Monday, March 16, 2009

The 166th good thing about Lagos: A chance to listen up-close to a Grammy winning blues artist

As part of the American National Day festivities featuring New Orleans, the US State department brought in the Grammy-winning musician Chris Thomas King. He performed at the party at the Consul General's residence, and then the following night his group performed at the Muson Center concert hall. We arrived right before the concert started and were ushered to the third row, which had been reserved for VIP guests. Most of the rest of the hall was full. So we were right up-close and personal for this fabulous (and even free!) concert. King both acted in and scored music for the movie "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" and also the more recent movie "Ray." In fact, he performed in the "Down From the Mountain" musical tour with Alison Krauss of the music from "O Brother, Where Art Thou?", a concert we had attended and really enjoyed in Houston years ago. Recently he released an album called "Rise" dedicated to New Orleans with music he wrote after Katrina's devastation of his home there. He performed some music from that album. This first clip is from a song he performed from the "O, Brother" soundtrack.

He performed with a fabulous bass guitar player as well as a talented drummer. King performed some really wonderful blues music on amplified acoustic guitar, as well as steel guitar and also played sometimes on the keyboard. He is a really amazing talent (this next clip shows off some of his guitar skills -- but I missed recording some of the really amazing riffs he played....) and it was a real treat to be so close up to him and also to see how much the Lagos audience (more Nigerians than expats) really enjoyed him. He's performing this month at the New Orleans Jazz Festival -- we won't make it back to hear him there, but it was great to hear him in Lagos. We really are glad he was able to make the trip!

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