Another Texas axeman from the old school, Smokin' Joe Kubek was already playing his smokin' guitar on the Lone Star State chitlin circuit at age 14, supporting such musicians as Freddie King. He soon formed his own band and began playing a number of bars across Dallas. In the '80s he met guitarist/vocalist Bnois King, a native of Monroe, Louisiana, and the duo formed the first edition of the Smokin' Joe Kubek Band, which began playing the rest of the Southwest in the late '80s. In 1991 they signed to Bullseye Blues, releasing their debut, Steppin' Out Texas Style, the same year. Following its release, the band launched its first national tour. For the rest of the '90s, the Smokin' Joe Kubek Band frequently toured the United States and issued records like 1993's Texas Cadillac, 1996's Got My Mind Back, and 2000's Bite Me.
In 2003 Kubek and Bnois King released Roadhouse Research on the Blind Pig label. The duo's second release for Blind Pig, Show Me the Money, came out in 2004. A single-disc collection of some of the best tracks from the Bullseye Blues years, Served Up Texas Style, came out in 2005. A third album from Blind Pig Records, My Heart's in Texas, was released in 2006. Another joint effort with King, Blood Brothers, appeared in 2008. Kubek and King followed it with Have Blues Will Travel in 2010; Close to the Bone: Unplugged and Let the Right Hand Go..., both in 2012; and Road Dog's Life in 2013. Tragically, Kubek died on October 11, 2015 after suffering a heart attack shortly before he was scheduled to take the stage at a festival near Wilmington, North Carolina. He was 58 years old. ~ Bill Dahl