Kingfish

Christone "Kingfish" Ingram

Kingfish


20-year-old blues firebrand comes bursting out of Clarksdale, Mississippi, with a sensational debut packed with piercing guitar, husky, impassioned singing and potent songwriting. Kingfish reinvigorates the blues with Ingram’s infectious, youthful fire. Buddy Guy, Keb' Mo' and Billy Branch guest.  "One of the most exciting young guitarists in years, with a sound that encompasses B.B. King, Jimi Hendrix and Prince." —Rolling Stone


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1. Outside Of This Town 4:08


I’M LEAVING THIS TOWN TOMORROW
I GOT MANY PLACES TO SEE
AND MANY PLACES TO GO
I’M SO TIRED OF THE DOING THE SAME OLD THING
I’M SHOOTING FOR THE HIGHEST STAR
WANT PEOPLE TO REMEMBER MY NAME 

IF YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND
LET ME BREAK IT DOWN
I KNOW THAT THERES LIFE
OUTSIDE OF THIS TOWN

I HAVE FRIENDS AND FAMILY
THAT I SEE EVERYDAY
DON’T PLAN ON MOVING FORWARD
STUCK IN THE SAME OLD PLACE
BUT THAT’S NOT THE ROAD
THAT I WANNA GO DOWN
I GOTTA DO WHATS BEST FOR ME
AIN’T NO HANGING AROUND 

I COULD STAY HERE FOREVER
BUT I JUST CAN’T STICK AROUND
I KNOW THAT THERES LIFE
OUTSIDE OF THIS TOWN

WHEN THE ROOSTER CROWS I’M LEAVING
AND I AIN’T LOOKING BACK
ALL YOUR GONNA SEE IS TAILLIGHTS
CROSSING THOSE RAILROAD TRACKS

IF I DON’T LEAVE I’LL DIE HERE
AND END UP 6 FEET DOWN,
I KNOW THAT THERE’S LIFE OUTSIDE OF THIS TOWN

Copyright 2017 Tom Hambridge Tunes/Christone Ingram for Sound Sculpture

 

2. Fresh Out feat. Buddy Guy 3:48


NO COFFEE FOR MY BREAKFAST,
NO BUTTER ON MY ROLL,
AIN’T GOT A DROP OF MILK,
FOR THE CORN FLAKES IN MY BOWL

(CHORUS)
FRESH OUT,
BABY I’M ALL FRESH OUT,
AIN’T HAD NO LOVIN’ SINCE THE DAY YOU WENT AWAY,
I’M FRESH OUT

NO JELLY IN THE JAR,
NO FLOUR IN THE SACK,
I AIN’T GOT NOTHIN’ COOKIN’,
BABY PLEASE WON’T YOU COME BACK

(CHORUS)
FRESH OUT,
I’M ALL FRESH OUT,
AIN’T HAD NO LOVIN’ SINCE THE DAY GIRL YOU WENT AWAY,
I’M FRESH OUT

(SOLO)

I DRANK UP MY LAST BOTTLE,
OF JOHNNIE WALKER RED,
NOBODY IN THIS BIG HOUSE,
BUT ME AND AN EMPTY BED

(CHORUS)
FRESH OUT,
BABY I’M FRESH OUT,
I HAD NO LOVIN’ SINCE THE DAY YOU WENT AWAY,
I’M FRESH OUT
NO DOUBT I’M FRESH OUT

Copyright 2017 Tom Hambridge Tunes/Richard Fleming Music

3. It Ain't Right 3:05


I GIVE YOU ALL YOU WANT
TREAT YOU LIKE A QUEEN
WHEN YOU DON’T GET YOUR WAY
YOU GET DAMN MEAN

IT AIN’T RIGHT
THAT AIN’T NO WAY TO ACT
YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED
TREATING ME LIKE THAT

FIRST TIME I MET YOU BABY
YOU PURRED LIKE A KITTY CAT
NOW I FEEL THEM CLAWS
SCRATCHING DOWN MY BACK

IT AIN’T RIGHT
THAT AIN’T NO WAY TO ACT
YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED
TREATING ME LIKE THAT

YOU KNOW I LOVE YOU BABY
BUT YOU GOTTA CHILL
I SAID I’D NEVER LEAVE YOU
BUT SOMETIMES I THINK I WILL

IT AIN’T RIGHT
THAT AIN’T NO WAY TO ACT
YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED
TREATING ME LIKE THAT

Copyright 2017 Tom Hambridge Tunes/Christone Ingram for Sound Sculpture

4. Been Here Before 5:54


SOME DAYS I FEEL SO DIFFERENT
IT’S LIKE I DON’T FIT IN
SOME KIDS LIKE THE GREATEST HITS
BUT I DIG GUITAR SLIM
SOME DAYS I WAKE UP GRATEFUL
SOME DAYS I’M NOT SO SURE
I CAN STILL HEAR GRANDMA SAYING
CHILD YOU BEEN HERE BEFORE

I DON’T KNOW WHERE I CAME FROM
OR HOW I GOT THIS WAY
MOMMA SAID THE SKY LIT UP
WITH LIGHTNING ON MY BIRTHDAY
I’VE ALWAYS BEEN DIFFERENT
THAT’S ONE THING THAT’S FOR SURE
I CAN STILL HEAR GRANDMA SAYINGS
CHILD YOU’VE BEEN HEAR BEFORE

LOOKING BACK I WONDER
BOUT ALL THE THINGS I’VE DONE
KNOW SEEMS TO BE SURE
WHERE I CAME FROM
I CAN STILL HEAR GRANDMA PRAYING
AND SHE’D BE TALKING TO THE LORD
SHE’D SAY CHILD IF I NO ONE THING
YOU’VE BEEN HERE BEFORE

I CAN’T FIND THE FOOTPRINTS
I CAN’T FIND NO TRACKS
I DON’T HAVE NO PROOF
HOW I MADE IT BACK
PEOPLE ALWAYS TELL ME
BOY YOU’VE GOT ME AN OLD SOUL
I CAN STILL HEAR GRANDMA SAYINGS
CHILD YOU BEEN HEAR BEFORE

I MIGHT HAVE BEEN A ROOSTER
I MIGHT HAVE BEEN A GOAT
I MIIGHT HAVE BEEN THE KING OF THE JUNGLE
A LONG LONG TIME AGO
LL I KNOW IS THAT SOME BLESSINGS
FOLLOW ME EVERYWHERE I GO
I CAN STILL HEAR GRANDMA SAYING
CHILD YOU BEEN HERE BEFORE

ONE DAY DOWN THE ROAD
WHEN I GET TO HEAVENS DOOR
I HOPE I HEAR GRANDMA SAYING
KINGFISH YOU BEEN HERE BEFORE

Copyright 2017 Tom Hambridge Tunes/Christone Ingram for Sound Sculpture

5. If You Love Me 4:03


IF YOU LOVE ME, PLEASE SAY THAT YOU DO
IF YOU LOVE ME, HONEY, SAY THAT YOU DO
IF YOU LOVE ME PLEASE SAY THAT YOU DO
IF YOU DON’T I’M THROUGH WITH YOU
IF YOU LOVE ME

IF YOU LOVE ME, HONEY, WHY WON’T YOU ACT RIGHT?
IF YOU LOVE ME, HONEY, WHY WON’T YOU ACT RIGHT?
IF YOU LOVE WHY WON’T YOU ACT RIGHT?
IF YOU DO I’LL SEE YOU TONIGHT
IF YOU LOVE ME

IF YOU LOVE ME, BABY, GIVE ME WHAT YOU GOT
IF YOU LOVE ME, BABY, GIVE ME WHAT YOU GOT
IF YOU LOVE ME GIVE ME GIVE ME WHAT YOU GOT
I’LL MAKE SURE YOUR FIRE BURN HOT
IF YOU LOVE ME

JUST AS SURE AS THE BIRDS FLY IN THE SKY
I’LL LOVE YOU ‘TIL THE DAY I DIE
AND JUST AS SURE AS THE FISH SWIM IN THE SEA
YOU’LL NEVER FIND ANOTHER MAN LIKE ME

IF YOU LOVE ME, PLEASE SAY THAT YOU DO
IF YOU LOVE ME, HONEY SAY THAT YOU DO
IF YOU LOVE ME PLEASE SAY THAT YOU DO
IF YOU DON’T I’M THROUGH WITH YOU
IF YOU LOVE ME

IF YOU LOVE ME PLEASE SAY THAT YOU DO
IF YOU DON’T I’M THROUGH WITH YOU
IF YOU LOVE ME

 

6. Love Ain't My Favorite Word 5:25


LOVE AIN’T MY FAVORITE WORD, SO MANY PEOPLE USE IT IN VAIN
LOVE AIN’T MY FAVORITE WORD, SO MANY PEOPLE USE IT IN VAIN
I THOUGHT THAT LOVE WAS GONNA HEAL MY HEART, BUT ALL IT DID WAS ADD TO THE PAIN

I HAD ME A GIRL, WHO I REALLY CARED FOR
SHE TORE MY HEART TO PIECES,
AND SHE WALKED RIGHT OUT THAT DOOR
LOVE AIN’T MY FAVORITE WORD, SO MANY PEOPLE USE IT IN VAIN
I THOUGHT THAT LOVE WAS GONNA HEAL MY HEART, BUT ALL IT DID WAS ADD TO THE PAIN

SHE SAID SHE’D NEVER LEAVE
SHE SAID IT TO MY FACE
I WOKE UP ONE MORNING
AND SHE WAS THREE STATES AWAY
LOVE AIN’T MY FAVORITE WORD, SO MANY PEOPLE USE IT IN VAIN
I THOUGHT THAT LOVE WAS GONNA HEAL MY HEART, BUT ALL IT DID WAS TO THE PAIN

Copyright 2017 Tom Hambridge Tunes/Christone Ingram for Sound Sculpture

7. Listen feat. Keb' Mo' 5:29


EVERYDAY YOUR SUNSHINE
COMES PEEKING THRU THE BLINDS
EVERYDAY YOUR SUNSHINE
COMES PEEKING THRU MY BLINDS
BRIGHTEN UP MY MORNING
BRINGS ME JOY AND PEACE OF MIND

I GET UP AND HEAD OUT
AKING IN THE BRAND NEW DAY
I GET UP AND HEAD OUT
TAKING IN THE BRAND NEW DAY
FEEL YOU RIGHT BESIDE ME
WITH EVERY BREATH I TAKE

(CHORUS)
FEEL YOU IN THE WARM BREEZE
BLOWING THROUGH THE TALL TREES
SIGNS ARE ALL AROUND ME
THE SKY IS FULL OF STARS
I JUST WANNA STOP AND STARE
SO MUCH TENDER LOVE AND CARE
HIS FINGERPRINTS ARE EVERYWHERE
JUST LISTEN TO YOUR HEART

I CAN’T WAIT TIL SUNDAY
TO SEE YOU FACE AGAIN
I CAN’T WAIT TIL SUNDAY
TO SEE YOU FACE AGAIN
THE LIGHT GOES ON FOREVER
THE BEAUTY NEVER ENDS

(CHORUS)
FEEL YOU IN THE WARM BREEZE
BLOWING THROUGH THE TALL TREES
SIGNS ARE ALL AROUND ME
THE SKY IS FULL OF STARS
I JUST WANNA STOP AND STARE
SO MUCH TENDER LOVE AND CARE
HIS FINGERPRINTS ARE EVERYWHERE
JUST LISTEN TO YOUR HEART

8. Before I'm Old 4:15


I WAS BORN AT THE TURN OF THE CENTURY,
LUCKY TO BE BORN AT ALL,
GREW UP WAY DOWN IN MISSISSIPPI,
WHEN I HEARD ROBERT JOHNSON CALL

(CHORUS)
BUT I’VE SEEN A LOT AND I DONE A LOT,
TOO YOUNG TO LAY DOWN IN THAT HOLE,
I’M JUST TRYING TO FLY HIGH AND NOT DIE,
BEFORE I’M OLD

BREAKING ROCKS ON A CHAIN GANG,
UP UNTIL THE SUN WENT DOWN,
TOO MANY SOULS ARE BURIED,
IN THE DIRT POOR DELTA GROUND

(REPEAT CHORUS)

I PUT LIGHTNING BACK IN BOTTLES,
POKE RATTLESNAKES JUST FOR FUN,
PEOPLE SAY I GOT AN OLD SOUL,
AND I AIN’T EVEN TWENTY-ONE

BUT I’VE SEEN A LOT AND I DONE A LOT,
AIN’T READY FOR THE HOLE,
I’M JUST TRYING TO FLY HIGH AND NOT DIE,
I’M JUST TRYING TO FLY HIGH AND NOT DIE,
I’M JUST TRYING TO FLY HIGH AND NOT DIE,
BEFORE I’M OLD

Copyright 2017 Tom Hambridge Tunes/Richard Fleming Music

 

9. Believe These Blues 4:24


AS LONG AS TIME KEEPS TICKING,
LONG AS PEOPLE HAVE TO CRY,
WHEN I SEE LOVED ONES LEAVING,
SAYING LAST GOODBYES,
I BELIEVE THESE BLUES
ARE NEVER GONNA DIE

WHEN I SEE BAD THINGS HAPPEN,
TO GOOD FOLKS EVERYDAY,
CHILDREN GOING HUNGRY,
WITH NOTHIN’ ON THEIR PLATES,
I BELIEVE THESE BLUES,
WON’T EVER GO AWAY

PEOPLE TRY TO END THEIR TROUBLES,
BY DRINKING WHISKEY DOWN,
BUT I BELIEVE THESE BLUES,
WILL ALWAYS BE AROUND

I CAN’T TELL THE FUTURE,
BUT I CAN PLAY MY SONG,
I CAN’T TELL THE FUTURE,
BUT I CAN PLAY MY SONG,
AND I BELIEVE THESE BLUES,
WILL GO ON AND ON

Copyright 2017 Tom Hambridge Tunes/Richard Fleming Music

10. Trouble 2:55


WOKE UP THIS MORNING IN A BED THAT WASN’T MINE
WOMAN LAYING ME BESIDE ME SHE WASN’T MY WIFE
I THROW MY HEAD IN MY HANDS
TRYING TO MAKE UP A STORY THE BEST WAY I CAN
I’M IN TROUBLE AND THERES NO DOUBT
I’M IN TROUBLE AIN’T NO WAY I CAN GET OUT

HOPPED OUT THE BED AND I GRABBED MY PHONE
15 TEXTS AND TEN MISSED CALLS
SHE SAID I KNOW YOU’RE OUT THERE MESSING AROUND
WHEN YOU GET HOME IT’S GOING DOWN
I’M IN TROUBLE AND THERES NO DOUBT
I’M IN TROUBLE AIN’T NO WAY I CAN GET OUT

I FINALLY MADE IT HOME AND TRIED TO SNEAK RIGHT IN
SHE POPPED OUT OF NOWHERE AND SAID “WHERE YOU BEEN?”
SHE STARTING SCREAMING AND SAID “THAT’S IT”
“AIN’T PUTTING UP WITH NO MORE OF YOUR...”
TROUBLE AND THERES NO DOUBT
I’M IN TROUBLE AIN’T NO WAY I CAN GET OUT
I’M IN TROUBLE I’M IN TROUBLE
I’M IN TROUBLE AND THERES NO DOUBT
I’M IN TROUBLE AIN’T NO WAY I CAN GET OUT
 

11. Hard Times 3:08


TALKIN’ TO MY NEIGHBORS,
LISTENIN’ TO MY FRIENDS,
EVERYBODY’S HURTIN’,
WHEN’S IT GONNA END

HARD TIMES,
TALKIN’ ‘BOUT HARD TIMES,
IF IT WASN’T FOR MY WOMAN,
I BELIEVE I’D LOSE MY MIND

PRICES GOIN’ UP,
DOWN AT THE DOLLAR STORE,
THINGS WE USED TO BUY,
WE CAN’T BUY NO MORE

HARD TIMES,
TALKIN’ ‘BOUT HARD TIMES,
IF IT WASN’T FOR MY WOMAN,
I BELIEVE I’D LOSE MY MIND

(SOLO)

CHILDREN OF THE FUTURE,
BETTER FIND A BETTER WAY,
DOOMSDAY’S ‘ROUND THE CORNER,
GONNA BE SOME HELL TO PAY

HARD TIMES,
TALKIN’ ‘BOUT HARD TIMES,
IF IT WASN’T FOR MY BABY,
I BELIEVE I’D LOSE MY MIND

Copyright 2014 Tom Hambridge Tunes/Richard Fleming Music

 

 

12. That's Fine By Me 4:42


YOU SAY YOU WANNA GO
AND FIND A BRAND NEW HOME
HONESTLY BABY, I DON’T THINK THATS WRONG
IF YOU WANNA LEAVE, BABY PLEASE
THAT’S FINE BY ME, FINE BY ME

LAST FEW MONTHS
THE SPARK HAS BEEN GONE
I’VE BEEN FEELING THIS WAY BABY, FOR I DON’T KNOW HOW LONG
IF YOU WANNA LEAVE,BABY PLEASE
THAT’S FINE BY ME, FINE BY ME

I LOOK AT OUR PICTURE AND I SHAKE MY HEAD
OUR LOVE THAT ONCE LIVED, IS NOW SURELY DEAD
IF YOU WANNA LEAVE,BABY PLEASE
THAT’S FINE BY ME, FINE BY ME

GOODBYE BABY I WON’T HOLD YOU BACK
YOU NEVER LOVED ME ANYWAY
AND THAT’S A FACT
IF YOU WANNA LEAVE, BABY BABY PLEASE
THAT’S FINE BY ME, FINE BY ME

Copyright 2017 Tom Hambridge Tunes/Christone Ingram for Sound Sculpture 

 


Produced by Tom Hambridge
Recorded at Ocean Way Studios, Nashville TN
Engineered by Zach Allen
Assistant Engineer: Austin Atwood
Mixed and Mastered by Tom Hambridge and Michael Saint-Leon at Switchyard Studio, Nashville, TN

Additional Recording:
Blaise Barton at Joyride Studio, Chicago IL
Zach Allen at Warner Brothers Studio, Nashville, TN  
Michael Saint-Leon by Switchyard Studio, Nashville, TN

Assistant Engineers: Austin Atwood, Cameron Moulton, Justin Bennington

Photos by Rory Doyle, rorydoylephoto.com
Packaging design by Kevin Niemiec


Outside Of This Town
Christone "Kingfish" Ingram: Guitar and Vocals
Tom Hambridge: Drums and Background Vocals
Rob McNelley: Guitar
Tommy MacDonald: Bass

Fresh Out (Featuring Buddy Guy)
Christone "Kingfish" Ingram: Guitar (First Solo) and Vocals
Buddy Guy: Guitar (Second Solo) and Vocals
Tom Hambridge: Drums
Keb' Mo': Guitar
Rob McNelley: Guitar
Marty Sammon: Piano
Tommy MacDonald: Bass

It Ain't Right
Christone "Kingfish" Ingram: Guitar and Vocals
Tom Hambridge: Drums
Tommy MacDonald: Bass

Been Here Before
Christone "Kingfish" Ingram: Acoustic Guitar and Vocals
Tom Hambridge: Percussion
Tommy MacDonald: Bass
Marty Sammon: Piano

If You Love Me
Christone "Kingfish" Ingram: Guitar and Vocals
Billy Branch: Harmonica
Keb' Mo': Guitar
Rob McNelley: Guitar
Tommy MacDonald: Bass
Chris Black: Drums

Love Ain't My Favorite Word
Christone "Kingfish" Ingram: Guitar and Vocals
Tom Hambridge: Drums
Tommy MacDonald: Bass
Marty Sammon: Hammond B3 Organ

Listen (Featuring Keb' Mo')
Christone "Kingfish" Ingram: Guitar and Vocals
Keb' Mo': Acoustic Guitar and Vocals
Tom Hambridge: Drums and Tambourine
Rob McNelley: Guitar
Marty Sammon: Hammond B3 Organ
Tommy MacDonald: Bass

Before I'm Old
Christone "Kingfish" Ingram: Guitar and Vocals
Tom Hambridge: Drums
Keb' Mo': Guitar
Rob McNelley: Guitar
Marty Sammon: Hammond B3 Organ
Tommy MacDonald: Bass

Believe These Blues
Christone "Kingfish" Ingram: Guitar and Vocals
Tom Hambridge: Drums
Keb' Mo': Guitar
Rob McNelley: Guitar
Tommy MacDonald: Bass

Trouble
Christone "Kingfish" Ingram: Guitar and Vocals
Tom Hambridge: Drums and Percussion
Tommy MacDonald: Bass
Marty Sammon: Piano

Hard Times
Christone "Kingfish" Ingram: Vocals
Keb' Mo': Resonator Guitar

That's Fine By Me
Christone "Kingfish" Ingram: Guitar and Vocals
Tom Hambridge: Drums
Tommy MacDonald: Bass
Marty Sammon: Piano

Christone Ingram would like to thank:
Thanks and praises to God. Huge "Thank You" to Mom, Princess Pride, and Dad, Christopher Ingram, for all of your love, support and sacrifice…and for buying me my first guitar. Thank you to all of my family and to Richard "Daddy Rich" Crisman, Bill "Howl-N-Madd" Perry, Anthony "Big A" Sherrod and my Delta Blues Museum family. To my wonderful team, Ric Whitney and Brent Canter, thank y'all for believing in me. Thank you, Mr. Buddy Guy, Tom Hambridge and Alligator Records for the support and for this opportunity. To all of my big homies in the business who always motivate me and give me so much advice…thank you!  Also a big shout-out to Ernie Ball Strings, Peavey Amps, Jim Dunlop Products (RIP), Fender, Chertoff Custom Guitars, Xotic Effects, Keeley Effects, Reunion Blues Gig Bags, and Pig Hog Cables…thank you for helping me sound and look good. And finally, thank you to all of the loyal fans who have stuck with me all these years…it's been a great journey and it's been something that I would not trade for the world. — Kingfish

Tom Hambridge would like to thank DW Drums, Zildjian Cymbals & Regal Tip Drumsticks for their continued support. www.tomhambridge.com

For Management Inquiries: Curation, hello@careercuration.com

For Booking Inquiries: Paradigm Talent Agency, mmorris@paradigmagency.com

christonekingfishingram.com
facebook.com/CKI662
instagram.com/_theycallmekingfish
twitter.com/_kingfishbluez


When he was a little kid in Clarksdale, Mississippi, just ten miles from the legendary crossroads of Highways 61 and 49, Christone Ingram would stand up in front of his family with a guitar around his neck. He would preach like the ministers he'd seen in church and sing like the blues musicians he'd heard next door. He couldn't actually play the guitar at four years old, but he could already carry himself with the pacing and dignity of an older man. "He's an old soul," his grandmother marveled. "He's been here before."

"Sometimes I feel like that," Ingram says today, "because the things I think don't come from a normal young person. I see things from a different perspective than most young kids. That most definitely drew me to the blues. You don't see a lot of young black kids who have my feeling for the blues."

His debut album, Kingfish, is titled after his childhood nickname, and the music on the recording proves that the 20-year-old Christone "Kingfish" Ingram is still an old soul. Whether he's singing about his grandma's comment on "Been Here Before" or about his ambition to succeed "Outside of This Town," Kingfish sings and plays guitar with the gravity and skill of a much more experienced musician. That sensibility, combined with the perspective of a 21st-century childhood, makes him a potential leader for the blues of the future.

He's already impressed Buddy Guy, who has said, "Kingfish is the next explosion of the blues." The two guitarists first played together at the 2015 Waterfront Blues Festival in Portland, Oregon. Tom Hambridge, Guy's producer and songwriting partner, was playing drums that day, and he remembers Kingfish handling himself with surprising maturity in a stressful situation: playing with your longtime hero in front of a large crowd that doesn't know who you are.

"A lot of young guitar players lean toward overplaying a bit," Hambridge points out, "as if they have to pull out everything they have in the toolkit—and pretty soon they're out of tools. I appreciate players who are more economical with their notes, and make sure the notes mean something. Usually you don't see that in players until they get older, but Christone had that already."

Guy, a noted supporter of young blues talent, was so knocked out that he volunteered to finance some sessions for Kingfish at Hambridge's home studio in Nashville. Ingram brought in some songs he'd started; Hambridge brought in some he'd started, and together they finished seven songs. Ingram had one of his own; Hambridge added four that he had written with Richard Fleming with Kingfish in mind.

Guy had considered recording "Fresh Out," a midtempo blues lamenting that the singer's fresh out of love like his refrigerator is fresh out of milk, but Hambridge talked Guy into letting Kingfish have the song. But Guy got to sing on it anyway, taking the third verse and adding his own guitar solo. Keb' Mo' does something similar on the laid-back country blues, "Hard Times." Keb' Mo', who had befriended Kingfish on the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise, stuck around and played second guitar on six songs in all.

It's a sign of Kingfish's "old soul" that he insists on playing the older, acoustic styles of the blues as well as heavily amplified contemporary blues. "We're all modern," he says, "but we want to keep the roots alive. I went beyond what they taught us in class to search YouTube for the older guys. That's how I came across Son House, Charley Patton, Skip James, all those guys. They're as much a part of my music as Muddy, Wolf and Buddy. I'm just starting to add the acoustic guitar into my shows."

The "class" he refers to was the music education program at Clarksdale's Delta Blues Museum. Ingram started out on drums at age six, moved to bass at age eight, and finally picked up the guitar at 14. He progressed so rapidly that one of his teachers, local bluesman Bill "Howl-N-Madd" Perry gave him his nickname. Now everyone calls Ingram "Kingfish."

"The 'King' part of the name reminds me of Albert, Freddie and B.B.," says Ingram. "The 'fish' part reminds me of Muddy. Some people have trouble with my first name, so they just call me Kingfish."

His love of the blues made him something of an outsider at school, where hip-hop is most students' favorite music. Ingram likes hip-hop too, especially West Coast '90s rap, but the blues tap into something deeper within him. "I had people at school making fun, saying, 'Why do you play that old music?'" Kingfish recalls. "I said, 'That's my preference. You like Lil' Wayne, and I like Albert King.' I like Lil' Wayne too, but blues was my go-to genre. There's nothing wrong with getting black and blue. But we've also incorporated some modern sounds to attract the kids. We can draw them in with rock, funk and hip-hop and bring them to the pure stuff."

He clearly has a new kind of blues fusion in mind. Two highlights of Kingfish's live show are his Mississippi blues takes on Prince's "Purple Rain" and Jimi Hendrix's "Hey Joe." Ingram has been a guest on "My Favorite Riff with Nikki Sixx," the on-line show hosted by the Motley Crue bassist, and has collaborated with rap legend Rakim for a "Tiny Desk Concert" on NPR. He speaks of someday creating new music with artists such as Kendrick Lamar and Thundercat.

Ingram's "old-soul" tastes and his larger-than-life size often made the local social scene a challenge. But Kingfish refused to let Clarksdale limit his ambitions. He started traveling to blues festivals while he was still in high school, and you can hear that hunger for new discoveries and new acceptance in his music.

"Clarksdale is full of talented people," he says, "but so many people are scared to take that leap of faith and leave. They're so used to being in the place where they've grown up. I didn't want to be one of those people who never left and 50 years later says, 'I used to be this and I used to do that.' There's so much out there that we need to see, but some people just don't know that. I felt like my music could get me there. Traveling made me go deeper. I found all these different cultures I could get into; it's great being around diverse people."

"Kingfish and Buddy are both old souls," Hambridge says. "They take their time; they love the blues. They're economical with their words. They're confident but not braggadocious. Christone is real and authentic. He's from the Delta, so he's got that in his soul." —Geoffrey Himes

Geoffrey Himes
has written about music for the Washington Post, Rolling Stone, Paste and other publications since 1977. His songs have been recorded by The Kinsey Report, Billy Kemp and others.