Kings Conquer with Double Wide Range
If all you know about the Doublewide Kings is their name, you might think the band is all about trailer park tailgating. That idea goes out the window, though, in favor of thinking this might be a vanity band when you realize the Kings were formed by Palmer Jackson, Jr., whose famous family members are among the better-known philanthropists in town with a decades-old foundation that supports myriad nonprofits on an annual basis. But that’s not right, either.
Discovering that the Kings have done three different full evening tribute shows since 2018 focusing on music by Neil Young, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and the Allman Brothers – all of which sold out 600-plus seats at the Lobero, the first one providing the big breakthrough in stepping up from gigs at SOhO – you might think they’re merely a classic rock cover band cashing in on the nostalgic craze. But then you’ll see them playing for free on the plaza in front of the Granada, or entertaining at a benefit, and maybe even catch an original song or two.
So what gives?
“We’re as surprised as anyone just how popular we are, but really it’s just that we’re having so much fun,” said Jackson, the rhythm guitarist who formed the Doublewide Kings as an offshoot of the Bay Area group Mobile Home Boys (get it?) a few years after returning to town. “I think it’s really contagious.”
Fun is certainly an operative factor, but the other fact that matters is that the Doublewide Kings are good. Really good. Not many bands can move between the intricate polyrhythms and slide guitar licks of The Allmans’ “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed,” the lullaby allure of Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon,” the twang of CS&N’s “Teach Your Children,” and the raunch of the Rolling Stones without missing a beat (or a note). That’s because the five members, each of whom has a regular day job, care a whole lot about making music too, and have managed to get together to rehearse weekly on a regular basis for years.
The Kings includes two other members of the Home Boys (singer/harmonica player John Simpson and drummer Charlie Crisafulli) plus two longtime locals Jackson has known for decades, guitarist Cord Pereira, who he first played with back at the Cate School in the early ‘80s, and bassist Robert Teneyck, who he met at work 15 years ago.
That longstanding camaraderie is the connective tissue that not only holds the Kings together, but also is palpably on display whenever they play.
“We’re really good friends and it’s a blast hanging out and playing music together,” Jackson said.
This Saturday night, November 19, the Kings return to the Lobero for their first-ever non-single-artist-tribute appearance at the theater. What’s more, the focus will be on original songs that fit quite nicely alongside the radio staples.
“We’ve written a bunch of songs over the last nine years or so, and now that we have a fan base, we decided to honor that music and share it with people,” he said. “Of course, we’ll do some of our favorite covers, too.”
Which will likely result in another sleepless night for the band members post-gig.
“There’s just so much adrenaline when we play for people who are into it,” Jackson said. “It’s like a big virtuous circle of fun.”
Or in other words, your grin at night’s end will likely be double wide.