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brought thE blues to GRAMPS

by Jules Dean | Photos: Brad Stevens

When the hype for Christone “KINGFISH” Ingram at Gramps produced a longer line than the night club at the other end of the block, it was clear something special was about to go down. Expectations were high and ultimately exceeded from the very first note to drop from his supporting act Mathias Lattin.

Mathias Lattin came in with blazing hot energy and confidence straight out of the gate (literally and figuratively as he had to hustle from the airport to the stage after 10 hours of travel filled with delays). The 21 year old from Houston backed up his swagger with the skillset of a road worn bluesman. This up-and-coming trio (consisting of Nick Andres on drums and Jesse Gomez on bass) masterful built up tension and release within their extended jams and tasteful solos. Some of the stand out moments from the set were “You Don’t Love Me No More”, the roadhouse foot stomper “Party” and the cheeky “Lose Some Weight”.

Shortly after Mathias finished his set, Kingfish’s band took the stage and eased into their set, building up the anticipation for the moment Kingfish took the stage. Right from the jump, Kingfish kicked the band into high gear and never let off. From the dynamic opener, this band (Paul Rogers on bass, Chris Black on drums, and DeShawn Alexander on keys) were in complete lock step. Kingfish squashed any doubts about the hype surrounded him. This guy has got skills and coaxed out a whole range of emotions from his guitar. His on stage banter was sparse yet spot on with dry quips in his Mississippi drawl like apologizing for “playing too fast” (he doesn’t) or that his voice was a little shot cause he just got over “a bit of a cold” (he sounded great). Also, he was skillful in working the room. At one point he left the stage to let his band bask in the limelight and emerged later in the crowd to close out the tune with the band. His set was salted with some of his well know songs like “Midnight Heat”, “Empty Promises” and the set closer “662” and a heaping spoonfuls of extended jams and solos. And then there was the encore.

They closed out the night by bring Mathias out with Kingfish’s band to do an extended jam of “Hey Joe”. At one point the two were in a friendly duel trying to one up each other on stage. A special thanks should go out to Heroes Live Entertainment for bringing these two dynamic young bluesmen to Miami for an smoking hot and epic showcase of the next generation of the blues.

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