Over the past year, 20-year-old guitarist and singer Christone “Kingfish” Ingram has become the biggest new name in the blues, playing with the likes of Buddy Guy and Keb’ Mo’ and releasing a well-received debut album, Kingfish.
He’s currently out on his first headlining tour, Fish Grease: A Juke Joint Tour, and before a show at L.A’s El Rey Theatre Kingfish sat down with Guitar Center to talk gear, technique and “pushing the envelope” in modern blues.
“You can take tradition and make it your own if you at first just study the crowd,” he says in the above clip. “And once you get that down you can take from elements of every other genre and put that together and see what you come out with.”
Elsewhere in the video Kingfish details his current setup, which includes a custom “Les Paul and Tele”-style guitar made by Mike Chertoff [of Chertoff Custom Guitars] and a Fender Vintera Series Strat. His amp is a Peavey Delta Blues 210, and pedals are a Dunlop Cry Baby mini wah, a Vertex Dynamic Distortion and a Way Huge Aqua Puss mini.
As for his influences, Kingfish cites guitarists like Albert King, Freddie King and Little Milton and singers like Nate Dogg, B.B. King and Howlin’ Wolf.
“You have that stigma that all young black kids like R&B and hip-hop and stuff like that,” Kingfish says. “I want to break that stigma.”