PLEASURE ISLAND, North Carolina (CelebrityAccess) — Texas blues guitarist Smokin' Joe Kubek died after suffering a heart attack on October 11th. He was 58 at the time of his death.
Kubek died shortly before he was due to take the stage with his longtime musical partner Bnois King were due to take the stage at the Pleasure Island Seafood & Blues Festival in North Carolina, according to a press statement from Kubek's former label, Alligator Records.
Kubek was long a fixture in the Dallas-Forth Worth musical scene. A native of Pennyslvania, Kubek grew up near Dallas and at an early age was gigging in clubs and leading his own bands in the town. By the time he was 19, he had earned a reputation as a blue guitarist and was providing backing for a number of influential blues artists, including Freddie King.
Kubek also worked with R&B singer Al “TNT” Braggs and became friends with many blues luminaries such as Stevie Ray Vaughan and B.B. King, even having an opportunity to play King's famed guitar, Lucille.
“B.B. admired my enthusiasm and he encouraged me, which really meant a lot. When times got hard, I always remembered how B.B. King had given me some encouragement,” Kubek said.
In 1989, Kubek met guitarist/vocalist Bnois King and the two became friends and musical partners.
“I pull the blues out of him, and he pulls the jazz out of me. Bnois knows so much about jazz it’s amazing. Bnois fires me up. We are constantly pushing each other higher, complimenting each other’s solos. But it’s not planned. We never know what we’re going to do until it’s done,” Kubek said of Bnois.
Kubek is survived by his wife, Phyllis. – Staff Writers