Rock and roll used to be about plugging in, turning up and letting go, but as rock has aged and changed that simple formula seems to have been forgotten for the most part. Unless you ask KING KARMA, a band fast becoming one of the most talked about new groups in the current resurgence of rock music!
Built upon the solid foundations provided by rhythm section TODD RONNING (bass) and RICK FEDYK (drums), KING KARMA's music is a gorgeous amalgamation of hard rock guitar riffs and introspective acoustic passages. Guitarist, MARKUS WOLFE succeeds, where many more famous names have failed, in that he plays with true feel and purely for the song, rather than simply to show his undoubted technical ability. To round out the line-up there's vocalist SHAUN WILLIAMSON, a man with more soul and raw emotion in his voice than a recording studio full of Boy Band Wannabes and Pop Idol hopefuls.
The group's fresh approach to rock music's most influential time in history garnered the attention of legendary producer, JIMMY JOHNSON, who flew the boys from the west coast of Canada to Muscle Shoals, Alabama and recorded the quartet's awe-inspiring debut. Johnson even goes so far as to say that KING KARMA is the best rock product he's worked on since Lynyrd Skynyrd back in the 70's.
signing with CENTURION RECORDS in May of 2005, the group's debut was
released later that year through UNIVERSAL MUSIC. The following summer
KK played select festival shows opening for such rock legends as, Lynyrd
Skynyrd and Cheap Trick. The group traveled to the World Famous Sturgis
Bike Rally in South Dakota opening for Kid Rock, Blue Oyster Cult and
the reunited James Gang to name a few...
For the story of KING KARMA, we need to go back to the early 90s. Canadian bass player Todd Ronning loves heavy riffs and is searching for a suitable guitar player to write songs with. During auditions a riff caught on tape catches Ronning's ear and soon after he's put in touch with Markus Wolfe. They start writing songs and a little later they're asked to join Paul Rodgers of Bad Company for a show. Rodgers enjoys the co-operation and more gigs follow...
At the end of the 90's a lot of material has been written by the pair and they start thinking about forming a band. Ronning's search for the perfect' vocalist brings him to Nashville , where he meets songwriter/producer Josh Leo, (21 number 1 Records in the US ) who is impressed by their talent and vision. Wolfe joins Ronning in Nashville and with Leo's guidance they begin recording a demo with the help of a local rock singer. As soon as it's ready, it's played to John Briggs (VP of ASCAP) who suggests Jimmy Johnson of Muscle Shoals fame as producer. A meeting is soon scheduled and Johnson is thrilled with the prospect of producing the band's debut album...
Ronning and Wolfe fly back to Vancouver and start working on the songs. In the meantime they recruit top Canadian session drummer, Rick Fedyk. However, as the recording sessions approach, they're still hunting for that perfect' vocalist. Thanks to sound engineer Steve Melton, a long-time associate of Johnson's, they finally locate Shaun Williamson, the perfect voice for KING KARMA. Williamson had just moved back to the Southern US from Germany , where he had been living and touring throughout Europe with German bands, Backbone Slide and Sunnyland Blues Band...
Williamson joins Ronning, Wolfe and Fedyk in August 2002 and together they begin shaping the songs that would later become the band's critically acclaimed debut!
Jimmy Johnson's legendary music career came to light in the late 60's as a member of Aretha Franklin's band. Jimmy's signature rhythm guitar style was an integral part of Franklin 's classic hits, "Respect", "Chain Of Fools" and many more. In the 70's and 80's Jimmy was busy producing Lynyrd Skynyrd, Blackfoot, The Rossington Band, Bob Seger and Paul Simon. With Simon, Jimmy and his now famous studio band, "The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, aka The Swampers", were nominated for a Grammy.
Throughout his career he has remained renowned as a recording engineer, having worked the controls on classics such as The Rolling Stones' "Brown Sugar", "Wild Horses" and "You Gotta Move" Percy Sledge's "When A Man Loves A Woman" and Wilson Pickett's "Don't Knock My Love (part 1 and 2)".
Jimmy explains, "While having lunch on Music Row in Nashville , John Briggs VP-ASCAP approached me with a CD and said, "You need to hear this". I listened on the return drive to Muscle Shoals that evening. John really called this one right. KING KARMA played REAL MUSIC, something I had not heard in years. These guys played with feeling, with incredible riffs and songs that knocked my hat in the creek!" The next day John set up meetings in Muscle Shoals with Todd Ronning and Markus Wolfe. The meetings jelled and we began pre-production of KING KARMA's debut immediately!