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Chris Thomas King - Rise


Chris Thomas King


21st Century Blues Records, LLC
P. O. Box 1988
Prairieville, LA 70769

Available from 21st Century Blues Records' web site.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Bob Gottlieb

This is one of the finest recordings Chris Thomas King has done. He has made a disc that holds together on all levels and it speaks forcefully about what he feels is happening in this country, particularly in New Orleans, in recent times and predominantly post Katrina. He wrote and arranged seven of the eleven songs and they deal with his feelings and express his rage at the treatment. Two songs are traditional songs he arranged, and then he does an electrifying versions of Joni Mitchell's, Big Yellow Taxi, (listen to what the guitar is saying), and then there is the haunting version of the George Weiss/Bob Thiele, What A Wonderful World.

Though he takes liberties and gives new meanings to songs of others, it is on his own songs that he puts it all together and speaks his mind, straight out and pulls on punches. Give a listen to the way he welds words and music together on Faith, so that his pain and suffering are conveyed. His anger and frustration are transmitted heart to heart through the use of his voice, language and his playing. On some songs he demonstrates his versatility as a multi-insturmentalist, however this disc portrays some of his most primeval guitar work and at the same time some of his most sensitive guitar playing. He uses the guitar at times to highlight his statements and at other times as a counterpoint to what he is saying, that emphasis the dichotomies.

Upon hearing the introduction to Big Yellow Taxi there was a pause in the thinking, and a wondering of what is this, but as the song played out it made perfect sense. There are no hip-hop digressions on this disc. King sticks to the Blues and it sure pays off with one of his best and most cohesive discs yet.

Track List:

  • What Would Jesus Do?
  • Faith
  • Dirty Water
  • Flow Mississippi Flow
  • St. James Infirmary
  • When Magnolias Bloom
  • Big Yellow Taxi
  • Like A Hurricane (Ghost of Marie Laveau)
  • Deepest Oceans
  • ‘Tis The Last Rose Of Summer
  • What A Wonderful World

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2006, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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