Mid-South teen praised as blues legend in the making

Mid-South teen praised as blues legend in the making
(Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)
Crossroads in Clarksdale, MS (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)
Crossroads in Clarksdale, MS (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)

CLARKSDALE, MS (WMC) - A 15-year-old guitar player, who goes by the name Kingfish, is being called a blues legend in the making.

Christone Ingram, or Kingfish, lives in Clarksdale, Mississippi--a town synonymous with the blues. Legend has it, guitarist Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil at the town crossroads. This deal, as the story goes, helped Johnson become famous very quickly. Johnson then died mysteriously at the age of 27.

Kingfish has made no deal with the devil. He has God-given talent and has spent his whole life with a guitar.

"From age three to eight, I was walking around the house with a guitar in my hands," he said.

His mother was a gospel singer. She and his father got him started with cheap music lessons at the town's blues museum.

"There's like really nothing for us to do and, you know, these music classes to some are the only way out," Kingfish said.

He started on drums, then switched to bass, but it was on the guitar where Kingfish really shined.

"I picked it up and I started playing these licks off the bass on guitar. You know, I wasn't playing these last two strings."

This delta town is humming with music history and talent. People come from all over the world to listen to the blues and hear artists like Kingfish.

"People from these different countries, different promoters, they come into the festivals that we have."

His magic fingers have taken him to The White House and France.

As he prepares for big things that will likely pry him from Clarksdale after high school, his mom is still getting used to the nickname Kingfish. She's more comfortable with the name she gave him: Christone. She says she often thinks about the little boy who couldn't put down the guitar.

"He was laying [sic] there, asleep with the guitar, and I just turned the lights off, put the blanket over him, and left him like that," his mom remembered.

Kingfish knows several delta towns are full of hidden gems; he's encouraging others to follow their dreams.

"Go for it. Don't let anybody drag you down."

His family is proud to be in the spotlight for something positive.

"I want Christone to be able to reach as many people as possible all over the world, because he is a gift from above," his mother said.

A gift from Mississippi to ears around the world.

"I feel great that I'm not normal," Kingfish said. "And I'm very blessed that I'm not normal."

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