It's always a very exciting feeling when there are changes, in music in general and in this instance, in American music history. For a very long time, perhaps since the early '00, the Blues, Soul, Americana and Blues/Rock sounds have been solidly ruled by a certainly talented group of artists that have crafted a solid career, often deservedly, for themselves but, on the flip side, they have not also being able to shuffle their own music game much, towards different music tangents.
But then, when in 2019 a 19-years-old from Clarksdale, Mississippi called Christone "Kingfish" Ingram released his debut album called simply Kingfish, the music press and fans across the world were hugely taken by surprise by the craft, the artistic depth and the indisputable talent of the young American guitarist and singer/songwriter, so much so that the record reached a Grammy Award Nomination, the number 1 spot in the Billboard Blues Chart plus several more accolades coming from the worldwide press.
Everyone in the music business felt that this young gentleman and fine artist from Mississippi, gifted enough to play the guitar like a semi God and sing with such power and strength, able to deliver modern classics of Blues, Soul, Funk and Americana with effortless musicianship and showing a strong craft also as a songwriter, he was not one of those passing music meteors, but he was indeed here to stay for a long time.
Ingram's second album, released two years later and called 662, reinstated once again the American artist's huge talent and his impressive musical ability amply showcased through his first record in even bigger fashion, with the album gifting Ingram a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album and winning, in the same year, also the Blues Music Award for Best Blues Album.
The immense popularity achieved with his first two records allowed Christone Ingram to tour his music live across the world in several continents, with increasing success everywhere he played and perhaps, it was kind of inevitable that Ingram felt that the time was about right, for him to release a live album that would celebrate, in its most natural fashion, the mutual love and respect of Ingram towards his fans and viceversa.
Recorded last year at a venue called The Garage in London, United Kingdom, Ingram's live album called simply Live In London, captures an artist at his very best in a performance that includes 16 songs, two of which never before released and called Mississippi Nights and Midnight Heat, where Christone "Kingfish" Ingram displays, in all his glory, why he is rightly considered the new King Midas of Contemporary Blues and Americana.
Supported rather splendidly by a terrific band on stage that includes Bass Guitar player Paul Rogers, Drummer Christopher Black and Keyboardist Deshawn Alexander, Christone Ingram brought on stage a breathtaking music kaleidoscope of Electric and Acoustic Blues, Funk, Boogie, Blues/Rock and Americana, producing a continous and electrifyingly beautiful sea of sound through the some times delicate and other times sublimely thunderous sound of his guitars and by his extraordinary singing voice that brings shivers on the spine, echoeing loving memories of some of the best singers of the Motown and Stax era.
The whole live recording, released as a 2CD set, is an ongoing highlight of musical excellence from beginning to end, starting with the stunning opening number She Calls Me Kingfish going to the incendiary Blues/Rock of Outside Of This Town or from the hyper-charged Funk sound of one of his new tunes, Midnight Heat, to the tender, almost heartbreaking love letter to Ingram's mother, who sadly passed away few years ago and called Rock & Roll.
The American guitarist and singer/songwriter delivers also some unexpected, delightful surprises, during the show, the first one being a mini acoustic set, which includes two very inspired tunes like Been Here Before and Something In The Dirt; the second surprise, being a 70's Psychedelia amped-up version of Michael "Iron Man" Burks' tune called Empty Promises, where, together with the electrifying sound of both Ingram's acoustic and electric guitars, it is the remarkable quality of the American artist's singing voice that really shines through and through, during those special moments of the show and with such fabulous results.
Live In London is, undoubtedly, one of the most compelling and accomplished live albums not only for 2023 but for many more decades of music yet to come. It's a recording that ticks every possible box related to the word "artistry" that in time, will be also considered as a defining era kind of record, because it's a timeless, outstanding sonic photograph of one of the most complete artists and music game-changers of this generation, the one and only Christone "Kingfish" Ingram.
Live In London is due to be released on 13th October via Alligator Records