Kingsnake: Hail To The Kings, Baby

For those of us whose lives seem to center around music, there are few things as precious as a well-balanced show, when several bands on a bill just fit together nicely and make the whole night memorable amidst a sea of memories that often blur together. May 17‘s Clutch/The Sword/Lionize/Kingsnake lineup at the Electric Factory in Philly will be one of those shows.

Clutch and The Sword have toured together a few times, and Lionize—from their Maryland hometown area—have been out with them for most of this year already. Better still, Chris Brooks has done many stints, adding his keyboards to Clutch live sets with Tim Sult often appearing on stage and on records with Lionize over the miles and years. So all these guys are comfortable with each other as bands and as friends.

So it was no surprise when I learned Philly’s Kingsnake were jumping on this bill, who most of us in this area have seen with Clutch many times over the years, going back to the Sugar Daddie (former band name) days of the late ‘90s. These guys are all friends as well as fellow musicians. It’s a pretty safe bet that when the groups are having fun, the crowd can’t help to roll along with it. There’s a musical intuition that comes with many years of playing with the people you know and are comfortable around, and that just can’t be understated. Much like Clutch, Kingsnake have the benefit of the same lineup for decades, an increasingly rare commodity in the band world these days. “It’s all about balance…” drummer Matt Farnan said in my recent interview with him on My New Show when asked about just what it is they are up to lately. To that point, guitarist/vocalist Bill Jenkins went on to explain, “We all have pretty successful lives in a sense, nice homes, good families, good careers, and we do this because we love doing it. And we’ve been able to do it for the last 20 years.” And right on the heels of their latest release, One Eyed King Of The Blind, the band has been out and about stretching out the new songs around the PA/DC corridor. The band is primed and ready to show it off at one of the larger venues in their backyard, so to speak.

I am all too often guilty of missing the opening band or two on a bill, so when I say that this is one of the most well-rounded show rosters you will see this year, I mean it. There is no act to miss here, a perfect balance indeed. In the meantime, you can catch a nice sneak preview of Kingsnake live on My New Show on YouTube (, where they performed several songs from their past two releases and a couple of gems from their new CD, One Eyed King Of The Blind, in our studio.

“Just like that…”