The Tangled History of the Sofa Kings Band


In the beginning, there was noise.

And it was good.And the noise was created by Bone River, a collection of assorted musicians that traveled the area in search of gigs without mosquitoes and perhaps even some money. Loud and brash, Bone River was a bed of creativity that featured Don, John G. and Duke, along with others. Click here to listen to Bone River's version of Over Under Sideway's Down (3 mb download).

When Bone River dried up, some of the members kept creating music in the attic of John's house. Neither high humidity nor frigid temperatures could keep them from coming together. Through chance and strange connections, three new members stumbled their way up the staircase to the legendary attic. Kevin -- who had another band called The Roadbowlers during this time -- listen to The Siren Sings (1.7 mb) --, Tom (on bass) and Eric (on harmonica) were soon regulars and when Kevin signed the no-name band up for an anti-smoking community charity gig after just a few short weeks of practicing, they officially became "A Band."

And their name was Big Daddy Kiljoy.

Five or so years of energetic and frantic playing followed. Members were writing songs, sharing ideas, and the band became adept at playing in bars, dives and parties throughout the Valley area. The band had no real leader, which was both a blessing and then its downfall, as the collective fell apart just after finishing the now-classic recording called 'Elizabeth Street." Click here to listen to Send Me Out a Sign (2 mg)and I Miss Understanding You (1.3 mg).

The Big Daddy band abruptly splintered and the original members of Bone River continued to congregate up in the attic, adding Todd (formerly sound board guru for Big Daddy) on guitar and vocals. Todd had already formed his own blues band -- Big T and the Blues Deluxe, using various members of the old Big Daddy band at various times, including John on bass. Listen to Big T rock out on All My Lovin'. (3 mg)

Tom, meanwhile, created the fledgling Mad Mackerel Music company, while Kevin worked on his own solo projects and played periodically with Tom and the others. Click here to listen to two of Kevin's songs: Old Man Says Go (5 mg) and Big Ol' Rocking Chair (3 mg). Kevin, John and Eric also had a side project called The Millenium Bugs. You can listen to the Bugs here on DanceHall Fool. (1.3 mg)

The Sofa Kings came alive -- after brief spells under such names as The Continental Drifters -- when Kevin started jamming again with John, Don, Duke and Todd, and they all agreed they had something special together. This first formation of The Sofa Kings had John on bass, but he soon desired to grab his electric guitar again and Carolyn responded to an advertisement, played a few thumping notes, and soon she fit in perfectly with the others.

And then, Todd was gone.

With great sorrow, our main man had to leave the band and so the band had to do some soul-searching. A keyboard player! Yes! Auditions, auditions, auditions, and then ... the arrival of John Fernands -- the man of the electric ivories and soaring vocal chords. The band began to move in some new directions and even went into the recording studio in 2007 to put down on disc the sound they were hearing in the attic.

But John Fernands was interested in pursuing his own sound and, in December 2007, he left the band, wishing us the best as he moved in some new directions. WHat to do ... what to do.

The band decided to search out for another new member. Which meant more auditions. Luckily, Janet answered the call. A talented singer, guitar player and an open and warm person, Janet has added her signature voice to the Sofa Kings sound. We hope Janet might try her hand at songwriting, too, in the future. The reconfiguration of The Sofa Kings continues.

Go to the Listen to Sofa Kings page to hear the band live on television.

Thus, The Sofa Kings were born and long may they reign.


follow the drummer back to the homepage