Kingfish performing in El Camino Park, Palo Alto, California, on June 8, 1975. Left to right: Barry Flast, Robbie Hoddinott, Bob Weir, Dave Torbert, Chris Herold, Matthew Kelly.
|Origin||San Francisco, California|
|Years active||1973 - present|
|Past members||Matthew Kelly
Kingfish is an American rock band led by Matthew Kelly, a musician, singer, and songwriter who plays guitar and harmonica. Kelly co-founded Kingfish in 1973 with New Riders of the Purple Sage bass player Dave Torbert and fellow San Francisco Bay Area musicians Robbie Hoddinott, Chris Herold, and Mick Ward. However, Ward died in a car accident later that year, and was soon replaced by Barry Flast, another keyboardist from San Francisco.
In 1974, Kingfish became more well known, and signed their first record contract, after Grateful Dead member Bob Weir, a long-time friend of Kelly's, joined the band. (Kelly had previously been a guest musician on the Grateful Dead album Wake of the Flood.) Weir toured with Kingfish and was a band member on their first two albums, Kingfish and Live 'n' Kickin'. When the Dead started touring again in 1976, Weir left Kingfish, along with Hoddinott and Herold, who were then replaced by Barry Flast, Michael O'Neill and Dave Perper. (Kelly later appeared on the Grateful Dead albums Shakedown Street and The Closing of Winterland, and on Weir's album Bobby and the Midnites. In 1995 he became a founding member of Weir's band Ratdog.)
The lineup of the band continued to change, with Kelly and Torbert remaining at the core. Then, in 1979 Torbert and Kelly parted ways and Torbert formed a new lineup with Danny "Rio" DeGennaro and Michael O'Neill on guitars and sharing lead vocals. Also part of that lineup were drummer Steve Shive and Ralph Liberto. Dave Torbert died of a heart attack in 1982.
Starting in 1984, Kingfish would regroup from time to time and go on tour with a gradually evolving lineup of musicians led by Matthew Kelly. In 1987, Kelly also released a solo album called A Wing and a Prayer. In 1999 Kingfish released a new studio album, Sundown on the Forest, recorded over a period of several years with different combinations of musicians, including Bob Weir and a number of other Kingfish veterans.
In the 1990s, the touring activity of Kingfish slowly decreased. Late in that decade, Kelly was living in Hawaii, and making a yearly trip to India. Since then the band has not performed live.
- Kingfish – 1976 (Round) U.S. #50
- Live 'n' Kickin' – 1977 (Jet) U.S. #103
- Trident – 1978 (Jet)
- Kingfish – 1985 (Relix)
- Alive in Eighty Five – 1985 (Relix)
- Kingfish in Concert: King Biscuit Flower Hour – 1996 (King Biscuit)
- Relix's Best of Kingfish – 1997 (Relix)
- A Night in New York – 1997 (Relix)
- Sundown on the Forest – 1999 (Phoenix Rising)
- Live – 2000 (EMI–Capitol Special Markets)
- From the Front Row... Live – 2003 – DVD-Audio (Silverline)
- Greatest Hits Live – 2003 (King Biscuit)
- I Hear You Knockin' – 2004 (Disky)
Notes and references
- Vineberg, Andy (January 10, 2012). "Drummer Recalls Glory Days with DeGenarro in Kingfish", phillyBurbs.com. Retrieved January 20, 2012.
- Nark, Jason (December 30, 2011). "Noted Local Guitarist Danny DeGennaro Found Shot Dead in Bucks Home", The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved January 20, 2012.
- MacNeil, Jason (December 30, 2011). "Danny DeGennaro Dead: Kingfish Guitarist Dies After Gunshot Wound to the Chest", Spinner. Retrieved January 20, 2012.
- Grissim, John. "The Dead After a Decade: 'Allah' Means Business", Rolling Stone, issue 199, November 6, 1975
- Selvin, Joel. "Dead Man Talking", San Francisco Chronicle, March 21, 2004
- Renner, Chip. Allmusic biography of Kingfish
- Metzger, John. Review of Sundown on the Forest, The Music Box, Volume 6, #7, July 1999
- Bay-Area-Bands.com biography of Kingfish
- Phoenix Rising biography of Matthew Kelly
- Knight, Brian L. "Kingfishing for Blues: An Interview with Matthew Kelly" The Vermont Review
- Trager, Oliver (1997). The American Book of the Dead: The Definitive Grateful Dead Encyclopedia. Fireside. ISBN 0-684-81402-1.
- Jackson, Blair (1999). Garcia: An American Life. New York: Penguin Books. p. 264. ISBN 0-14-029199-7.
- McNally, Dennis (2002). A Long Strange Trip: The Inside History of the Grateful Dead. New York: Broadway Books. p. 487. ISBN 0-7679-1186-5.
- Kingfish discography on DeadDisc.com