Cash Box Kings keep the classic juke-joint jump of post-war electric blues alive in the 21st century, not just by reviving the over-saturated sound of Chess and Sun Records, but by writing new songs that address contemporary concerns. Bringing the blues into the 21st century was the intention of Joe Nosek, who formed the band while he was teaching at the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 2001. The band found its stride with the addition of Chicago blues singer Oscar Wilson in 2007, and from that point forward, the pair led Cash Box Kings through a series of lineup changes showcased on albums released by Blind Pig Records and Alligator Records.
Nosek formed his first lineup of Cash Box Kings in Madison in 2001, just after he earned a degree from the University of Wisconsin and began teaching English as a Second Language at the institution. Taking his band's name from an old industry publication and its aesthetic from the classic Delta and electric blues he loved as a teenager, he played guitar, harmonica, and sang with the group. Cash Box Kings released three albums on Blue Midnight Records -- Live! At the King Club (2002), Black Night Fallin' (2005), and The Royal Treatment (2006) -- but the group's fortunes changed when Nosek brought Chicago-based singer Oscar Wilson on as his partner in 2007.
Cash Box Kings released I-94 Blues on Blue Bella in 2010, and that record brought them to the attention of Blind Pig, which released Holler and Stomp in 2011. Two more records for Blind Pig followed -- Black Toppin' in 2013 and Holding Court in 2015 -- with the band's lineup gradually settling upon Nosek, Wilson, guitarists Joel Paterson and Billy Flynn, drummers Kenny "Beedy Eyes" Smith and Mark Haines, bassist Brad Ber and pianist Lee Kanehira. This is the version of Cash Box Kings that signed with Alligator for 2017's Royal Mint. The group stayed with the label for 2019's Hail to the Kings! ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine