CLEAR LAKE | Blues masters The Cash Box Kings will celebrate the release of their Alligator Records debut, "Royal Mint," with a free headline performance at the Bicycle, Blues & BBQ Festival in Clear Lake on Saturday, July 8.

The festival kicks off with a pre-show by Blue Rooster at The Surf District at 9 p.m. Thursday.

Barbecue vendors start serving at 5 p.m. Friday, with music at City Park by Brian Naughton Band, Rachelle Coba and 2013 Blues Hall of Fame inductee Joe Moss Band.

Bicycle racing begins Saturday, with time trials, criterium races and a free kids race. There are also workshops with the Lickety Split Blues Society under their tent in the park.

The second annual Brews on the Beach is Saturday afternoon near the Sea Wall, with more blues in the evening.

The weekend of racing concludes with Sunday road races and the Omnium race awards at 3 p.m. 

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Riders in the Category 4 men's race compete in last year's annual Bicycle, Blues & BBQ Festival in Clear Lake.

The Cash Box Kings play tough, "real deal" classic Chicago blues; raw, passionate Delta blues; jumping proto-rock 'n' roll and steamrolling "bluesabilly," their original mix of Chicago blues and Memphis rockabilly.

The band is fueled by the powerhouse harmonica work of Madison, Wisconsin-based songwriter Joe Nosek and the gritty vocals of Chicago bluesman Oscar Wilson.

"Royal Mint" features 13 hard-hitting songs, including six originals, from the wry, politically-charged "Build That Wall," to the chilling "Blues For Chi-Raq," and the funny "If You Got A Jealous Woman Facebook Ain't Your Friend."

Nosek founded The Cash Box Kings in Madison in 2001 and, since 2007, has co-led the band with charismatic, larger-than-life vocalist Oscar Wilson. With more than 20 years difference in age and coming from vastly different backgrounds, the two form an unlikely pair.

Nosek calls the group of top-notch traditional players who comprise The Cash Box Kings "a blues collective." Members appear in different combinations for different performances, but the full ensemble includes guitarists Joel Paterson and Billy Flynn, drummers Kenny "Beedy Eyes" Smith and Mark Haines, bassist Brad Ber and newest member Lee Kanehira.

The Cash Box Kings regularly headline Chicago venues like Buddy Guy's Legends and Rosa's Lounge and have played major festivals across the U.S. and Europe.

The band has eight previous releases and hundreds of live performances throughout the world under its belt.

The 2013 CD "Black Toppin'" won the 2013 Blues Blast Music Award for Traditional Blues Album of the Year, and was nominated for a 2014 Blues Music Award in the same category.

The CD "Holding Court" was nominated for two 2016 Blues Music Awards and the band was also nominated for the Band of the Year Award.

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