Chris Thomas King played bluesman Tommy Johnson in the Coen Brothers' celebrated film O Brother, Where Art Thou?, but anyone who expects Thomas' new album to be a sortie through traditional blues is i

Chris Thomas King played bluesman Tommy Johnson in the Coen Brothers' celebrated film O Brother, Where Art Thou?, but anyone who expects Thomas' new album to be a sortie through traditional blues is in for a jolt. Thomas' blues thing has never involved rehashing blues standards. The title of this album is no joke. Thomas is doing what seems musically logical—namely, bringing together hip-hop and blues. It's a meeting of genres that sounds pre-ordained, at least, when listening to King do it. The entire album—a whopping 22 tracks—isn't hip-hop blues. King goes convincingly mainstream ("Feel Me," "Revelations," "Hard Time Killing Floor Blues"), but some of the most amazing material here is King's hip-hop blues interpretations. "Welcome to the Jungle," "Da Thrill Is Gone From Here," and "Mississippi KKKrossroads" are highly recommended. This is an inspired, trailblazing, blues record. Racked by Select-O-Hits.—PVV