Lyrics

I Wish

Written By: Gary Preston

I wish the sky wasn’t high
I wish the ocean wasn’t blue
And, oh, I wish that I
Wasn’t still in love with you.
I wish that rainbows never promised
That ol’ pot of gold
And Lord I wish that I
Still had you to hold.

This old town has got too crowded
This old house has too much room
And the rain just keeps falling
On the weather-beaten roof.
And the fridge still mumbles
The whole night long
And that light bulb still buzzes
Like it’s singing my song.

I wish the sky wasn’t high
I wish the ocean wasn’t blue
And, oh, I wish that I
Wasn’t still in love with you.
I wish that rainbows never promised
That ol’ pot of gold
And Lord I wish that I
Still had you to hold.

Photos on the table
Stained with dust and beers and tears
Flicker in the candle
And dawn is near
So I’m going to the truck stop
For a cup of muddy joe
A warm sip of sorrow
With an oily rainbow.

I wish the sky wasn’t high
I wish the ocean wasn’t blue
And, oh, I wish that I
Wasn’t still in love with you.
I wish that rainbows never promised
That ol’ pot of gold
And Lord I wish that I
Still had you to hold.

Discography

CD #PB103 - The KingmiXers - Riding With Mr. Blues - released 2012. Chock full of great harp, great guitar, great tunes.

CD #PB102 - Bright Lights - Preston & Bonkowski - released 2008. The second great collection of bluesy originals and covers from Preston & Bonkowski.

CD #PB101 - Satisfy Somebody - Preston & Bonkowski - released 2006. Seven originals, and seven covers with blues, New Orleans styles, and a bit of jazz.

Set List

Most full length gigs are 3 sets long, each set lasting about one hour; festival gigs vary - usually from 45 to 60 minutes.
Material includes originals, and blues by artists such as Sonny Boy Williamson, Jimmy Reed, Junior Wells, Ray Charles, Memphis Slim, even a bit of Tom Waits.

Sample cover tunes:
Bright Lights Big City - Jimmy Reed
Bye Bye Bird - Sonny Boy Williamson
Walking Blues - Robert Johnson
Atlanta Moan - Barbecue Bob
Jockey Full Of Bourbon - Tom Waits
Roll Em Pete - Joe Turner & Pete Johnson
What'd I Say - Ray Charles
Lonesome - Memphis Slim
Drive Granny Drive - Rev. Billy C. Wirtz