“The UK’s number one swing-blues outfit” Blues in Britain
The CKs formed in 2000, around London, from a group of experienced musicians, whose cvs included the James Hunter Band, Otis Grand’s Band, Paul Lamb’s Kingsnakes & Big Joe Louis’ Band. Six months later they released their debut cd ‘Lou Ann’. It was picked up right away by radio stations across the world and earned the band a ’finalist’ status in the 2001 UK best new blues band awards.
From the very outset The Cadillac Kings became firm favourites on the blues & jump-jive scenes. With stunning musicianship & an exciting stage act, this band knows how to entertain audiences across the board, from arts centres to dance-halls, from intimate clubs to major festivals, the length & breadth of the UK, Europe & Scandinavia.
The founder member of the band is vocalist & songwriter Mike Thomas, who writes nearly all the band’s material, combining the sounds & styles of ‘40s & ‘50s r ‘n’ b with an unerring 21st century wit. “Mike’s often hilarious lyrics are right up there with Rick Estrin & Louis Jordan” wrote blues journalist Ken Peace in his bluesinthenorthwest blog.
2004 saw the release of the band’s second CD ‘Highway 17’ on the UK jazz & roots label ‘33’ Records. The music critics of UK newspaper The Times included 'Highway 17', alongside albums by Morrissey, U2, the Scissor Sisters etc, in their list of the top 24 releases of the year, and chose it as best blues CD. Following wide airplay the band were invited to play live sessions for BBC radio, Norwegian TV and Dutch radio.
Since then the band continue to gig across europe in clubs & at festivals & have opened shows for acts such as Lazy Lester, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Rod Piazza, Magic Slim, Lil' Ed & His Blues Imperials, Louisiana Red, John Mayall, Larry Garner, Nappy Brown, Little Feat & Delbert McLinton to name but a few!
Highlights have included the band's debut appearance at London’s Royal Albert Hall playing a special lunchtime concert during the 2010 Proms season, and co-headlining the huge Bliuzo Naktys Festival in Lithuania where the band played to an audience of over 15,000 blues fans.
Their 2009 release ‘Trouble in Store’ drew rave reviews from both sides of the atlantic including the title of ‘best non-American blues album’ of the year from Canada’s top blues magazine ‘Real Blues’.
Winter 2012 saw the release of their first official live cd, ‘Gonna Tell Your Momma’ recorded by Rune Halland in Hamar, Norway on Scandinavia’s top mobile set-up. This captures the real fun & excitement of a Cadillac Kings’ show featuring four individual vocalists and the UK’s finest west coast-style guitarist, Mal Barclay. The CD has has unanimously rave reviews in the UK, USA & europe.
“Breath-taking West Coast swing, hugely enjoyable with brilliant vocals, excellent harp, guitar and keyboards and a rock solid rhythm section. In a word – exhilarating!”
Lionel Ross, Blues in Britain Magazine (Dragon Blues Fest. Wrexham)
"Now here’s that rare thing - a British band who can cut the mustard! Powered along by a top class rhythm section, with wild harp and standout guitar. Stick in their authentic hollering vocalist and you’ve got a pretty hot combo! They’re good!!"
Ken Smith, Red Lick Records
“Entertaining, authentic & infectious - The Cadillac Kings’ high energy swinging R&B is enough to put a foaming head on a pint of real ale! This is pure good time music that left The Darlington Arts Centre audience dizzy, long after they’d left the building.”
Darrell Parsons, Blues in Britain
“The Cadillac Kings have amassed a large following which is entirely down to their own special brand of no-nonsense musicianship and sheer hard work. On-stage you get nothing less than 100 % from this band.
These guys swing like they were born in the trees!”
Judge Jones, Blues Freepress, Hull
“1950's R & B at it's very best!”/ “One of the best acts ever seen at the Blues of the Month Club!”
“Please bring them back soon!”/ “These guys aren't a band they're a show - give us more!”
Just some of the comments received following the stunning sets provided by the Cadillac Kings at our November gig.”
Graeme Walster, promoter Blues of the Month Club, Cleethorpes
"The Cadillac Kings are experienced, talented and very tight. They set out to give the audience as much
fun as they obviously have on stage, and they succeed admirably. A six-piece touring band is a bit of a luxury in this trimmed-down age, but to see one that plays with the drive, finesse and sheer exuberance that these guys do, is a real pleasure, not to mention the sartorial elegance on show!"
Mike Mager, Blues in Britain
"If I had heard this band blindfold I would definitely have assumed that The Cadillac Kings were from the West Coast of the USA. They have that lazy swing and hard hitting attack so beloved of California outfits like Rod Piazza's Mighty Flyers, with a little side step into Texas…”
Phil Wight, Blues & Rhythm Magazine
"Instrumentally & vocally strong, The Cadillac Kings recreate US 40's/50's R&B styles with oodles of vigour. You'd be hard pressed to guess that this lot first surfaced in Upminster, Essex, UK!".
Folk Roots Magazine
“What a joyful and infectious ensemble this gang are! Dressed in fifties period outfits, sporting DA haircuts and singing into retro mics from that same era, they jump-jived, rock & rolled, swung and shook us through a fantastic original set of nostalgia-tinged rhythm & blues.”
Diane Gillard, Blues Matters Magazine (Gloucester Blues Festival)
“The Cadillac Kings showed at this gig why they have become the UK’s number one swing-blues outfit.
They are gigging widely. Go see them, you’ll be won over too!”
Norrie ‘Snakebite’ Burnett at The Tower Blues Club, Blackpool, Blues Matters Magazine
“Of the bands playing here these days The Cadillac Kings are my personal favourites, they
are real ‘in your face’ jump/jive blues. If you do not tap your feet, at least, you must be dead.”
Barry Middleton, guvnor Running Horse, Nottingham’s premier live music venue
“When you go out and see lots of bands, many of them top quality, it’s rare to find one that knocks you out from the moment they start to play, but The Cadillac Kings did just that, turning a good night into a great one. I am not going to sit and list what they played, just that this band is outstanding and if you like your music with a real blues flavour then go see them right away!”
DJ Steve/ Blue Suede News, R&R Magazine
“On the basis of this stonking gig at Chester’s Alexander’s Club The Cadillac Kings seem best suited to take over the position as the country's finest purveyors of good-time blues and swing.”
Grahame Rhodes, Chester Chronicle
“At Sheffield’s Rhythm Review The Cadillac Kings proved they could do it all, from blues to boogie & cajun too! Their two sets were unbelievable, great to watch and interesting to follow their solos and humour, really first class! We had a fantastic time with great music and dancing all night. What else could you ask for? Watch out for this band, they play a lot of blues festivals but I don’t think it will be long before we see them regularly on the swing dance circuit as well.”
‘Lin D. Hop’, Blue Suede News Rock & Roll Magazine
“If you’re a devotee of UK blues acts of the calibre of Paul Lamb, Big Joe Louis or Otis Grand then this band will DEFINITELY appeal.”
Pete O’ Gorman, ‘Now Dig This’, UK’s premier Rock &Roll magazine
"The Cadillac Kings are Britain's foremost exponents of '40s & '50s blues & jump-jive”.
Nottingham Evening Post