Me, My Guitar and the Blues
Baton Rouge-born and New Orleans-based auteur Chris Thomas King mixes old school and new school on Me, My Guitar and the Blues (Blind Pig BPCD 5064; 42:24). On tunes like "Bourbon Street Blues" and "Like Father, Like Son," a tribute to his bluesman daddy Tabby Thomas, the artist formerly known as Chris Thomas blends Delta-flavored dobro with Zapp-like subharmonic synth basslines. His "Superstitious Blues" (suspiciously close to Willie Dixon's "I Ain't Superstitious") and "Gambling Woman," along with a faithful cover of Robert Johnson's "Stones in My Passway," are examples of pure, unaccompanied dobro and urgent vocalizing while the hard hitting "Cain" incorporates hip-hop production values and attitude along with the Delta guitar stylings. "Stay Just as You Are" and the title track are two sugary pop confections while an updating of the Albert King signature tune "Born Under a Bad Sign" allows him to crank out aggressive electric guitar licks with synth horn accompaniment by this one-man show. And on the closer, "You Are My Heaven," he plays soul balladeer. A savvy, if slightly schizophrenic, hybrid.