Chris Thomas King has been reborn many times, rising from his roots as the son of Baton Rouge blues man Tabby Thomas and moving through a psychedelic blues-rock stage that incorporated reggae and rap. There is no question about his affinity for the blues on ME, MY GUITAR AND THE BLUES, but it is the multi-instrumentalist's own take on "21st Century Blues," a genre he has actually registered a trademark for. King (who added this last name because of Albert King's influence) punctuates his modernity with a touch of scratching and a drum machine to the opening acoustic "Why Blues." The gentle rocking tribute to his father, "Like Father, Like Son," features King playing everything from horns to slide guitar and harmonica. For the topical antidrug song "Cain," King, whose singing voice has mellowed into the softness of Ben Harper's quiet side, raps against a droning guitar for sort of a John Lee Hooker-meets- Ice Cube sound. Then he turns around with a lite soul approach for "Stay Just as You Are" and "You Are My Heaven." As one of the new generation of blues songwriters, King doesn't approach the deepness of Corey Harris nor the anger of Alvin Youngblood Hart, rather he is from the more personally introspective Keb' Mo' school. Even his covers of the heavy weight blues classics "Born Under a Bad Sign" and "Stones in My Passway" have a soft pop appeal. Perhaps ME, MY GUITAR AND THE BLUES was created as a balance for his principal role as an early 20th-century blues player in the upcoming Coen brothers film, "O Brother, Where Art Thou?"