Tom Clifford: A DC native, lead vocalist Clifford is a veteran of the New Orleans and Austin music scenes. An energetic live performer, the Austin American- Statesman called Clifford “the hardest man in show business.” His past includes the Thangs, the Mistreaters and gigs with renegade Soul legend Swamp Dogg and Mike Morgan & the Crawl. His songs have been recorded by Kelly Willis, the Stone River Boys, the Hollisters and Johnny J, among others.
Jake Flack: Co-frontman/Songwriter/Guitarist Flack is another veteran of the Austin and New Orleans music scenes. Flack has lead the Neptunes in Austin, Thousand $Car in New Orleans, and DC’s Rhodes Tavern Troubadours. His legion of fans includes Billy Gibbons (who produced a record for the Neptunes) and baseball legend Earl Weaver, who threw out the 2011 Opening Day pitch to Flack’s Rhodes Tavern Troubadours classic “The Earl of Baltimore”. A talented songwriter, Flack’s tunes cover the ground from New Orleans second line to the RTT’s kidrock featured on Sirius radio.
Mark Noone: Bassist Mark Noone is a true rock ‘n roll legend. Noone has fronted the Slickee Boys going on three decades, touring the globe with “the world’s most underground band.” His wide ranging projects include countless songwriting and production credits and time playing with the Hula Monsters, the Rhodes Tavern Troubadours and Ruthie & the Wranglers.
Arif Durrani: A longtime member of Jr. Cline and the Recliners, Durrani brings many years of R&B organ experience to King Soul. A personal tutorial from Hammond master Art Neville helped form Durrani’s attack on the instrument.
Ben Holmes: Drummer Holmes has played with bands on both coasts of the US, and spent years holding down the big beat for Zydeco giant Queen Ida and for boogie pianist Mitch Woods. In the Washington area, Holmes has been a member of the Hula Monsters, the Canecutters and the Savoir Faire Cajun Band.
Chris Watling: A founding member of DC’s The Grandsons, a short list of folks saxophonist Watling has played with includes R&B legends Lloyd Price, Howard Tate, Jerry Butler, Ben E. King, and modern masters Delbert McClinton and James Hunter. He is one of the most in-demand players in the region and puts his personal stamp on all of the King Soul charts.
Vince McCool: Whether the gig is straight ahead jazz, swing or R&B, McCool is the area’s first call for trumpet. An original member of DC’s J Street Jumpers, McCool spent years gigging in New Orleans and has played with Tina Turner, The Spinners, and Charles Brown.
Lyle Link: Tenor saxophonist Link has played with Soul legends Patti Labelle, James Ingram, Isaac Hayes and jammed with Prince. He has performed at countless venues around the world and is a current member of the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra.
Photo by Ken Wyner