Since forming a few years ago in Milwaukee, Wis., the 10-piece group Kings Go Forth has been thrilling audiences in and around its hometown with a groove-heavy, horn-powered mix of funk and soul. Now, Kings Go Forth is taking that show on the road, with its first-ever tour of the East Coast. Hear Kings Go Forth in a full concert, recorded live from Washington D.C.'s U Street Music Hall. This performance was originally webcast live on NPR Music on April 20, 2010.
Before hitting South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, last month, Kings Go Forth hadn't played a gig farther away than Bloomington, Ind., and its debut album, The Outsiders Are Back, isn't out until the date of this show. But the group has generated a cult following with a handful of infectious singles that have been passed around on the Internet for much of the past year, drawing praise from legendary dance-music producer Tom Moulton and DJ Shadow, among others.
Andy Noble, known in Milwaukee as an avid record collector, R&B historian and independent label entrepreneur, formed Kings Go Forth with singer and lyricist Black Wolf after the two met at Noble's Lotus Land record shop in 2004. Black Wolf, who's 25 years older than Noble, had been performing around Milwaukee since the '70s. Though they're from different generations, Wolf and Noble say they had an instant musical chemistry, rooted in their shared passion for classic soul. Together, they've turned Kings Go Forth into a powerhouse group, with three stunning vocalists and an explosive horn section.
Kings Go Forth features Black Wolf on vocals, Andy Noble on bass, Dave Wake on keyboards, guitarist Dan Flynn, percussionist Cecilio Negron Jr., and drummer Jeremy Kuzniar. Also in the group are singer Matt Norberg and rhythm guitarist and singer Dan Fernandez, trombonist Dave Cusma and trumpeter Jed Groser.