L.A.-based musician Solomon King draws the blues out of his guitar with a voice that’s always personal and songs that ring true.
Leaving his native Detroit and rusting auto-industry days behind, King started driving and headed West, finding in Southern California a new life for himself and his music.
“Being from Detroit, I was always playing the blues. I got a really good education in American music. You grow up there and you either go into music or into crime. Or both,” King laughs.
With the October release of Train, his third CD, King has laid down nine songs that roll from getting out from under love or laying blissfully on its tracks to being at the station waiting for the next relationship to start it all over again.
“Everything I write is a love song. There are many, many different shades of love and that’s what makes a good song. It may be a bad song, but it’s a good subject,” says King.
In the Train title track, a locomotion of sound and rhythm comfortably propel the singer away from losing one love toward another yet down the line:
So many called, so few are chosen
Yet you claim that your door is open
But your gate, your gate is locked and chained
Well I’m down here at the station, waiting for my train
Maybe it’s my clothes or the way the bones fit my face
Maybe my soul has lost its way
But if all of my love, all of my love’s in vain
I’m staying down here at the station, waiting for my train
Wait – here it come – hear it come – my train.
King’s 2009 debut album, Under the Sun, received a Grammy nomination in the “Best Contemporary Blues Album” category and was followed in 2011 with the well-received, Medicine.
Writing his own songs came about as an extension of working on his craft, covering songs by blues greats.
“The reason I started writing is I was trying to figure out other people’s songs and going to such lengths to see how they worked that by the time I was done with a song nobody could recognize it – and it was a pretty good song,” King explains.
Touring with his full band, hitting the road with modern, New-School Blues across the country, including Hawaii, King gets a lot out of live performances.
“There’s nothing like it. With live shows, it’s not about how many notes per second I play and what chords I use. It’s about coming together so we don’t feel lonely and we all feel loved and everybody goes away feeling good. That’s what it’s all about,” King says.
For more information on Solomon King, go to http://www.solomonkingmusic.com.