Kings & Associates
Introducing KINGS & ASSOCIATES….
2018 winners of 3 prestigious ‘Chain Awards’ for ‘BEST GROUP OF THE YEAR’, ‘BEST NEW TALENT’ and receiving a 3rd award on behalf of Jim Scott (Los Angeles) for ‘BEST PRODUCER’ at the AUSTRALIAN BLUES MUSIC AWARDS for album ‘Tales Of A Rich Girl’, after receiving 6 nominations!
By week 2 of “Tales….” release, the album went to NUMBER 1. on the “Australian Blues and Roots Radio Charts”, and reached No. 15. on the “Roots Radio INTERNATIONAL Charts” compiled from global radio play lists.
In 2017 they became the first S.A act to make the SEMI-FINALS at the BLUES FOUNDATION’S ‘International Blues Competition’ in MEMPHIS TENESEE.
Since their humble beginnings of winning the 2014 ARBA award for ‘Most Outstanding New Act’ K I N G S & A S S O C I A T E S have truly developed into one of Australia’s most uniquely new and exciting neo blues bands. Within 2 short years The Kings have quickly become regulars at many festivals, hitting stages such as WOMADelaide & Auckland earlier this year , along with premier venues in most capital cities around Australia.
Their debut album ‘Red Dress’ was tracked in various studios around Adelaide from April to June ’14, with the guys heading to Nashville for final production and mixing with Andrija Tokic in July. Tokic mixed the Grammy nominated smash debut album for the Alabama Shakes ‘Boys & Girls’. The album also features some of Nashville’s best musos including the late Ikey Owens from the ‘Jack White band’ & ‘The Mars Volta’ on hammond, rhodes & farfisa. Red Dress incredibly hit no.1 on the iTunes Blues charts in Australia.
K I N G S & A S S O C I A T E S are excited to announce the follow up to their debut album Red Dress…..TALES OF A RICH GIRL. This marks over 2 years of writing, touring and recording with 10 new original tracks on what is expected to be a land mark release….and going by the reputation of those who helped make this album a reality it’s no wonder expectation is high. This started with tracking in L.A in August ’16 with 7 time Grammy winner Jim Scott as engineer and producer. Scott’s catalogue of hit albums and awards include the ‘ Rolling Stones, Tedeschi Trucks, Sting, the Chilli Peppers, Foo Fighters, Matchbox 20 and Crowded House’. After initially making contact with the management of the industry legend Scott personally reached out to the band to confirm his interest and ‘book the session’. Bassist and co-songwriter Steve Portolesi rates this 6 day session in Scott’s studio PLYRZ in Valencia north of Hollywood as the musical highlight of his career. ‘Jim is the most down to earth guy we’ve met, and considering his massive list of successful recordings I have to say it was totally refreshing. He knew how to create the perfect environment to get the best out of you both in performance and creativity….but still having time to eat, hang and chat….’ Portolesi says, ‘at times Kelv [Sugars] and I had to pinch ourselves to remind us of where we were and who we were working with, this guy had worked with bands and artists who have sold millions of albums and influenced us personally, to have the opportunity to work with him and have him speak into our songs was humbling to say the least’. So, after a brief 9 day trip across the pacific the album was tracked and it was back to Adelaide Australia to finish editing.
However, the quality didn’t finish with Jim Scott and L.A… the band secured the services of Nashville based Vance Powell to mix the album, another industry legend and multi Grammy winner. Powell’s credits include Grammys with the Dixie Chicks and Jack White and had just finished producing the breakthrough album for Chris Stapleton. So it was back to the States again to mix the album in Music City….this time the band used the trip to perform live including shows at the legendary Bourbon St Blues Club in Printers Lane Nashville, and a quick fire semifinal appearance at the IBC in Memphis….between tracking in L.A with Jim Scott, and mixing in Nashville with Vance Powell the guys had travelled over 34,000 miles in 8 months to finish their album.
‘Unlike Red Dress where we felt we were finding our feet stylistically, Tales is a lot closer to our heart’ says lyricist and vocalist Angie Portolesi. ‘This album was written for most from real life experiences…friends dying, relationships breaking up, overcoming personal tragedy, significant life changes, these are all the stories of our lives…these songs represent who we are today in so many respects, they speak back to us like kids, and we can say we’re proud of them’.
Reviews have been nothing short of astonishing with Huff Post’s Randy Radic labelling it “a humdinger from the land down under”, Chris Spector from Midwest Records describing it as “killer stuff that knows all the right moves….”, PBS Melbourne Peter Merrett stating “wow! I think I’ve just been to heaven and back delivered a new man….”, and Peter Szalony from Blues Blast Mag writing “You are left emotionally drained after this soulful experience has concluded. There is such a seamless craftsmanship at work here that is cunning in its’ deceivingly simple approach. The magical voices of Angela and Benjamin set against expert musicianship and top notch production propel this effort into greatness. Hearing is believing!”
Tracks from Tales have been played on radio across the globe including Triple J in Australia and by Paul Jones on BBC2.
Producing and performing music is not the sole focus or motivation for Kings & Associates. In conjunction with their new album the band continues their relationship with global NGO World Vision. This partnership was birthed from the 2016 Red Dress album which was produced as part of World Vision’s #nochildforsale campaign to help raise awareness of childhood sex slavery, specifically in Brazil. Kings & Associates have developed a close relationship with World Vision as a partner artist, the issue of sex slavery remains a driving passion for the band and a huge influence on their artistic direction. ‘We’re not about bashing people on the head with a social message or pointing the finger’ comments Angie, ‘our time in Memphis and specifically our visit to the site of the shooting of Martin Luther King reaffirmed in us how slavery has been with us for generations and the impact it’s had on humanity is something we need to continue to address. It’s not about saying “there are the bad guys”, but for us it’s about saying what in my life allows the repressed of this world to remain enslaved’.