Thursday, July 18, 2019

Album Review: Christone "Kingfish" Ingram - Kingfish

Christone "Kingfish" Ingram
**** out of *****

A few years back in 2010 a young guitar-slinger took his Austin, TX inspired electric blues to a national stage as a then 24 year old Gary Clark Jr. released his Bright Lights EP and started a meteoric rise. Now an even younger blues man, the 20 year old Christone "Kingfish" Ingram puts his modern stamp on the blues with his debut Kingfish. Coming from Clarksdale, MS his hometown pull of all the greats (Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson) is strong and he moves into southern blues instead of the Texas style; like BBQ all regional takes on the style are tasty.

Speaking of greats, it doesn't take long for one of them to show up as Buddy Guy straps in and plays with Ingram on the playfully great "Fresh Out" trading licks with a person 62 years his junior Guy sounds joyous as does Kingfish. Tracks like "It Ain't Right" and piano aided closer "That's Fine By Me" travel tried and true meaty electric guitar blues paths about wrong doin' women but Kingfish also shows range. The acoustically reflective "Been Here Before" ties his love of the old genre to his family heritage in close-up passionate fashion; even when the volume is stripped away Kingfish is affecting.

He brings in Keb Mo' and adds a pop sheen (while completely ripping off of the Talking Heads "Uh-Oh, Love Comes to Town") for the lord loving "Listen" and channels BB King for the powerful "Love Ain't My Favorite Word". "Before I'm Old" is a blues standard that deals with his obvious age gap, but it is the strength of tunes like "Believe These Blues" and "Hard Times" which prove that Kingfish sounds ingrained in the blues well beyond his years.

The whole record is a solid arrival onto the scene but two stand out a bit higher than the rest. "Trouble" is an upbeat jaunt about being caught by another woman with a New Orleans rumba juiced blues to it, while "If You Love Me" takes warbling guitars and pumping lines and adds gorgeous harmonica to the blues cliched number, resulting in a fresh sounding jam. 

Going back to the beginning Clark sang "you're gonna know my name" and Ingram begins his full length debut by singing that he is sick of waiting around his town and is about to leave it behind for better things on the direct "Outside of This Town". With quality playing, blues song writing and singing this young buck will be touring the world from here on out.     
Support the artist, buy the album and peep some video below:

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