Song:Hard Time Killing Floor Blues
Album:Dirty South Hip-Hop Blues
Chris Thomas King was one of several roots music artists who got a big boost from the 2000 film O Brother, Where Art Thou?. King performed his cover of the Skip James classic Hard Time Killing Floor Blues and he played blues legend Tommy Johnson in the film. King is known for mixing blues with hip hop as he does on this 2002 album. He was born Chris Thomas Oct. 14, 1962 in Baton Rouge, LA the son of blues musician Tabby Thomas. After touring Europe with his dad, Thomas signed with Arhoolie Records and released his debut album in 1986. He also recorded for Warner Bros.' Sire label and Hightone Records. He started experimenting mixing rap with blues. Warners encouraged this experimentation but when Thomas recorded an album, they chose not to release it. Hightone wanted him to record traditional blues but that didn't interest Thomas. He finally got a break when British producer John Porter got Thomas a deal with RCA's Private Music label. They released the 1995 CD 21st Century Blues...From Da Hood. The results were mixed as some were not ready for rap and blues mixed. He changed his name to Chris Thomas King and he was fortunate to be cast as Tommy Johnson in the Coen Brothers 2000 film O Brother, Where Art Thou? and he performed Hard Time Killing Floor Blues in the film. He also recorded it on the 2002 CD Dirty South Hip-Hop Blues, his first album on his own 21st Century Blues label. He still records for his own label. His latest CD Bona Fide was released in 2012. And he played R & B legend Lowell Fulson in the 2004 film Ray. King is currently on tour so check him out if he's coming your way. Here's Chris Thomas King performing Hard Time Killing Floor Blues at the Loveless Cafe in Nashville Sept. 5, 2012.