Smokstik is a St. Louis- based original music group featuring Kingvegas on the Warr Guitar, vocals and other stuff (including drums). Smokstik has released two albums including “Bugs” in 1998 and “2″ in 2010 as well as eleasing a few singles in 2012 including “Fill Me Up” and “Corn Cob Bob”.
Smokstik was born in Boston, MA in 1995 with drummer Gary Morrell who was replaced by Hillary Koogler who appeared on the Bugs album. A number of drummers have performed with Smokstik in Boston and St. Louis including Joe Meyer who appeared on the “2″ album, Troy Velazquez, Dave Westner, Leon Lamont, and Shawn Marquis. Recent tracks have featured Kingvegas on the drums as well as Radomir Ratkovic.
Smokstik has performed extensively around the Northeast and Midwest regions in the US. Past performances have included the Middle East, TT the Bear’s, The House of Blues, CBGB, the Hi Pointe, Sally T’s, a variety of colleges and festivals and many others.
Kingvegas grew up in the suburbs of St. Louis, Mo. and began playing guitar at age 12. He also played a variety of instruments in school band including saxophone, tuba, guitar and bass. His first paying gigs were playing parties and dances in high school which soon turned into playing bars and venues by the time he was 16. He studied applied music in college for a few years as well as doing his first national tour at age 18 and playing extensively around the Midwest region. In 1991 at age 23 Kingvegas moved to Boston, Ma where he was based for the next 10 years. In 1993 he purchased a Chapman Stick- a unique instrument designed to facilitate two-handed tapping on a guitar. Later on he acquired a Warr Guitar- the instrument that he has now played since 1999.
Kingvegas performed in a wide variety of musical groups from singer-songwriters like Jim Infantino and Chris Trapper to hard-edged progressive rock bands like Pat the Burning Dog to industrial/pop groups like Super G, with his own original duo Smokstik, art-rock artists such as Rod Webber, Daniel Liszt and Dana Colley and even with the Blue Man Group.
Upon his return to St. Louis Kingvegas worked with a few drummers and then settled into a permanent member Joe Meyer. Joe recorded the drum tracks for the “2” album with Kingvegas in 2002 and it was finished and mixed in 2003. The album wasn’t released until 2010, however as Joe and Kingvegas both got busy doing other projects.
In 2012 Kingvegas recorded and released the new Smokstik tune “Fill Me Up” as well as producing and accompanying music video. In early 2013 Kingvegas also released an old Smokstik staple “Corn Cob Bob” and an accompanying video.
Kingvegas is constantly writing and producing new material as well as producing a number of remixes, collaborations and singles and posting them around the web. Stay tuned!