Philbo King (Phil Koenig) has been playing guitar since age 10, when he got an all-plastic Eminee Hootenanny guitar and a thick Beatles book from his sister Cecilia for Christmas, and a classical guitar book printed in 1912 from his grandmother. These were his sole musical training, as he is completely self-taught.
At age 12, his parents moved to Davenport Iowa, where he connected with a few junior high friends to form a garage cover band called 'The Odds And Ends', doing music from the Monkees, Paul Revere and the Raiders and similar bands, playing on Teisco Del Rey and Woolworth instruments through Checkmate amplifiers. At age 13, Philbo connected with Dino Anton, who introduced him to the blues, to album rock, and connected him to blues guitar player John Pena. Early influences included Canned Heat, John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers, B.B. King, Al Cooper/Mike Bloomfield and John Lee Hooker. For the next couple of years, he sat in with various friends in all-night weekend blues jams and spent his free time playing along with records for hours each day.
From 1971 to 1973 Philbo performed with several different progressive rock and cover bands in southern Wisconsin and in the Quad Cities area, including groups called 'Pivoted' , 'Dutch Schultz and Shotgun', and 'Sunshot'. Sunshot booked with McClane Agency and played extensively for 4 or 5 years in the region from central Illinois to eastern Iowa. The advent of punk rock caused one of the members to want to change the music, and Philbo quit the band shortly after.
In 1978 Philbo played bass for a old-school country band, called 'The Good Ol' Boys' and covered music by Hank Williams Sr., Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, Merle Haggard, Jimmy Reed, Charlie Pride and the Charlie Daniels Band. Philbo then went to work for a year or two with a Davenport local rock band called 'The Daily Planet', doing front-of-house sound mixing and assisting with recording work in their studio 'Redrox Recording'. This culminated with the band releasing an album and opening for Toto at the Palmer Auditorium in 1981.
At this point he had gotten married, went to college and started a family, then ended up teaching electronics at a voc-tech college for the next 10 years after graduating. Although he did collaborate on a few music projects with other people during this time, most of his free time was spent experimenting with a 4-track Teac reel-to-reel recorder, learning how to record and mix music.
In 1991, Philbo moved to the Cedar Rapids area and began working at an aerospace company, where he worked on jet aircraft avionics, doing work in designing autopilots, GPS, navigation, and various other projects. During this time he held weekend jam sessions at his house for his friends, and for the next 10 years played with them almost every weekend. Eventually they drifted toward using a PC to do recording, named themselves 'Tangent' and in 2000 released an album 'Sea Of Tranquility' which was a collection of all-original songs they had put together. In 2002 they released a second album of originals called 'Along Another Tangent'.
In 2010 he decided to record a solo album of all-original blues, and worked on it off and on in spare time. It was finished in 2015 and released in March 2017. Late in 2015 Philbo contacted BeBad Brad McCloud and suggested working together. They were partnering as Case Of The Blues and have performed twice at the Juke Joint Festival in Clarksdale MS, twice at the Sunday Blues show in the Des Moines Botanical Center, and a variety of tavern gigs in Iowa.
Philbo is currently working solo on recording a back catalog of over 100 songs he has written over the decades, while still performing live regularly. This recording work is expected to take a few years...
See the bio.
I play live frequently at local venues in Iowa. I love the energy feedback from the audience. It makes me step up my performance to return it to them.
Blues: B.B. King, Albert Collins, Freddy King, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Robert Johnson, too many to list.
Rock: Jimi Hendrix, Led Zepplin, Pink Floyd, Wishbone Ash, Joe Walsh to name a few.
Jazz: Dave Brubeck, Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller, John Coltrane, Miles Davis
Basses: Kramer, with aluminum neck. Ibanez also.
Guitars: Fender Strat, Godin LGX-SA, Gibson ES-355, 1963 Epiphone Melody Maker, Ovation Custom Balladeer 12 string, Carvin Cobalt acoustic.
Other: Regal Dobro, Hohner harmonicas, Korg DW-8000 keyboard, acoustic upright piano, Roland TD-3 electric drums, GR-30 and GR-33 guitar synths, plus a variety of acoustic percussion instruments.
I hope those who listen to my songs are taken on a journey that allows them to relate their own experiences to what's going on in the songs. I encourage everyone who enjoys what I do in music to share these songs with their friends!