Hailed circa 1992 as the future of the blues, Louisiana’s Chris Thomas King instead disappeared from the American media spotlight when neither his record company nor blues purists knew what to do with his stabs at Hendrix-style axwork and at a Prince-hiphop-roots amalgamation. After several years in a European musical environment more hospitable to such experimentation, this son of bluesman Tabby Thomas returned to America, where he quietly released a soul-influenced effort in 1996. Now this restless singer-guitarist has decided to reclaim traditional acoustic blues. On last fall’s Red Mud, King, aided solely by a drummer, covers Robert Johnson, offers originals with poppy melodies, and infuses the whole effort with piercing licks from his National steel-bodied guitar. At 9:30 p.m. at Iota, 2832 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. $6. (703) 522-8340. (Steve Kiviat)