Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne review…October 5, 2018….

KENNY “BLUES BOSS” WAYNE

INSPIRED BY THE BLUES

STONY PLAIN RECORDS   SPCD 1401

I KNEW I’D BE PLAYING THE BLUES–START ROCKIN–HOW ‘BOUT THAT–I LIKE THAT WOMAN–JIMMY AND JOHNNY–MAKE UP YOUR MIND–LAKE COUNTRY BOOGIE–MR. BLUEBERRY HILL–AN OLD BRICK WALL–THAT GIRL NEEDS HELP–THAT RAGGEDY SHACK–GEORGIA ON MY MIND (LIVE BONUS TRACK)

One of the big reasons we enjoy Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne’s piano-based boogie-blues is the sheer joy he gets from playing and singing, and that joy carries over onto his recordings.  He always wanted to record an album in tribute to two of his piano heroes who have, sadly, passed on, namely Ray Charles and Fats Domino. That time has come with the release of his latest for Stony Plain, “Inspired By The Blues.”  Along for this sweet ride, we have Duke Robillard guesting on guitar, Billy Branch on the harp, and B. B.’s long-time bassist, Russell Jackson.

Folks, this set is chock-full of favorites.  Leading off is Kenny’s autobiographical tune of being “brought up in church,” but, somehow he “Knew I’d Be Playing The Blues,” with Billy Branch on harp.  Kenny utilizes a horn section on a jumpin’ tune with a heavy Fats feel, “Start Rockin.”  Kenny shows his way with a lyric on the story of “Jimmy And Johnny,” and the girl who nearly implodes a lifelong friendship.  It features a cool trumpet break from Bob Tildesley, and backing vocals from guest Lynne Chwyl.

Another one of Kenny’s influences was Amos Milburn, and he gets in that “down the road apiece” groove down at “That Raggedy Shack,” where you can “eat your chicken while you drink your beer!”

Our last two favorites literally set the tone for the whole album.   A beautiful, reverential read of “Georgia On My Mind” was recorded live in Mexico, and shows Kenny’s love for the music of Brother Ray.  And, “Mr. Blueberry Hill” is done up in that unmistakable Imperial Records style, and Fats is “where the wind and willows blow, on Blueberry Hill.”  It, too, is a timeless ode to the legacy of the Fat Man.

Currently, Kenny Wayne makes his home base in Kelowna, British Columbia, but good luck finding him there.  He’s constantly touring both stateside and in Canada, and his fans can’t get enough of that two-fisted boogie-woogie approach to his music.  He’s definitely been “Inspired By The Blues!”  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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