T.K. Webb belongs to that small tribe of artists who channel the sounds of sorely missed genre pioneers so effectively (and with such unswerving solidarity) that it's almost spooky. Like Joss Stone, Jonny Lang, and Kieran McGee, Webb -- who was born Thomas Kelly Webb in 1977 in rural Missouri -- doesn't find much use for contemporary sounds. Though he recorded his 2005 full-length album -- KCK, short for Kansas City, KS -- in his adopted hometown of Brooklyn, the Delta blues are Webb's calling card, and he sings, stomps, and bats them out with conviction.
Webb picked up his guitar at the age of nine; several years later, he'd already amassed a resume that included stints with various punk rock bands. As he hit his mid-teens, he also inherited a stack of Delta blues records that strengthened his appreciation for the genre. The haunting tambourine of New Orleans gospel-blues legend Sister Gertrude Morgan began surfacing in Webb's own material, as did the dusty, knowing dourness of perennially down-on-their-luck bluesmen like Leadbelly, Blind Willie Johnson, and Muddy Waters. 2005's KCK captured that ramshackle sound, while Webb's 2006 follow-up, Phantom Parade, added a layer of muscle to his bare-boned, bluesy stomp. T.K. Webb continued to mold his sound by forming the Visions in the summer of 2007. Joined by bassist Jordan Gable and two former members of Love as Laughter -- guitarist Brian Hale and drummer Nic Gonzales -- Webb funneled his acoustic songcraft into gritty amplifiers for the release of 2008's Ancestor. ~ Tammy La Gorce