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Legend of Tommy Johnson Act 1 Import

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King was born on October 14, 1964, in Baton Rouge. His father, Tabby Thomas, is a locally prominent bluesman who owned a club called Tabby's Blues Box, which opened in 1979 and closed in 2004 following Tabby’s retirement. As a result, King, started early toward his musical future; even as a youngster he was well known as Rockin' Tabby's son and a child genius. While ... Read more in Amazon's Chris Thomas King Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (9 Oct 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Valley
  • ASIN: B00005OAFV
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 516,843 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. O Brother, Where Art Thou?
2. Trouble Will Soon Be Over
3. Canned Heat Blues
4. Flooded In The Delta
5. Watermelon Man
6. John Law Burned Down The Liquor Sto'
7. Red Shoes
8. Bonnie & Clyde In D Minor
9. Do Fries Go With That Shake?
10. O Brother, Where Art Thou? (Reprise) - The Voodoo Dolls
11. Spread The Glory (Requiem) - The Voodoo Dolls

Product Description

Product Description

I will ship by EMS or SAL items in stock in Japan. It is approximately 7-14days on delivery date. You wholeheartedly support customers as satisfactory. Thank you for you seeing it.


Through his portrayal of Tommy Johnson (the real-life composer of "Canned Heat Blues"), Chris Thomas King brought some Delta blues to the bluegrass-driven O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack. In addition to providing a cinematic breakthrough for the New Orleans-based artist, the role has sparked King's finest album in more than a decade, with a cycle of songs inspired by (but not included in) the movie. Channelling the musical spirit of Tommy (which means forsaking the hip-hop samples and scratching King typically employs), the progressive bluesman traces the arc of the music's development, from the gospel grace of "Trouble Will Soon Be Over" and acoustic lilt of "Flooded in the Delta" through the syncopated call and response of "Watermelon Man" and the supercharged rock of "Do Fries Go with That Shake?" As a multi-talented musician (who plays everything here), producer, singer and songwriter, King combines an intuitive affinity for where the music's been with a progressive vision of where it's headed. --Don McLeese

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By David J. Kelly VINE VOICE on 31 May 2003
Format: Audio CD
I confess that I bought this CD in Flagstaff AZ and I am really glad I did. I first came across Chris Thomas King because I was looking for Led Zeppelin covers on the net and came across his version of "Hey Hey What Can I Do" from the CD "Whole Lotta Blues". I enjoyed that so much that I set out to find out more about him and found that he had completed an impressive body of work.
This CD sees Thomas King inspired by his participation in the fim "Oh Brother Where Art Thou" where he played Tommy Johnson to look back over the history of the blues and to write and record songs which show how the blues evolved from the simple acoustic blues of the Mississippi delta through the electric blues of Chicago which inspired a famous generation of British rock musicians.
Thomas King obviously knows all about this history and this CD reflects that knowledge as well as his natural talent as a musician. This is homage to the bluesmen whose legacy he has taken on but is done in his own style from the gospelly "Trouble Will Soon Be Over" through the real Tommy Johnson's "Canned Heat Blues" up to the heavily electrified "Bonnie & Clyde in D Minor" and "Do Fries Go With That Shake" which recall British Blues rock and shows where modern bands like The White Stripes have found much of their inspiration too. I'm not normally a fan of any sort of Country Music but the bluegrass tinged "John Law Burnt Down the Liquor Sto'" is a stand out track.
I love this CD and am really happy to have it, you would be too!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By jbezzo VINE VOICE on 23 May 2007
Format: Audio CD
This is like a spin-off from the O' Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack, presenting itself as a set of rare, undiscovered recordings by CTK's character "Tommy Johnson", including liner notes by "Dr Samuel Oliver" (Paul Oliver and Sam Charters???). It begins with the gospelly "O Brother Where Art Thou?", through to the more upbeat, electric blues of "Do Fries Go With That Shake" and concludes with a couple of Voodoo Dolls covers, bringing the fictional bluesman's legacy up to date; almost like appending a Skip James album with Cream's version of "I'm So Glad". In many ways it works, but for me, the reason I bought the album was to hear CTK's version of the real Tommy Johnson's (1898-1958) "Canned Heat Blues". One of a dozen sides that Johnson recorded before his craving for an alchoholic drink roughly distilled from a heating fluid called Sterno aka "Canned Heat") curtailed his career the song is a classic example of pre-war country blues. It's a pity Chris seems to have been at the supermarket own-brand bourbon before he tuned his guitar; spoiling an otherwise inventive album.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 9 reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Evolution of the Blues in Miniature 8 Nov 2001
By Big Dave - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is an ambitious album, and a very successful one.
The tracks, in order, summarize the 20th century evolution of the blues. The first songs on the album, both King's originals and the covers, are very much in the style of early blues recordings: one voice, one guitar...even the scratchy static of the old 78s is duplicated.
I confess my partiality to early delta guitarslingers, and I really like King's take, from his straight up cover of Willie Johnson's "Trouble Will Soon Be Over" to the archetypally bluesy original "Flooded in the Delta". This is great stuff, and the hilariously deadpan liner notes (spoofing every "how I discovered the blues" story you ever read) are a perfect complement -- I admit, they had me going for a minute.
The tracks then evolve through the rollicking piano blues of "John Law Burned Down the Liquor Sto'" to electric guitar to rhythm 'n' blues, including a purported cover by the Voodoo Dolls (King) of a song by the legendary Tommy Johnson (also King). This is good stuff, too, though less my cup of tea.
This is the only CD of King's I've listened to -- yes, I was drawn to this through O Brother, Where Art Thou? -- but I certainly want to hear more.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Twentieth Century Blues 27 April 2002
By booknblueslady - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
When organic American music was given a shot in the arm by the Coen Brother's movie O Brother, Where Art Thou, Chris Thomas King was among the artists who benefited with King's role as blues musician Tommy Johnson and his song O Brother Where Art Thou. King took full advantage of this opportunity and produced an ambitious concept album The Legend of Tommy Johnson. Imagine an obscure blues artist who sold is soul to the devil down on some Delta crossroads for the ability to play music. He wanders around the delta singing on the corners of "Magnolia and Main" as the cover says. Maybe he serves a stint in prison and becomes part of a chain gang and then upon release wanders to Chicago to try his hand with electric guitar. This is the story of a composite of blues artists throughout the twentieth century and Chris Thomas King has penned, sang, played and produced all the songs on this CD. It is a skillful and artistic cd which demonstrates King's love and appreciation for the music.
Blues music has roots in a range of styles as Chris Thomas King aptly demonstrates. O Brother Where Art Thou and Trouble will Soon Be Over borrow from gospel/spiritual styles. Canned Heat Blues, Flooded in the Delta and Watermelon Man are delta styled acoustic blues. Canned Heat Blues shows the strong relationship which exists between the blues and bootleg liquor. King tips his hat to Charlie Patton and other in singing about delta floods. He sings "People seeking higher ground, the sky is falling and the whole world is sinking down." Watermelon Man is a pleasant journey through the delta in the back of a pickup truck while eating "sweet and juicy" watermelon. You can almost feel the juice running down your chin. John Law Burned down the Liquor Store is blues with country edges with the promise of bootleg liquor after a day of hard and sweaty work. We move north to Chicago with Red Shoes and Bonnie and Clyde in D Minor. Red Shoes is a grind it out blues guaranteed to get the joint hopping on Saturday night in a mode reminiscent of Elmore James or Hound Dog Taylor. Bonnie and Clyde is a haunting "you done me wrong" blues. Do Fries Go with that Shakes explores the early era of rock and roll. Finishing out the cd is Spread the Glory a soulful tribute to Tommy Johnson.
Chris Thomas King has clearly demonstrated his skill as singer, songwriter and musician in producing such a CD as this one. The Legend of Tommy Johnson displays the range and sincerity of Chris Thomas King's pleasant voice. I have hopes that we will continue to hear more from him.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Picking Up Right Where He Left Off 25 Oct 2001
By ROGER L. FOREMAN - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I am familiar with King's work only from the movie O BROTHER WHERE ART THOU. He has wisely jumped onto that musical bandwagon by recreating his character from the movie, Tommy Johnson, and doing a solo CD as Mr. Johnson, blending history (the real Tommy Johnson) with fiction (O BROTHER. . .). Great idea, very good results. I am not a true blues afficianado, but I loved the song he did in the movie and figured I'd give this disc a run. The opening song, "O Brother, Where Art Thou?," is a very cool song that moves along at a nice pace--some nice a capellla and good guitar work, also. "Canned Heat Blues" calls to mind his song from the movie. "John Law Burned Down the Liquor Sto'" is a fast-moving, bluegrass-ish song that is a riot--the tites are so good sometimes! "Red Shoes" is a more electric kind of sound--good song. "Bonnie & Clyde in D Minor" is good, old-fashioned, slowed-down traditional delta blues--great song. The album concludes with two songs performed by the Voodoo Dolls, both of which were probably unnecessary and a bit out of place.
On the whole, this was a very entertaining CD, full of a variety of paces, styles-within-the-style, and instrumentation (he plays a variety of instruments, including mandolin, upright bass, piano, harmonica, and all guitars). He knows how to sing, and he is smart enough to cash in on the O BROTHER phenomenon. If you are a general blues fan, a Chris Thomas King fan, or an O BROTHER fan, you will probably enjoy this CD a great deal.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Excellent 20 Feb 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
O'Brother was the summer movie for me. After I saw the movie I then got the soundtrack and upon hearing the whole album, I immediately liked the track by Mr. King and I read that he was a muscian first so I decided to see what else he had done. Due to the obvious set up of this album it was an easy buy. I wasn't dissapppointed by a single track. They are all well performed and the instruments and choosen perfectly. The right types of guitar and the right use of Piano, to the perfect use of back-up vocals this man does it all. Good Show and more power to him.
11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Simply Fantastic! 17 Oct 2001
By deepbluereview - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Tommy Johnson is a fictional character portrayed by Chris Thomas King in the movie "O Brother Where Art Thou?" This CD carries the fiction one step further by presenting "a collection of rare and unreleased recordings of the greatest innovator of all delta bluesmen, Tommy McDowell Johnson". Of course, all songs are actually penned by King.
Not since King's "Red Mud" has King released an all, or mostly all, acoustic CD and while "Red Mud" is nothing to snivel at, "Legend" has it beat hands down. Not only has King breathed live into his character by introducing 11 original tunes but, he plays an overwhelming array of musical instruments in the process as well. On the CD, King plays all instruments including, the mandolin, drums, percussion, harmonica, upright bass, grand piano, electric guitars, acoustic guitars and bass guitar. With the exception of some background vocals performed on "O Brother", King is virtually a one-man band.
All songs are uplifting and spiritual and recall the heyday of famous Mississippi Delta bluesmen such as Charlie Patton, Son House, John Hurt and Skip James, with a 21st century ambiance. This entire CD is nothing short of fantastic and one would be hard pressed to pick a favorite song from the lot. If there is a downside its that "Act 1" spans from 1900-1990's, and it is unlikely that we will ever see an act two. Hopefully, King will introduce another character in the near future or simply, let his alter ego free for an encore.
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