Promoting health, well-being, and equity among young people in Franklin County and the North Quabbin
Black History 365: Christone “Kingfish” Ingram
November 22, 2022
We are highlighting examples of Black excellence throughout the year! Feel free to send us suggestions!
662 is the next chapter in the still-unfolding story of Christone “Kingfish” Ingram. He describes 662 as his own personal journey, a story that sits upon the legacy of his influential blues elders. The songs—reflecting his life in and away from his home in the Delta—speak to universal truths, as well as to similar experiences shared by his large and growing multi-generational, multi-cultural fan base. From the blistering, hometown title track, 662, to the irresistible She Calls Me Kingfish to the slow, soulful and poignant Another Life Goes By to the funky truth-telling Too Young To Remember, 662 overflows with hard-hitting songs, jaw-dropping guitar work and deep, soul-possessed vocals. NPR Music says Ingram’s playing is “astounding…it’s almost like he’s singing through the guitar.”
Ingram’s journey began in the 662 in the city of Clarksdale, in Coahoma County, Mississippi, just ten miles from the legendary crossroads of Highways 61 and 49.Born to a musical family, he fell in love with music as a small child, initially playing drums and then bass. At a young age, he got his first guitar and quickly soaked up music from Robert Johnson to Lightnin’ Hopkins, from B.B. King to Muddy Waters, from Jimi Hendrix to Prince, but all the while developing his own sound and style. He progressed quickly, making his stage debut a few months later at Clarksdale’s famous Ground Zero Blues Club, playing behind one of his mentors, Mississippi blues icon Bill “Howl-N-Madd” Perry. Perry gifted the young musician with a new stage name, “Kingfish.” He performed at the White House for Michelle Obama in 2014 as part of a delegation of student musicians from the Delta Blues Museum. By age 16 he was turning heads and winning awards, including the 2015 Rising Star Award, presented by The Rhythm & Blues Foundation. Ingram’s appeal beyond blues was immediate. Even before he cut his debut album and while still a teenager, many of Ingram’s YouTube performance videos garnered millions of views. He performed two songs in Season Two of the Netflix show Luke Cage after the series’ lead producer saw one of his videos. Both songs appear on the official soundtrack album, which introduced him to a young audience, many of whom had never heard Ingram’s brand of blues before. As part of Luke Cage promotion, Ingram performed in an NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert with rap legend Rakim, who also appeared in Luke Cage, and, in 2020, Ingram hosted his own Tiny Desk (Home) Concert.