Kingfish | photo by Makena Duffy for WXPN

Christone “Kingfish” Ingram closed out the first day of music on Wiggins Park’s Marina Stage with an air-tight set that put his stunning guitar playing on full display. The 20-year-old guitarist with world-class blues skills played several cuts from his debut full-length Kingfish, which came out in May, and the band projected all of them with an impressive sense of style.

Backed in power trio configuration by bass and drums, Kingfish delivered his lyrics like any blues veteran — comfortable, grown, and even weary. When he opened his set with “Before I’m Old,” he was already worrying about the toll that his music career was taking on his adult life.

The set included a mix of twelve-bar blues, straight-edged funk and R&B compositions, which all demonstrated Kingfish’s solid foundations in the blues guitar tradition. Several of his most committed guitar solos stretched to over five minutes, and the band supported his relentless energy with cycles of build and release. Kingfish even performed a version of “Hey Joe,” the old and storied rock song popularized by the likes of Jimi Hendrix and The Byrds in the 1960s; this version featured a steely reggae breakdown in which Kingfish quoted melodies from “Redbone” and “Old Town Road” during his guitar improvisation. Elsewhere, the guitarist quoted Nickelodeon’s old-school jingle in one of his most blistering cadenzas — he is a 90s kid, after all.

Listen back to his XPNFest performance and check out a gallery of photos below. Christone “Kingfish” Ingram’s debut album came out in May on Alligator Records.

Kingfish Ingram – XPoNential fest 2019

Before I’m Old
Fresh Out
Outside This Town
Hey Joe
Catfish Blues