Kingdom Brothers

"We're usin' the blues to spread the News." Kingdom Brothers, the red-hot electric blues band from St. Louis, MO credits its great sound to the timeless influences of the great blues icons - Albert King, Muddy Waters, Otis Rush, Eric Clapton - to name a few, and the sweet harmonies of gospel groups like The Blind Boys of Alabama and the Dixie Hummingbirds. With the powerful vocal duo of Tom Wilson and Chris Shepherd, a solid rhythm section, and some tastefully smokin' guitar and keyboard magic, Kingdom Brothers creates a memorable sound you'll want to hear over and over again. Toss in that Ron Roskowske bottleneck slide, crank it to eleven, and you'll be looking for tickets to their next show. When blues veteran and Kingdom Brothers’ founder Bob Walther formed the group in 2005, he wanted to do something really different on the St. Louis music scene. “What you will not hear in our set list is ‘Sweet Home Chicago’ and ‘Rock Me Baby’,” says Walther. “Both are fine songs but can be heard seven nights a week in every blues club in the area. Instead, we cover our favorite cuts by the blues greats.” A fresh approach was a bit risky but has paid huge dividends for the band. Also featured in Kingdom Brothers’ set list are traditional gospel/blues numbers, and Kingdom Brothers’ original songs, which include the title track from the band’s 2008 CD release Shine a Light, continue to win listeners over as well. Notable local Kingdom Brothers’ events have included a TV appearance on KNLC Channel 24; a July 4th ‘08 main stage performance in Granite City before an estimated crowd of five-thousand; two very successful nights at BB's Jazz, Blues and Soups; an appearance on the blues stage at the 2010 Taste of St. Louis, and two recent blow-out shows at Harrah's Casino. The line up of lead guitarist Roskowske, vocalist Wilson and bassist Walther have logged a combined one-hundred-five years of major blues performances. Roskowske, easily recognized for his high-intensity electric leads and smooth bottle-neck slide solos, is just as comfortable accompanying Wilson’s soulful vocals with some tasteful flat-top work, a la Robert Johnson. And Walther spent years alongside the piano legend Johnnie Johnson. Stan Gill, a veteran keyboardist and formerly the stage manager for a major label, singing songwriter/guitarist Shepherd, and award-winning drummer JR Payne round out the group. Shine a Light is receiving FM radio play on four continents and has received excellent reviews here in the U.S. and in Europe. Kingdom Brothers continues to be a major crowd draw in St. Louis as they expand their listener base beyond just hardcore blues fans. Who are these guys? Tom Wilson-Lead Vocals Thirty + Year Veteran on the St. Louis R & B Scene. Lead singer of the Benders for twenty years, opened shows for groups like Asleep At The Wheel and Buddy Guy. Radio and TV commercials, promotional spot for Maritz Communications. Clayton Community Church Band. Bob Walther-Bass Guitar Bass player for Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Johnnie B. Good Johnson, Soul Icon Oliver Sain, members of the Ike & Tina Turner Review, Kenny Rice (Albert King), The Benders and David Lee and the House Rockers. With David Lee scored top 100 song in 1989 and featured in the movie White Palace, starring Susan Sarandon and James Spader. Opened shows for Asleep At The Wheel, Buddy Guy, Marshall Tucker Band, The Paladins and 80's Rockabilly Revival Giants- The Blasters. Various radio and TV spots. Clayton Community Church Band. Engineered live recordings for NPR Affiliate KWMU featuring Art Blakey (Wynton Marsallis), Jeff Lorber Group (Kenny G) and Jimmy Smith. Regional artists Beth Tuttle, Sandy Weltman and Mae Wheeler. Ron Roskowske-Lead Guitar Ron Roskowske has been a professional musician for over 30 years. His first influences were Jimi Hendrix, Duane Allman, Mick Taylor, and Eric Clapton, and then dug back to the artists that were their influences- the three Kings, BB, Albert, and Freddie, along with Albert Collins, Wes Montgomery, Steve Cropper, and Cornell Dupree. His first club apperances in St. Louis were with the Macks Creek Band, with whom he recorded an album in 1980. They toured through the midwest and opened for artists such as Gregg Allman, Grinderswitch, Mama's Pride, the Outlaws, Pure Prairie League, and Black Oak Arkansas. After the band broke up in 1982, Ron enrolled at Webster University and studied jazz guitar with Peter Mayer (Jimmy Buffet Band) and Steve Schenkel. He became a guitar teacher and choral and band director, which he does today at John F. Kennedy Catholic High School. In the late 90's, he was a member of the band Soul Bone, which combined blues, jazz, and R&B. He also is very involved in youth ministry at his parish church, Seven Holy Founders in Affton, MO as well as with the Archdiocese of St. Louis. He's appeared on recordings by local Christian artists such as Karl Zimmerman Chris Shepherd-Guitar and Vocals Chris Shepherd is a singer and songwriter currently living in St Louis. He has performed and recorded in Miami, Seattle and throughout the Midwest. Chris is probably most well known for his Contemporary Christian and Gospel songs he has been writing and performing for the last several years. He has recently been working on getting back into the blues scene and has been writing a lot of new material that he hopes will help to bring back some of the quality that is present in the old blues and soul songs he use to listen to as a kid. Stan Gill-Keyboards and Vocals Stan has been behind the keyboard ever since he could sit still. He picked up sax and flute just after high school, which is still further back than he wants to admit. A professional roadie turned stage performer, Stan might be familiar to you 70's fanatics as the stage manager from Head East's midwest tours. An elementary classroom teacher for the last decade, Stan's other regular gigs find him performing classic dance material at local clubs with The Excelerators, and traditional gospel with a R&B flair on Sunday mornings for the Clayton Community Church Band. Stan's other past projects and bands include: Jester - Classic Rock (for over 20 years and still going) West County Bible Church Band - Hymns and contemporary gospel Although Stan carries a Kurzweil keyboard on the road, he's still more at home at a baby grand or a B-3 with Leslie cabinets. Jr Payne-Drums, Our resident young gun: Moved to Arizona to play for St. Gabriel as their full time drummer 2003 While in Arizona founded an all original group playing modern rock in 2004 Played in different battle of the bands such as Hollywood Alley and Hard Rock Café 2003 - 2004 Read more on User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.