Chris Thomas King

The Legend of Tommy Johnson

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AllMusic Review by Steve Leggett

After his screen debut as bluesman Tommy Johnson in O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Chris Thomas King released this ambitious concept album, which essentially tracks the history of country blues through to its electric blossoming in Chicago. Beginning a cappella and then working through covers of Tommy Johnson's "Canned Heat Blues" and Blind Willie Johnson's "Trouble Will Soon Be Over" mixed in with like-minded originals, King then plugs in and finishes with several Chicago-style electric numbers with a full band before closing out with his trademark post-Chicago approach. It's probably a bit more intriguing in concept than in actual execution, but the result is a pleasant and intelligent album.

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