(TheBRHM.com) Blues music is dead, they said. This is the modern era, they echoed. Such notions are as absurd as a moon made of cheese. The modern blues scene doesn’t only live on. It flourishes with the same spontaneity that’s normally exclusive to infants. Today’s blues connoisseurs are a battalion of unbreakable charm, seasoned wit, and unrivaled dexterity.
That being said, the order of this specific post is to concentrate on one in particular. If you’re currently unfamiliar with Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, be sure to lock him into your list of indulgences. You’ll be anything but disappointed. Already acclaimed as the pinnacle of Delta blues aristocracy, Kingfish has dropped two sensational albums to date. His sound is a superb fusion of blues antiquity, and contemporary allure. Timeless blues conventions are repackaged without being relegated to the tacky and unrecognizable.
Throughout this post, the plan is to walk you through five of the most captivating Kingfish songs. Having said that, immersing yourself in the entirety of his albums is far more satisfying. The songs of Kingfish are all a magical blend of impeccable guitar and rustic songwriting. Combined with solid aesthetics and production on both his albums, Kingfish’s place in music history is solidified.
Let’s Start With A StereoType – “Hard Times”
Shortly before being given the privilege of writing this post, a wise man remarked, “I thought the blues was about struggle, women, and so on?” To be fair, there isn’t a modicum of inaccuracy in this sentiment. The blues was initially a channel for people to express their dismay.
Kingfish pays homage to this melancholic musical tradition with the gentle chant “Hard Times”. A simple entourage of acoustic chords paves the way for the storytelling lyrics that follow. Transforming a cliche into something cleverer is something of a specialty for this young legend. During the second verse, he makes a reference to inflation that absolutely anyone could comprehend. Whilst remaining joined at the blues’ hip, Kingfish has no struggle with being universal.
The Inside Story: “Outside Of This Town”
Christone “Kingfish” Ingram grew up in Clarksdale, Mississippi. As fate would have it, this dusty town is home to the infamous crossroads where Robert Johnson was transformed into a blues deity. Thus, it’s fair to say that Kingfish bathed in the blues his entire life. He was addicted to blues music by the tender age of five and was educated at the Delta Blues Museum.
The above being said, it’s impossible to keep musicians like Kingfish tied down. The song “Outside Of This Town” is the rambunctious opener to his self-titled debut album. Rugged guitar strumming and punchy vocals characterize this song. A sprinkling of sexy licks and soloing reassures you that you’re firmly in the realm of blues royalty. Strap in, because the rest of the album is a rollercoaster!
Don’t Believe Me? Fine, “Believe These Blues”
In time, it’s a sure bet that Kingfish songs will be known for their longevity, among other things. The tune “Believe These Blues” also gravitates around the topic of timelessness. His vocals are armed with enough soul to occupy a Memphis recording studio. But hold on, that’s just the half of it. The jaw-dropping guitar embellishments on this song are among the greatest on the album. In short, they could quite easily galvanize an impotent militia.
I’m “Not Gonna Lie”, Kingfish Songs Are Epic!
One of the more fiery numbers from his second studio album, 662, “Not Gonna Lie” has a terrific, chuggy authority. It’s aggressive. It’s flamboyant. And it’s masculine!
Laced with wah-wah muted strumming, Kingfish tackles a number of topics throughout the verses. From toxic friendships to juvenile frivolities, this number is both diverse and delectable. There’s even a splash of girl trouble in the lyrics, retaining the more novel aspects of the genre. If that wasn’t enough, the guitar solos induce more goosebumps than a Siberian winter.
Here’s A Slow jam: “Rock & Roll”
Given the orientation of the rest of the album 662, the song “Rock & Roll” is an elegant, blissful sidestep. In tribute to his mother, Princess Latrell Pride Ingram, this slow-burner brims with eternal beauty.
After passing away at the end of 2019, the young Kingfish was forced into grievance by the pandemic. He used this time to reflect on the sacrifices his mother had made before collaborating on this stunning song. Soft strumming, and carefully placed guitar solos gradually intensify throughout the song. The result: a true masterpiece filled with love, courage, and admiration.
Are There More Kingfish Songs On The Horizon?
Since we’re now adapting to post-pandemic life, Kingfish has made it abundantly clear he plans to stay on the road for a while. Touring Australia and Europe seem to be on his agenda, whilst obviously returning home on occasion too.
During the infamous closing set at Woodstock in 1969, Jimi Hendrix went berserk. His impromptu performance of the American National Anthem took the audience into a sonic interpretation of battlefield carnage. This four-minute monsoon of noise practically reshaped the counterculture movement. Perhaps one day, Kingfish might also transform into a politically-charged vehicle of sound. Whatever his aspirations, his career is certain to raise eyebrows, shake buildings and ignite souls.
Staff Writer; Steven Brooks
This talented writer is the founder of Banter Shack, a young music magazine dedicated to unearthing and promoting talented musicians and unique musical concepts. He spends the majority of his free time playing the guitar, searching for new artists, and reading and writing top-notch musical content.