Christone ‘Kingfish’ Ingram – Live in London: Album Review

Building a strong reputation in Europe allowed Alligator Records to plump for recording Kingfish in London in the summer. Kingfish is an exhilarating new talent.

Release date:  13th October 2023

Label: Alligator Records

Format:  Digital / CD / Vinyl

Having released his first studio album at the age of 19, Christone ‘Kingfish’ Ingram chose The Garage in London to record a live album in 2023.

“I’ve long had an interest in recording a live album and I finally felt the timing was right,” says Kingfish. Not only was the time right but feeling at home in London, the vibe was also right also to record this amazing album. The name may be familiar in England after supporting the Rolling Stones at their 2022  Hyde Park concert and headlining festivals across Europe. Many will think this concert sees him ‘fully honed’ to the live environment.

Live albums aren’t everyone’s cup of tea but the team at Alligator Records were confident enough to let this young man (he’s still only 23) record what they think will be a landmark live blues album. It is impossible to disagree with them as you could easily be mistaken in thinking it was an established blues legend on the end of his guitar.

Top blues artists don’t need huge backing groups to support their sound so his tight, powerful unit of bassist Paul Rogers, drummer Christopher Black and keyboardist Deshawn Alexander. This is all he needs, and my how they rock. Those familiar with Kingfish will recognise that most of the set comes from his two studio albums but the album also contains three previously unrecorded tracks.

Kingfish wastes no time immediately dropping in an incredibly hot solo, then a smooth and soulful vocal that adds warmth before another tantalising solo. The standard is set and as he softens the licks and deadens the notes through She Calls Me Kingfish he not only showcases that you are in for a treat but you are already aware that you are in the hands of a craftsman.

Fresh Out leaves one dumbstruck by his guitar mastery, just as a very first listen to B.B. back in the 70’s did with his live albums. The improvisational instrumental Mississippi Night, one of the three newer offerings is almost impossible to describe.

When Kingfish strips it right back on Something In The Dirt, his guitar work is astonishingly intricate and warm. The mellow You’re Already Gone is one you can wrap around you as winter comes, enhanced by simple percussion and that chocolate-smooth blues organ keyboard sound. 

The concert ends with the rollicking stomping Long Distance Woman, so please Mr Kingfish don’t be a long-distance man! Get back here and be live in Lancashire!!


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