CHRISTONE “KINGFISH” INGRAM, the 22-year-old heir to the Delta blues crown, is holding court with fans in Indianola, Mississippi, where he and nearly a dozen other guitarists are paying tribute to the “Blues Boy” himself, native son B.B. King.'
After stepping off the stage strapped to a cherry red Gibson ES-335, he makes his way through the crowd and stops to serenade a young fan with a gentle phrase worthy of tonight’s honoree. Before the night’s over, Ingram will debut the title track from his hotly anticipated second album, 662 [Alligator], out July 23, and perform King’s 1953 single “Woke Up This Morning (My Baby She Was Gone)” with members of King’s backing band.
As part of an ensemble of guitar players that included Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi and Gary Clark Jr., Ingram was on hand to celebrate a 4,500-square-foot addition to the B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center, which opened in 2008. The new wing tells the story of how King made his name on the road by playing an average 300 gigs per year for nearly three decades, and features a tour bus he purchased new in 1987 and rode for more than 12 million miles — enough for 25 round trips to the moon.
The gleaming motor coach also serves as a metaphor for Ingram’s life, especially since dropping his Grammy-nominated and roundly applauded debut album, Kingfish [Alligator], in 2019. For the better part of a decade, Ingram had been a rising prodigy in the Delta blues scene, stunning audiences with his mastery of licks popularized by King and others. As he grew as a player, thanks to lessons at the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale and his daily regimen of scouring YouTube for tips, he began to breathe the fire of Jimi Hendrix and Eddie Hazel into those 12-bar blues standards. That’s when things really started to cook for the young man christened “Kingfish” by locals in the Clarksdale, Mississippi scene where he grew up.
In 2019 alone, Ingram toured extensively with Buddy Guy, who helped him record his debut, made his “Austin City Limits” debut, and opened for Jason Isbell during a seven-night residency at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. Since then, he’s headlined two North American tours of his own, dubbed “Fish Grease” and “Fish Grease 2,” and was Vampire Weekend’s hand-picked opener for multiple legs of their 2019-2020 tour.
Tragically, the grief of losing his mother, Princess Pride Ingram, in December 2019, overshadowed the triumphs of his touring successes and the five Blues Music Awards, four Living Blues Awards and Grammy nomination he earned. He managed to keep the wheels rolling until the COVID pandemic forced him off the road in early 2020, when he holed up in the Friars Point, Mississippi, home he shared with his mother and recorded the tribute “Rock & Roll” to the woman who sacrificed so much to make Ingram’s dreams come true.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
Billy Gibbons Goes To The Desert
How ZZ Top legend Billy F. Gibbons and his band (guitarist Austin Hanks and former Guns N’ Roses drummer Matt Sorum) headed to the California High Desert to seek Rock ’N’ Roll inspiration — with a side of “mystery”
How an Austrian shred whiz took inspiration from his own popular weekly YouTube videos — and rabid fanbase — to complete his first album, a dazzling project four years in the making
CHARVEL PRO-MOD SERIES
BOSS NEXTONE SPECIAL
ROAD- TESTED Royalty
Christone “Kingfish” Ingram assumes his throne atop the Delta blues tradition
YOUNG 'N' HUNGRY DIRTY HONEY
DIRTY HONEY GUITARIST JOHN NOTTO EXPLAINS WHY THIS RIFF-FUELED LOS ANGELES FOUR-PIECE IS READY FOR LITERALLY ANYTHING — INCLUDING THE BIG, BIG, BIG TIME
AFTER AN 11-YEAR SELF-EXILE, LIZ PHAIR IS BACK IN TOP FORM — WITH SOME UNCOMMON TUNINGS
METALLICA IN THE BLACK
THIRTY YEARS AFTER FAMOUSLY FRACTURING THE WORLD OF METAL (AND HEAVY ROCK IN GENERAL), METALLICA’S SELF-TITLED 1991 MASTERPIECE — AKA THE BLACK ALBUM — IS GETTING THE DELUXE REISSUE TREATMENT. IN THIS EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW, JAMES HETFIELD AND KIRK HAMMETT PULL BACK THE VEIL ON THE ALBUM THAT BECAME “THE MASTER KEY TO EVERYTHING”
PERFECTLY FRANK PERFECTLY
THE TRUE ORIGINS AND EVOLUTION OF EDDIE VAN HALEN’S LEGENDARY FRANKENSTEIN GUITAR
THIRTY YEARS INTO THE GAME, THESE VENERABLE NORWEGIAN EXTREME METALLERS ARE STILL SHAKING THINGS UP WITH “A BIT OF CHAOS”
Cool in clarksdale
A creative twist on a hotel combines creativity and comfort at the Crossroads.
Christone ‘‘Kingfish'' Ingram talks back
A native of Clarksdale, Mississippi, Christone “Kingfish” Ingram comes from the land of Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson, John Lee Hooker and Skip James. Just turned 21, this young man with the blues respects his music’s past even as he shapes its future.
The secrets of their success
ExcelR8 Motorsport went from BTCC newcomers to race-winning championship contenders in a single season. Matt Salisbury finds out how they did it
Hidden in the rolling hills of this AONB are some of the finest country houses around