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Judge for Kingdom Brothers

St. Louis, MO
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Portrait of Kingdom Brothers
"We're usin' the blues to spread the News."

Kingdom Brothers, the red-hot electric blues band from St. Louis, MO credits its great sound to the timeless influences of the great blues icons - Albert King, Muddy Waters, Otis Rush, Eric Clapton - to name a few, and the sweet harmonies of gospel groups like The Blind Boys of Alabama and the Dixie Hummingbirds.

With the powerful vocal duo of Tom Wilson and Chris Shepherd, a solid rhythm section, and some tastefully smokin' guitar and keyboard magic, Kingdom Brothers creates a memorable sound you'll want to hear over and over again. Toss in that Ron Roskowske bottleneck slide, crank it to eleven, and you'll be looking for tickets to their next show.

When blues veteran and Kingdom Brothers’ founder Bob Walther formed the group in 2005, he wanted to do something really different on the St. Louis music scene.

“What you will not hear in our set list is ‘Sweet Home Chicago’ and ‘Rock Me Baby’,” says Walther. “Both are fine songs but can be heard seven nights a week in every blues club in the area. Instead, we cover our favorite cuts by the blues greats.”

A fresh approach was a bit risky but has paid huge dividends for the band. Also featured in Kingdom Brothers’ set list are traditional gospel/blues numbers, and Kingdom Brothers’ original songs, which include the title track from the band’s 2008 CD release "Shine a Light", continue to win listeners over as well.

Notable local Kingdom Brothers’ events have included a TV appearance on KNLC Channel 24; a July 4th ‘08 main stage performance in Granite City before an estimated crowd of five-thousand; two very successful nights at BB's Jazz, Blues and Soups; an appearance on the blues stage at the 2010 Taste of St. Louis, and two recent blow-out shows at Harrah's Casino.

The line up of lead guitarist Roskowske, vocalist Wilson and bassist Walther have logged a combined one-hundred-five years of major blues performances. Roskowske, easily recognized for his high-intensity electric leads and smooth bottle-neck slide solos, is just as comfortable accompanying Wilson’s soulful vocals with some tasteful flat-top work, a la Robert Johnson. And Walther spent years alongside the piano legend Johnnie Johnson. Stan Gill, a veteran keyboardist and formerly the stage manager for a major label, singing songwriter/guitarist Shepherd, and award-winning drummer JR Payne round out the group.

"Shine a Light" is receiving FM radio play on four continents and has received excellent reviews here in the U.S. and in Europe. Kingdom Brothers continues to be a major crowd draw in St. Louis as they expand their listener base beyond just hardcore blues fans.