Markus James and Kinny Kimbrough Live at the Blues Shack @BealeStMusicFes #bsmf13

Bands, entertainment, events, music

Kent “Kinny” Kimbrough is one of Junior Kimbrough’s sons, but I was unfamiliar with Markus James, a blues/rock musician who has been travelling regularly to Mali and collaborating with Malian musicians, inspired by theories that place Mali as the place of origin for much of what we think of as blues music. James’ practice seems to be to use sets of traditional blues lyrics, but to weld them to different compositions, often based on traditional rhythmic patterns with a more amplified guitar sound. Kinny is of course an excellent drummer, and he provided the perfect rhythmic propulsion for James’ ideas. Of course, just as Brad Webb’s performance had been adversely affected by Yngwie Malmsteen, Kinny Kimbrough and Markus James’ was challenged by the Deftones shrieking and screaming on the FedEx stage quite nearby. Still, the musicians fought through it, and a small, appreciative crowd gathered around the tiny blues shack. Markus James has recorded several albums, the most recent of which seems to be Snakeskin Violin, recorded in Mississippi and Mali. Kent Kimbrough’s only album is 2010’s Super Funky on Justin Showah’s really cool Hill Country Records label