Chris Thomas King / Chris Thomas

The Beginning

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This is a CD reissue of King's debut album, released in 1986 as simply The Beginning, when he was still billed as Chris Thomas. It's quality modern blues that sounds cognizant of contemporary trends without being forced. Largely written by King, the songs are reasonably satisfying electric blues that admit some influences from modern blues-rock players, particularly Jimi Hendrix, as well as a bit of funk and rock in the rhythm. At the same time, he grounds out some down-home gutbucket boogie blues that would be at home in a Southern roadhouse, like "Soon This Morning" and "Take Yo Time," and Chuck Berry-type songwriting with "Mary Jane." The rhythm section can sound a little flat and under-recorded, but at least underproduction serves this sort of music better than overproduction does.

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