The Cash Box Kings – Oscar’s Motel
The Cash Box Kings – Oscar’s Motel
Format: CD – Vinyl LP
Label: Alligator Records
Release date: March 17, 2023
The Cash Box Kings proudly carry on the raw, gritty Chicago Blues tradition, updating the Windy City sound with penetrating, witty songwriting, combined with streetwise vocals, powerhouse harmonica, stinging guitar and the old-school Chicago Blues ensemble sound.
‘Oscar’s Motel’ will be available (on CD and translucent yellow vinyl LP) on March 17, 2023, so please hold airplay and reviews until close to that date. However, the wickedly sly title track will be released as a single on February 17, for both radio and streaming.
According to Living Blues magazine, The Cash Box Kings “are one of the best blues bands in the land.” The group is co-led by Chicago blues vocalist and songwriter Oscar “Mr. 43rd Street” Wilson, and Madison, Wisconsin-based harmonica giant, songwriter, and singer Joe Nosek. Wilson’s huge, “real deal” blues vocals and Nosek’s blistering harmonica, along with an all-star band, fuel their razor-sharp original songs and always-insightful reinventions of obscure blues classics.
For Oscar’s Motel, Joe and Oscar and their friends have composed nine fresh and fun new original songs. According to Joe, “While we are never afraid to tackle any subject, we decided to put aside everyday problems and have a bit more fun. So, no songs about Covid this time and nothing too political. Our goal was to have Oscar’s Motel be a celebration, an open invitation to leave your troubles behind and have a carefree, down-home, good time.” Their original songs range from the subtly lascivious title track to I Can’t Stand You, the hilarious duet with Chicago blues diva Deitra Farr, to Down On The South Side, Oscar’s true-life memories of the glory years of the Black community’s blues scene, with all the characters drawn from his own experiences. (Oscar’s blues credentials are very real. He grew up on the South Side, where his home was the scene of blues house parties with the likes of Junior Wells, Honeyboy Edwards, and Elmore James jamming in the family’s living room). In addition to the originals, they create exciting, true blue versions of Sonny Boy Williamson’s Pontiac Blues and Muddy Waters’ Please Have Mercy. Along with Wilson and Nosek, the crack band includes venerated guitarist Billy Flynn, Blues Music Award-winning drummer Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith, Japanese keyboard prodigy Lee Kanehira and in-demand bassman John W. Lauler, plus a host of guest players.
Oscar’s Motel is a glorious celebration of the blues tradition, brought right up to date by memorable songwriting, and sparked by superb vocals and musicianship delivered by true blues masters. The album will be essential listening for any blues fan.
01. Oscar’s Motel 2:46 (Wilson/Nosek, Eyeball Music, BMI)
02. Down On The South Side 3:41 (Nosek/Wilson, Eyeball Music, BMI)
03. Please Have Mercy 4:00 (Morganfield, Watertoons Music, BMI)
04. I Can’t Stand You 4:20 (Nosek/Wilson/Farr, Eyeball Music, BMI)
05. Hot Little Mess 3:29 (Nosek, Eyeball Music, BMI)
06. Nobody Called It The Blues 3:33 (Abrahamson/Procell/Nosek/Wilson, Throw Your Voice Music, Saw Rite Music, Eyeball Music, BMI)
07. Pontiac Blues 1:57 (Williamson, Arc Music, BMI)
08. Trying So Hard 5:17 (Flynn, Easy Baby Music, BMI)
09. She Dropped The Axe On Me 3:43 (Nosek, Eyeball Music, BMI)
10. I Want What Chaz Has 3:43 (Nosek/Wilson/Flynn, Eyeball Music, BMI)
11. Ride Santa Ride 3:15 (Nosek/Nosek/Wilson, Eyeball Music, BMI)
The Cash Box Kings are:
Joe Nosek: Harmonica, Vocals (5,9), Acoustic Guitar (9)
Oscar Wilson: Vocals
Billy Flynn: Lead Guitar, Baritone Guitar (5)
Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith: Drums (1,4,7,8)
John W. Lauler: Upright and Electric Bass
Lee Kanehira: Piano, Organ
With Special Guests:
Deitra Farr: Vocals (4)
John Nemeth: Vocals (10)
Shoji Naito: Rhythm Guitar (1,4,7,8), Kick Drum (3)
Andrew Diehl: Rhythm Guitar (5,6,9,10,11)
Derek Hendrickson: Drums (5,9,10,11)
Alex Hall: Drums (2,6) Cameron Webb: Vocals (6)
Xavier Lynn: Rhythm Guitar (2)
Jon McDonald: Guitar (3)
The C-Note Horns:
Al Falaschi: Tenor and Baritone Saxophones (2,5)
Jim Doherty: Trumpet (2)