Smokin’ Joe Kubek – in memoriam

Smokin' Joe Kubek

Dallas blues guitarist, Smokin’ Joe Kubek,  passed away Sunday October 11 of a heart attack, shortly before he was to appear onstage.

Our music is too rocked up for the blues,

and too blues-ed up for rock

Smokin’ Joe Kubek 2004


“Potent, undiluted 100-proof Texas Blues honed to a razor’s edge”


Joe Kubek, born Nov. 30, 1956, in Grove City, Pa. –  he grew up in Irving, and turned professional at 14, playing a lot of Southern rock, and later took up the blues seriously in his late teens. Joe passed away October 11, 2015 in Wilmington, North Carolina, United States.

“You have to entertain people from the second you start.”

Smokin’ Joe Kubek

These images were shot in “analog” on Fuji Neopan Black & White FIlm, processed in a film developer called PMK (Pyro-Metol-Kodalk) which was available from a small supplier in Vermont, The Photograher’s Formulary. I probably shot the images with a Canon F-1N with an 85mm f1.2L lens (my favorite lens).

The first time Smokin’ Joe Kubek ever spoke to Bnois King, it was at Poor David’s Pub in the early ’90s. Kubek asked him to play guitar. King agreed, joined him onstage and later said it immediately felt like they’d been playing together all their lives. No notes clashing together, no competition — just a conversation between two old friends.

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