Chris Thomas King

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Chris Thomas King
ChrisThomasKingKohSamuiFest2005.jpg
Chris Thomas King at the Koh Samui Music Festival, 2005
Background information
Born (1964-10-14) October 14, 1964 (age 50)
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States
Origin New Orleans, United States
Genres Blues, R&B, Hip hop
Occupations Musician, singer, actor
Instruments Guitar, Piano
Years active 1984–present
Labels Black Top Records, 21st Century Blues Records, Scotti Bros. Records
Website ChrisThomasKing.com

Chris Thomas King (born October 14, 1964) is an American New Orleans, Louisiana-based blues musician and actor.

History[edit]

King was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States. He is the son of blues musician Tabby Thomas. He has won awards including "Album of the Year" for both Grammy Award and Country Music Awards. King has sold more than 10 million records in the United States. He is featured playing the part of Tommy Johnson in the Coen brothers' 2000 film O Brother, Where Art Thou?. He is also featured in Down From the Mountain and More Music From Ray soundtracks.

Artistic career[edit]

King is known as the pioneer of rap/blues fusion.[1] He conceived the first sample-based blues concept album in the early 1990s by writing and producing the first all-rap/blues album for RCA Records titled 21st Century Blues… From Da Hood.

As an entrepreneur King took control of his master recordings in the early 1990s, forming 21st Century Blues Records. He also established a publishing company, Young Blues Rebel, LLC. 21st Century Records signed the New Orleans Ninth Ward rap/blues duo the 21C-B-Boyz and the London, England based NuBlues, to 21st Century Blues Records in 2003.

King's acting career includes prominent roles in several films, including two music-related films. In the Oscar-winning film Ray he plays band leader and blues guitar player Lowell Fulson. During production he collaborated with Ray Charles in scoring the film.[2] In O Brother Where Art Thou?, he portrays a skilled blues guitarist who claims he sold his soul to the devil in exchange for his skill on guitar. The character is based on blues musicians Tommy Johnson and Robert Johnson, both of whom have been linked to selling their soul to the devil at a rural Mississippi crossroads.[3][4] King also accompanies the film's band the Soggy Bottom Boys on guitar; his rendition of "Hard Time Killing Floor Blues" was recorded live during filming and included on the film's Grammy-award-winning soundtrack.

King also starred in the Wim Wenders art house film The Soul of a Man, as Blind Willie Johnson and Kill Switch as Detective Storm with Steven Seagal.

Filmography[edit]

Documentary appearances[edit]

Discography[edit]

  • Blue Beat (1984) as Chris Thomas
  • The Beginning (1986) as Chris Thomas
  • Cry of the Prophets (1990) as Chris Thomas
  • Help Us, Somebody (Single) (1993) as Chris Thomas (also on Just Say Da compilation)
  • Where The Pyramid Meets The Eye: A Tribute to Roky Erickson (1990)[5]
  • Simple (1993) as Chris Thomas
  • 21st Century Blues... From Da Hood (1994) as Chris Thomas
  • Chris Thomas King (1997)
  • Red Mud (1998)
  • Me, My Guitar and The Blues (2000)
  • O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)
  • Down From The Mountain (2001)
  • The Legend of Tommy Johnson, Act 1: Genesis 1900's-1990's (2001)
  • It's a Cold Ass World: The Beginning (2001)
  • Dirty South Hip-Hop Blues (2002)
  • A Young Man's Blues (2002)
  • The Roots (2003)
  • Along the Blues Highway (2003) with Blind Mississippi Morris
  • Johnny's Blues: A Tribute To Johnny Cash (2003)[6]
  • Why My Guitar Screams & Moans (2004)
  • Ray (soundtrack) (2004)
  • Rise (2006)[7]
  • Live on Beale Street (2008)
  • Antebellum Postcards (2011)
  • Bona Fide (2012)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Silky Johnson (2011-02-11). "Silky’s Sunday Blues: Chris Thomas King Edition". Retrieved 2013-01-14. 
  2. ^ Joan Turner. "Biography for Chris Thomas King". IMDB. Retrieved 2013-01-14. 
  3. ^ Orshoski, Wes (2001-09-22). "Chris King builds on 'O Brother'". Billboard: 11. 
  4. ^ "Robert Johnson Gravesite - Greenwood". Mississippi Blues Trail. Retrieved 2013-02-13. 
  5. ^ Chris Thomas and Tabby Thomas, singing "Postures (Leave Your Body Behind)", originally recorded by the 13th Floor Elevators on their Easter Everywhere album (1967).
  6. ^ King contributes his version of "Rock Island Line".
  7. ^ As described by King's own record label, 21st Century Blues Records,"New Orleans musician Chris Thomas King lost both a home and a recording studio when Hurricane Katrina had landfall at the close of summer in 2005, and it's hardly startling that his album Rise takes Katrina and the devastating aftermath of the storm as a central theme." Description of Rise; www.indiekazoo.com.

External links[edit]