Chris Thomas King came into his own while expanding on traditional musical horizons that were inherited from his late father, “Rockin’” Tabby Thomas (Jan. 5, 1929 – Jan. 1, 2014). Born and bred in the Delta tradition, King’s success as a bluesman was virtually guaranteed while he grew up among the finest blues musicians in the genre at his father’s blues club, Tabby’s Blues Box, and began touring with artists like Buddy Guy and B. B. King in his teens.
Initially known for his audacious fusion of blues and hip-hop, King reached a whole new audience starring in and scoring music for the Coen Brothers film O Brother, Where Art Thou?, not only appearing on the award-winning soundtrack, but establishing himself as a serious dramatic actor as well.
King has continued to act in and score motion pictures including the Academy Award-winning Ray. King has also written and recorded more than 150 songs that are in demand for license to motion pictures, documentaries and television programs. Most recently his music has been featured in the action film The Expendables 2. King has a role in the HBO series Treme and is also featured as himself in the Smithsonian Channel documentary hosted by Oscar winner Morgan Freeman, Sound Revolution.
Chris Thomas King has developed a singular sound and style that transcends his blues roots from his years of performing before loyal fans at packed clubs, major festivals, theaters and juke joints. King performed more than 88 sold-out concerts with the “Down from the Mountain” tour performing alongside Alison Krauss and Union Station, Emmy Lou Harris, Ralph Stanley and others. King’s latest album, Bona Fide, his sixteenth, follows on the heels of the double-album Antebellum Postcards released in the fall of 2011. There is quite a bit of similarity between the two albums, which both incorporate a wide range of blues traditions plus a healthy dose of country, and serve as a showcase for his eclectic musical tastes.
Advance tickets are on sale now for $20 (general admission) and are available through the CAPA Ticket Office at 614-469-0939 and through all Ticketmaster outlets. Showtime is 8:00 PM with the super-hero soul music of Columbus’ Wonder Twin Powers opening the show.
Before the concert, King will lead a workshop titled “Blues Roots” at the Jazz Academy where he will introduce the roots of blues and jazz, including New Orleans jazz and delta slide guitar. He will discuss and perform some early forms on acoustic guitar and harmonica, then connect those forms and rhythms with contemporary musical styles, including pop and hip-hop. The workshop begins at 2:00 p.m. and there will be lots of time at the end for questions and discussion. Admission for this workshop is free for subscribers ($10 general registration), and pre-registration is required. Register via phone at 614-294-5200 x 107 or online at jazzartsgroup.org.
The Inside Track series gives music lovers from all walks of life the chance to stretch their ears and stretch themselves at the newly restored and historic Lincoln Theatre. The revamped small-ensemble series will conclude on April 26 with the ear-bending collaboration of the New Orleans funk of the New Basics Brass Band and bluegrass of The Relentless Mules in “Brass & Grass.” Call 614-294-5200 or visit jazzartsgroup.org for more information.
The Inside Track music series is presented by State Auto and Sequent with ongoing support from the Greater Columbus Arts Council, The Columbus Foundation, the Ohio Arts Council, and The Westin Columbus. Media support is provided by The Columbus Dispatch, Columbus Alive, and WCBE 90.5 FM.
About the Jazz Arts Group:
The Jazz Arts Group of Columbus (JAG) is America’s oldest not-for-profit arts organization dedicated to producing, performing and promoting jazz. JAG is the third largest performing arts organization in Columbus and consists of four focus areas: the Columbus Jazz Orchestra (CJO), one of the world’s finest professional jazz orchestras; the Jazz Academy, JAG’s extensive instructional programs educating both students and adults about jazz and American music; Inside Track, a jazz and blues performance series produced at the historic Lincoln Theatre and beyond; and Affiliate Musicians, a program providing employment opportunities for professional musicians.