By now, most of us know that blues music originated from slave songs when African slaves would communicate with each other in the fields with “holler songs.” Since its beginnings, the genre has transformed in many ways, but the basic essence of the blues is the same. It’s a way to translate pain and sorrow, to tell stories, and to just have a great time. These three knockout musicians are continuing this tradition in the modern age and proving that young people can play the blues. Welcome Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, Jontavious Willis, and Marquis Knox.
Kingfish may be only 18 years old, but he sounds like he has already been playing the blues for several lifetimes. He comes from a church and gospel background in Alabama and has played keys and drums before settling on the guitar. He plays with feeling and a finesse that you don’t see very often. Now, fresh out of high school, Kingfish is picking up a lot of awards and accolades as well as recognition from many critics and blues fans. Look out for him to drop his debut album later this year!
Jontavious Willis is a 21-year-old acoustic blues menace who is on the prowl and poised to be a major contender in the guitar world. From one Muddy Waters album, “he was hooked on all types of blues” and started learning how to fingerpick, strum, and play slide. Four years later and he was playing alongside blues master Taj Mahal, who says That’s my Wonderboy, the Wunderkind. [Jontavious] is a great new voice of the 21st century in the acoustic blues. I just love the way he plays.” He sings with a deep and thoughtful voice and will surely be a frontrunner soon enough.
Marquis Knox is the oldest of the trio at 27. He has deep roots in blues music, learning how to play from his grandmother. He has been given opportunities to play with amazing musicians like B.B. King who admired his passion and innate skill. Knox’s debut album received a Blues Music Award and he has been on a steady rise ever since.
Hope you enjoy this week’s video!