The Blues Kings


"Jay Wilkins paints his jabbing, slicing harmonica riffs in gorgeous blue tones, and Jeff Hester's guitar work is subtle and strong, echoing the Chicago masters." (~Jeff Calvin, Blues Revue, June 2001)

"This is a great disc (The Blues Kings first CD) to put into the player and cruise…in the car, around the house, at work, anywhere the desired mood is relaxed, easy and uncomplicated. The subtleties are evident if listened for, but woven seamlessly into the delivery. The ensemble playing is fluid and choice of material well suited to these talented musicians. This is my kind of music. I highly recommend it." (~Terry Marshall, Blues On Stage)

"For fans of 1950's Chicago Blues, this stripped down, four-piece outfit does a credible job of recreating a vintage sound."
(~ Craig Ruskey, Blues On Stage review of "Keep On Rollin'")

"The Blues Kings are about the "real deal": traditional blues....This band is a joy to listen to and watch....Gigging is clearly in their blood.....Wilkins has a very fine voice and adds to the buoyant atmosphere with his ready smile. Get out and see this band soon - they are a pile of fun!
(~ Ann Wickstrom, Live review from Blues On Stage)

Band Bio
Although they shouldn't be, the Blues Kings are something of a rarity today: a band that plays authentic traditional electric blues - and they do it very well. Their style ranges from straight ahead Chicago (the Chess sound of the 1950's) to Louisiana swamp blues to west coast jump blues. But what makes them authentic?

Start with the foundation: Jack Taylor (bass) and Dave Larson (drums) are long time fixtures on the Twin Cities blues scene. They have played in more bands than we can list here, and they both know a thing or two about blues. Namely, when to play and when not to play. They have mastered the art of "keeping it simple," never overplaying like many less seasoned players will do.

Add to this foundation a front man who is a triple threat (voice, harmonica, song writing). Jay W. Wilkins is also a veteran of the Minneapolis/St. Paul blues scene. His harp stylings can stand up to just about anybody in an overcrowded field of talented blues harmonica players. His fat amplified tone is reminiscent of the late Big Walter Horton, or modern masters such as Kim Wilson. In modern blues music there are many good instrumentalists, but good singers are in short supply. Jay's vocals are convincing and strong and his songs are well crafted, with great lyrics and heavy on the groove.

Rounding out this foursome is guitarist Jeff Hester. Experience has taught him that having the licks is important, but without good tone its all just noise. His equipment of choice is crucial to his tone formula: mostly old Fender tube amps and vintage hollow body guitars. But vintage gear and tone are only part of what makes a great blues guitarist. The rest is a combination of talent, years of hard work, and a passion for the music. One listen tells you that Hester has all of these.

So there you have it. The formula for an authentic traditional electric blues band. Within the beautiful confines of this art form known as traditional blues, don't be surprised if the Blues Kings start a few traditions of their own. (~Paul Rossez)

For Booking Information Contact:
Jeff Hester: 763-531-0669 or

Order CDs
Keep On Rollin'
The Blues Kings Music, © 2003
and the first CD
The Blues Kings
$13.00 each (includes postage and handling) to:

To order a Blues King CD contact Jay W. Wilkins at: Email

Listen to some sound clips from the CD

  1.  Boggie (Walter Jacobs)
  2.  Sweet Lovely (Jay Wilkins)
  3.  How Many More Years (Chester Burnet)
  4.  Bobby Sox Baby (J. West, James Moore)
  5.  Last Night (Walter Jacobs)
  6.  Everyday I Have The Blues (Peter Chatman)
  7.  Keep On Rollin' (Jay Wilkins)
  8.  Bye, Bye, Baby (Aaron Walker)
  9.  Saw You See Me (Jay Wilkins)
  10.  One More Chance With You (Walter Jacobs)
  11.  Hard Hearted Woman (Walter Horton)
  12.  She's Crazy (Jay Wilkins)
  13.  Too Many Drivers (trad.)
  14.  Yeay, Yeah Baby (Jay Miller)


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