King Snake Records

King Snake Records was formed in 1986. Its flagship release was a fourth album by national cult favorite Root Boy Slim. Since then, King Snake has grown from a tiny Blues label into one of America's most respected independent labels, with worldwide distribution. In general, King Snake follows the Stax/Volt and Capricorn model, specializing in the music of the South, specifically Blues, with a fully equipped 24-track studio and Blues/R&B rhythm section( wayback machine ).

Click on any of the following current CD covers to receive more information on the current roster of artists and their newest CDs, including sound samples and cover artwork:


CD Title


SONNY RHODES Born to be Blue and Out of Control
ROY ROBERTS Every Shade of Blue
MARK HODGSON Extreme Blues
BILL WHARTON Standing in the Fire
ACE MORELAND Keepin' a Secret
TONY COLEMAN Out in the Open
SMOKEHOUSE Cadillac in the Swamp
FLOYD MILES & FRIENDS Goin' Back to Daytona
Our Compilations Include:
BACK PORCH BLUES All-acoustic selections from various artists
MERRY CHRISTMAS From traditional carols to new tunes, all Blues-style
HARP BEAT OF THE SWAMP King Snake harp classics
BAG O' BLUES - THE KING SNAKE COLLECTION some of everything from our roster

Or click here to access our entire King Snake Catalog and other King Snake Links.

Since that first release, King Snake has produced over sixty CDs, always with the emphasis on production values. Our second project was a long-overdue new album by a true dyed-in-the-wool Southern music legend, Noble "Thin Man" Watts, titled "Return of the Thin Man". Born in Deland, Florida (20 miles from King Snake) in 1926, Noble grew up playing piano, violin and trumpet before settling on the tenor sax in his teens. He enrolled in Florida A&M University, where he was an original member of the college's famed marching band along with friends Nat and Cannonball Adderley. He went on to become the featured artist in orchestras backing Fats Domino, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly and Jackie Wilson, and then joined the house band at the renowned Apollo Theater. As a recording artist, he topped the charts in the late fifties with his cassic Blues instrumentals, "Hard Times" and "Jookin'". The release in 1986 of "Return of the Thin Man" awakened a whole new generation of Noble Watts fans with the weeps and wails of his jazzy honky-tonk sax. The CD was sold to Alligator Records and continues to sell all these years later, along with two more releases for Ichiban: 1990's swinging jazz/Blues confection entitled "Noble and Nat", featuring none other than his old college crony Nat Adderley on cornet; and in 1992 the ultimate Thin Man set, "King of the Boogie Sax".

1987 saw the emergence of another truly authentic Southern bluesman, Baton Rouge's Raful Neal. After half a lifetime running blues clubs, recording LPs and singles for small labels and doing some touring with Buddy Guy while simultaneously raising ten children, Raful came to the attention of King Snake's president, Bob Greenlee, through Tampa radio programmer Bob "Soulman" Scheir. There followed two recordings, "Louisiana Legend" for Alligator and the 1991 Ichiban Records release "I Been Mistreated". The former featured Raful's young son Kenny on guitar; thus began a long and successful career for this brilliant blues star, beginning with the King Snake release in 1988 of "Bio on the Bayou", re-released on Alligator as "Big News From Baton Rouge". Then came four more Alligator CDs, all produced at King Snake: "Devil Child", "Walking On Fire", "Bayou Blood" and "Hoodoo Moon".

In the meantime, a veritable flood of new and exciting blues artists became part of the King Snake family. Lucky Peterson recorded "Lucky Strikes!" and "Triple Play", leading to a very successful career with Alligator until Lucky's graduation to major-label Polygram releases, of which he now has four. Since all that talent must have come from somewhere, enter the vastly experienced and multi-talented father, James Peterson, a man who was born for doing exactly what he does, and that shows in his own two King Snake-produced CDs, 1990's "Rough & Ready" and, a year later, "Too Many Knots", both issued on the Ichiban label. Lazy Lester recorded "Harp and Soul", one of his best-loved works. The rest of the 80s was a frenzy of creativity from some of the best in the business: Rufus Thomas recorded "That Woman is Poison!" for Alligator; Razzy Bailey's "Blues Juice" was released; Alex Taylor recorded "Voodoo in Me" with such guests as younger brother James Taylor, Gregg Allman, Lucky Peterson, Noble Watts, The Kinsey Report, and a hot young harmonica player by the name of Jumpin' Johnny Sansone, who went on to record two of his own highly acclaimed CDs, "Where Y'At?" and "Mr. Good Thing"; the pride of Miami, Iko-Iko, came up with "Snowstorm in the Jungle"; and the always-irreverent Reverend Billy C. Wirtz released "Deep Fried & Sanctified" on King Snake and "Backsliders Tractor Pull", which started his ongoing HighTone Records career. Troy Turner and Joe Beard both turned in excellent and well-received CDs. Not so coincidentally, many of these artists were backed by a core of session players whose diversified experiences turned them into a rock-solid unit that became known as the Midnight Creepers. It was time for their own CD; the result was "Breaking Point", the first release on Ichiban's new Wild Dog Blues label.

In 1989, Tallahassee's Bill Wharton started cooking up a storm with his "Sauce Boss" release, featuring his killer slide guitar and a huge pot of gumbo on the cover. Bill believes that the two main staples in life are food and music. Four CDs later, he still preaches "the gospel according to gumbo", playing slide and washboard while he adds crawfish, chicken, sausage and his own "Liquid Summer" hot sauce (plus a little beer) to a steaming pot on stage and feeds the entire crowd at the end of every gig. Check out his newest release on King Snake, "Standing in the Fire". Better yet, go hear the gumbo and taste the blues.

First out of the gate in the new decade was the very impressive left-handed Stratslinger/singer/songwriter/harmonica player Ace Moreland, an Oklahoma bluesman with such a unique style that his first CD, "Sizzlin' Hot!", featuring Edgar Winter on sax and vocals and Lucky Peterson on keyboards, made the blues world sit up and take notice. It was followed by "I'm a Damn Good Time", "Jealous Man", and latest and most diverse, "Keepin' a Secret". The combination of Ace's unmistakable voice, inspired harp and guitar work, and brilliantly crafted songs has earned him rave reviews from Guitar Magazine and Living Blues, plus the nomination for 1997's Best Blues Performer by the Orlando Music Awards. Like your blues truly original? Ace is the place!

Then along came Dr. Hector & the Groove Injectors, headed by former Southern rock group Grinderswitch founder Dru Lombar. During the first half of the 1990s Dr. Hector made four fine CDs: "Prescription", "House Calls", Emergency", and the latest, "Bad Connection", with more new and varied sounds that are evidence of the band's continuing growth. You can be sure they'll go on being referred to as "the world's hardest-working road band", playing nearly 300 nights a year all across the U.S. as well as in Canada, Japan and Europe.

SmokeHouse hails from New Smyrna Beach, and practically defines the term "Florida swamp blues". Stripped-down rhythms, scorching guitar licks and an eerie, haunting harmonica combine with dark, sexy vocals and great original songs on three CDs to date: "Let's Swamp Awhile", "Swamp Jive", and the CD that Living Blues called the best new release of the year, "Cadillac in the Swamp". And keep an eye out in early 1998 for "Edge of the Swamp". (See a pattern here?) Solid, down-home blues at its best.

In January of 1991, King Snake signed Sonny Rhodes , the turbaned king of the lap steel guitar who had spent many years traveling the world from his home in Smithville, Texas and making several records for European labels. His first King Snake release was the aptly titled "Disciple of the Blues" and was so successful tht three more followed rapidly: "Living Too Close to the Edge" in 1992, "The Blues is My Best Friend" in '94, and 1996's "Out of Control". Now, with this year's "Born to be Blue", Sonny proves once again that "it's in him and it's gotta come out". The fact that he's been a W.C. Handy Award nominee four years running is just more evidence that this man is an authentic legend.

Closer to home, Daytona Beach native Floyd Miles had laid aside his musical career for a while. He'd spent his teen years playing the Boardwalk and local clubs with the kids he'd grown up with - Gregg and Duane Allman, Billy Joe Royal, Bob Greenlee - but when the Brothers asked him to hit the road as their drummer, he declined in favor of his young and growing family. Years later, Floyd, Bob and the alignment of the planets all came together to declare the time right for a CD from the man Gregg Allman says taught him how to sing the blues. The upshot was "Crazy Man", with Gregg contributing B-3 and vocals and other old friends Dickey Betts, Edgar Winter, Root Boy Slim and Alex Taylor chipping in as well. Since more is better, "Goin' Back to Daytona" followed in 1994, again with Gregg and other guest stars. These days, Floyd can be found almost anywhere in the country, traveling with either his own band or the Allman Brothers.

Chicago Bob Nelson isn't actually from Chicago, but he spent enough of his early days hanging around the South side clubs that Muddy Waters gave him the nickname, and it stuck. Bob was born on the fourth of July in Bogalusa, Louisiana with a bluesman for a father and people like Lazy Lester and Slim Harpo for family friends. When he was old enough, he went on tour as Harpo's harp man so Slim could concentrate on guitar. His summers were spent with an aunt in Chicago, where he sat in with all the greats and sometimes did brief tours with Muddy, Junior Wells, Earl Hooker, Buddy Guy, Howlin' Wolf and J.B. Hutto. A move to Boston, then another to Atlanta, broadened his experience and began his friendship with Tinsley Ellis and his recording for Landslide with Tinsley and the Heartfixers. When Tinsley went solo, so did Bob, who wound up at King Snake making the highly praised CD, "Back to Bogalusa", with Tinsley as guitarist. Bob had one earlier King Snake recording entitled "Hit & Run Lover".

As an Orlando-area native and world-class blues drummer, Tony Coleman knew about King Snake from its beginning, but was too much in demand to have time for a solo project. He's spent his life traveling and recording with the finest in the blues business: Bobby "Blue" Bland, Otis Clay, Johnny Taylor, Buddy Guy, Albert Collins, Charlie Musselwhite, Katie Webster, Matt "Guitar" Murphy, Frankie Lee, and for the last seven years, B.B. King. Tony was one of the founders of Silent Partners, the best blues rhythm section in the world, and they released one recording on Antone's Records, "If It's All Night, It's All Right". On his debut for King Snake, called, appropriately, "Out in the Open", Tony finally gets a chance to step out front and do his own thing, writing, arranging and singing as well as stretching all his considerable drumming muscles.

Meanwhile, Kenny Neal's attention was drawn to a fellow Baton Rouge artist, a young, very soulful singer named Erica Guerin. Kenny knew she'd be a perfect addition to the King Snake roster with her range, power and deep soul roots. Her first CD, "Never Too Late", captured her vast energy and the essence of her Creole sensibility for music. Erica's new release is called "Get Real". You can't get more real than this. Whew!

1996 brought a spate of new discoveries from all over the U.S., which proves that the blues is alive and well everywhere. Providence, Rhode Island brought us Young Neal & The Vipers, a high-energy trio who have the rock-edged Northeastern-style blues down to a science, and contributed a sound that's a beautiful counterpoint to the rest of the roster. Neal Vitullo's got guitar chops that fans of Stevie Ray and Roy Buchanan will love. With lethal tone and vibrato, not to mention power riffs that can splinter bones, this man and his hard-hitting rhythm section can blow the roof off any venue. Check out their King Snake debut release, "Thirteen".

Eric Culberson tips the other end of the scale from the other end of the country. From Savannah, Georgia, Eric and his Erok Band have made a huge name for themselves while still in their twenties. A young man who can write so poignantly and play so ferociously and sing so authentically has to have been born with the blues in his blood. He admits it, even advertises it, with the title of his first CD, "Blues is My Religion". He's a breath of fresh air for the blues, with another blast on the way.

One of King Snake's newest artists, Mark Hodgson, is definitely not new to the blues world. He's a longtime fixture on the Florida blues scene, has won every award in the state, and is considered its foremost harp man. Home base is the Daytona Beach area, but he's lived, worked, and maintains connections in the major Eastern U.S. music markets of Boston, New Orleans, Memphis, Nashville, Chicago and New York. He is a very talented musician whose innovative guitar work and strong vocals perfectly complement his amazing harmonica versatility. His King Snake debut, "Extreme Blues", delivers what it advertises!

A welcome addition to the roster is North Carolina's ambassador of the blues, Roy Roberts. He started out in 1963 as a side man for Solomon Burke, went on to play with Eddie Floyd, Otis Redding, and a host of others until he broke away to launch a successful career as a solo artist, producer, and founder of Rock House Records in Greensboro. Now, Rock House and King Snake have cooperated to produce Roy's stellar new CD, "Every Shade of Blue" - and that's exactly what you get, with an even dozen original tunes played and sung to perfection by a man who is intimate with every one of those shades plus a few you haven't seen yet. There's no one like him.

Roy, in fact, is the one who introduced us to Detroit's Priscilla Price, the daughter of a coal miner, with a big voice and big dreams of singing the kind of soulful music that she loved growing up: Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughn, Ruth Brown, and her all-time favorite, Nancy Wilson. Well, those dreams have come true with a vengeance; this woman can sing! Produced by Roy and Bob Greenlee, her brand-new CD, "I'm Not For Sale", is now for sale, and you can count on getting your money's worth with this one.

Coming up for next year is another exciting batch of releases by Ace Moreland, Eric Culberson, Bill Wharton, Smokehouse, Floyd Miles, and Dr. Hector, plus some interesting new twists on the compilation concept, such as an in-your-face collection of great guitar performances from the King Snake archives, called "Hurricane! Florida Guitar Blues"; and a live CD called "Blues on the High Seas", recorded aboard the Big Red Boat en route to the Bahamas on the Livin' the Blues Cruise. Also look for a mysterious (for now) new special series, and who knows what else! No matter what, King Snake Records is into the blues for the long haul, and remains dedicated to bringing you the very best there is.

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