Kingfish (band)

Kingfish (band)

Infobox musical artist
Name = Kingfish

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Origin = San Francisco, California
Genre = Rock
Years_active = 1973 - present
Label = Round Records
Relix Records
Phoenix Rising
Associated_acts = Ratdog
Current_members = Matthew Kelly
Past_members = Bob Weir
Dave Torbert
Robbie Hoddinott
Chris Herold
Mick Ward
David Merrill
Bill Laymon
Arthur Steinhorn
Mookie Siegel
Bill Kreutzmann
Barry Sless
Steve Kimock
Ken Emerson
Steve Shive
Barry Flast

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.

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. (Kelly later appeared on the Grateful Dead albums "Shakedown Street" and "The Closing of Winterland", and on Weir's album "Bobby & 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 1980, Kingfish disbanded. Dave Torbert died in 1983.

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.

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 Records)
* "Live 'N' Kickin"' – 1977 (Jet Records)
* "Trident" – 1978 (Jet Records)
* "Kingfish (1973-80)" – 1985
* "Alive in Eighty Five" – 1985 (Relix Records)
* "" – 1996 (King Biscuit Records)
* "Relix's Best of Kingfish" – 1997 (Relix Records)
* "A Night in New York" – 1997 (Relix Records)
* "Sundown on the Forest" – 1999 (Phoenix Rising)
* "Live" – 2000 (EMI–Capitol Special Markets)
* "From the Front Row... Live" – 2003 – DVD-Audio
* "Greatest Hits Live" – 2003 (King Biscuit Records)
* "I Hear You Knockin"' – 2004 (Disky Records)


* [ 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. All Music Guide biography of Kingfish]
* [ Metzger, John. Review of "Sundown on the Forest", "The Music Box", Volume 6, #7, July 1999]
* [ biography of Kingfish]
* [ Phoenix Rising biography of Matthew Kelly]
* [ Knight, Brian L. "Kingfishing for Blues: An Interview with Matthew Kelly" "The Vermont Review"]
* [ Kingfish discography on]

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