Archive for king king

Red Devils coming to Classic Rock magazine

Posted in red devils with tags , , , on January 5, 2014 by J.J.

More than 21 years after “King King,” The Red Devils are ready for international exposure again.

UK journalist Paul Rees has taken on the Devils for an article for an upcoming edition of Classic Rock magazine.

The story comes on the heels of a feature in the November 2013 Classic Rock on unreleased albums. Rees wrote an item on the Mick Jagger blues album. No new ground was broken, but it serves as a prelude to a larger feature on the Devils.
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‘King King’: There’s only one

Posted in red devils with tags , , , , , , on January 2, 2014 by J.J.


I’ve been thinking a lot about “King King” the last few weeks, what makes it special in a way other albums — of any genre — rarely are.

The success of The Red Devils and the “King King” album come down to three things, very simple but so elusive.

It’s those five guys (plus one on the record), playing those 12 songs in that club with that producer.

kingking_vinylThat’s it.

There is no substitute. There is no sequel. All the magic is captured on that disc, starting with the blurry cover with the hipsters outside, to the steam and smoke on that piece of plastic in the player.

At this point, “King King” is old enough to buy a drink, but still sounds as fresh and powerful as it did 21 years ago. And it would have played 21 years earlier, too, in 1971, a muscular rival for the broader explorations of Butterfield and Canned Heat.

It’s easy on paper to peg The Red Devils as a harmonica band. But in reality, it’s a rhythm band. Built on Bill “Buster” Bateman’s impeccable timing and dynamics. Jonny Ray Bartel’s thick bass swagger, so evident on the groovier cuts like “I Wish You Would” and “Devil Woman.” Dave Lee Bartel’s essential rhythm, so unselfish, so signature (listen to recordings of the band with other rhythm guitarists … just not the same).
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1992: Red Devils find the Size that fits

Posted in paul size, red devils with tags , , , , , on February 24, 2013 by J.J.

Very nice article from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on the early days of Paul Size in the band.

by Dave Ferman, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Sept. 11, 1992

Texas-born blues guitarist Paul Size readily will admit that he’s been real lucky so far in his musical career.

Born in Dallas and raised in Denton, Size, 21 just weeks ago, was happy playing blues and R&B in Denton bars backing legendary singer Pops Carter; he was playing the music he loved with good buddy Jon Moeller (now guitarist for Texas Heat) and just having fun.

Then a friend told him the Red Devils — Los Angeles’ hottest blues band — was looking for a new guitarist. Size packed, journeyed to California, auditioned, got the gig, and less than a year later the Devils (having gained a rep as the favorite El Lay band of Mick Jagger, the Black Crowes, Bruce Willis and other slumming celebs) have a CD, “King King,” out on Def American, have cut 13 tracks with Jagger and spent the summer touring with the Allman Brothers, Little Feat, Bob Dylan and Los Lobos.

“Yeah, I was walking into something pretty big without knowing it,” says Size by phone from South Carolina on the eve of the band’s final date with the Allmans (the Red Devils headline Dallas’ Trees on Thursday). “We just kind of clicked together — the band needed a guitar player and they decided to keep me.”
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1998 Bolwerk, Sneek: Butler plays blues the way it should be

Posted in red devils with tags , , , on October 28, 2012 by J.J.

From our friend Feelgood comes this story about 13’s Jan. 30, 1998, gig at Bolwerk, videos of which are available on YouTube. Nothing groundbreaking here, but a fine read nonetheless. More accurate translations are appreciated.

by Jacob Haagsma, Leeuwarder Courant
Jan. 20, 1998

SNEEK — From Pinkpop to a club room for a few hundred people. Lester Butler is not the first to reverse this road test. Ever since his previous band Red Devils, loudly applauded and enjoined by such greats as Mick Jagger and Rick Rubin. But now this singer-harmonica player is again on his own.

Though that’s not entirely true, because he is supported by a first-rate, bright-playing band. Main playmaker in 13 is guitarist Alex Schultz, with an intensely vicious attitude but at the same time never losing sight of the swing. As befits actually.

Because yes, 13 plays the blues like it actually hears, but as that too little hear. By going to the harrowing intensity that the original black practitioners laid decades ago, at least, these pale boys from Los Angeles are close. And with the raw energy of today, as if they traveled on skateboards to Sneek have rather than in a narrow coach.

Including the brisk rhythm section, with loosely pounding, thundering drums and functional, ie no note-counting, bass. Live the songs are less pointed than the extremely elementary produced, self-titled debut CD. Butler and Schultz let themselves often go into long solos, but they seem to charge less to run than show muscle to pure fun.
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‘King King’ released on 180 gram limited red vinyl

Posted in red devils with tags , , , on February 18, 2012 by J.J.

“King King” is getting the deluxe packaging treatment for its 20th anniversary after all, thanks to Dutch boutique label Music On Vinyl.

This marks the first time The Red Devils’ “King King” has been released on vinyl and, apparently, Music On Vinyl is giving the record the reissue treatment it deserves.


Their only full length album, ‘King King’ is seen as a true Blues classic and Music On Vinyl is honoured to release this album on vinyl for the very first time.

To celebrate its 20th anniversary, we decided to do something special: the first 1,000 copies of this double gatefold sleeve album are on bright red vinyl!

• 180 grams audiophile vinyl
• Twentieth anniversary, original released in 1992
• First time on vinyl !
• Gatefold sleeve
• Includes an insert
• First 1000 numbered copies on red vinyl

The official release date is Feb. 20, but the album is apparently available in some independent record stores in Holland.

Over at The Red Devils Facebook group, Patrick Struijker Boudier has already received his copy, posting a picture of the sleeve and the LP (the label noting that the record was licensed from This Way Up). His review, on the Music On Vinyl Facebook page: “Awesome release! Clearly there has been put a lot of thought in this release! Love the job you’ve done guys!”

Music On Vinyl also posted a pic of the limited edition red vinyl at the pressing plant.

Unfortunately, it appears Music on Vinyl does not sell individual orders, but rather distributes to record stores only.

The album does appear to be available for order at

And, of course, the album is seeing a reissue on CD as well — also as an import-only.

Here are some other notes on the vinyl version:
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‘King King’ reissue coming Tuesday

Posted in red devils with tags , on January 29, 2012 by J.J.

According to several websites, “King King” is set for reissue this Tuesday, Jan. 31, by Universal Import.

For instance, the U.S. website lists “King King” as an import at $29.50, with a Tuesday release date.

We’ve not been able to find any information about this release. From our vantage point, it looks like a straight reissue, but we’ll know more when we get our hands on the disc in a couple of days.

Without facts in the way, let’s speculate a little:

  • Not surprising to see a reissue this year, the 20th anniversary of the “King King” record.
  • Unfortunately, that likely means there is no true anniversary reissue coming later in the year. We wish this was a dry run for a bigger product release, but we can’t imagine a company spending so much time and so many resources on putting out “King King” twice.
  • There is no indication of any bonus tracks — but there is really no useful product description at all.

Maybe its just wishful thinking, but we’ve heard “Automatic” on Bluesville on Sirius XM two times last week. Seems odd to play a 20-year-old one-off disc like that — unless the station has a fresh promo copy.

We’ll all find out on Tuesday.

Ready for 2012

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on January 19, 2012 by J.J.

Thanks everyone for visiting No Fightin’ in 2011 — and thanks for letting us recover a little into 2012!

We have lots of plans for the blog this year, the 20th anniversary of The Red Devils’ “King King.”

Keep watching this space for some new Red Devils and Lester Butler goodies. You can also follow us on Twitter or watch a bunch of cool videos on our YouTube channel.

“Better Cut That Out” lyrics

Posted in red devils with tags , , , , on September 5, 2011 by J.J.

While the closer “Better Cut That Out” is a favorite on the “King King” record, one question remains: Just what is Lester Butler singing?

This song is a little rough — Butler sings the second verse twice — and even the album credits are confusing. On the first Def American pressings, the song is called “Cut That Out” and attributed to Junior Wells, whose version obviously inspired the Devils. Subsequent American Recordings versions call it “Better Cut That Out,” with credit going to Sonny Boy Williamson (likely No. 1, John Lee Williamson), which is a much more accurate designation.

The lyric that causes the most trouble is the second line in the first verse. Butler sings the cuplet,

Yeah when you get drunk you wanna fuss and cut
Sure to get drunk you know a rock and roll hearse

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USA Today: “King King” raw, rootsy blues

Posted in red devils with tags , , , on September 3, 2011 by J.J.

A glowing “King King” review from USA Today’s Oct. 28, 1992, edition. Is this one of the earlier, mainstream notices of that album?

by Edna Gundersen
USA Today

"King King"

Hellbent for blues, the red-hot Red Devils have cranked out the year’s most electrifying live album, a stunning debut. Even a band this sharp and spirited will be hard-pressed to top it. The raw and rootsy “King King” (***1/2), produced by sonic sharpshooter Rick Rubin, was recorded at L.A.’s King King club, where the Devils served as house band for six years. Whether blasting their own “Goin’ to the Church” or breathing new fire into Sonny Boy Williamson’s loping “Cross Your Heart,” the band outshines any contemporaries with its lean, high-powered and nasty approach to Chicago blues. Catch their opening act on Los Lobos’ current tour (tonight, at the Varsity in Baton Rouge, La.)

Red Devils make Indiana debut

Posted in red devils with tags , , , , on July 7, 2011 by J.J.

We’ve covered The Red Devils’ October 1992 gig in Bloomington, Ind., extensively on No Fightin’. But here is yet another advance, a really good interview with Lester Butler by the Indianapolis Star.

Red Devils make Indiana debut
By Marc D. Allan, Indianapolis Star
Oct. 12, 1992

“You really don’t write blues tunes,” says Lester Butler, singer and harmonica player for The Red Devils. “There’s grooves and there’s shuffles. The lyric is what you make up on your own. And I’m having no problem doing that at all.”

jakes_flier1You could say that.

The Los Angeles-based blues band, which makes its Indiana debut Tuesday night in Bloomington, has developed a loyal following at home by playing fiery original and cover tunes every Monday night in a tiny, always-packed club called the King King. (They recorded their first album, “King King,” live at the club.)

Playing with Jagger

The Red Devils have been invited to open for the Allman Brothers, Little Feat, Dixie Dregs and Los Lobos. They’re so hot (and so good) that Mick Jagger invited them to play on his forthcoming solo album.

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