KENNY BLUES BOSS WAYNE-“Soul Inflected Vocals and 70’s Warmth -cd review by JOHN EMMS

Kenny Wayne Seated-web

Rollin with the Blues Boss is what a blues inflected piano album sounded like in the early 70’s.

And baby that is good news, because it’s 2014.

Warm, inviting and full of soul

Although Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne is known for his strident piano licks and long time road work throughout North America it’s his voice that knocks me out.

In fact it’s almost a jazz inflection on Can’t Believe It,  it’s upfront and funky on Leavin’ In The Morning and a southern smoky tenor on Slow Down.

As a long time lead vocalist I can tell you it’s heaven listening to it’s warmth.

Where is the blues you ask?

Here is the key, everything Wayne does is wrapped in all the variations of blues turnarounds, motifs, R & B, boogie woogie and songs outside the normal 12 bar formation

Keep On Rockin, brings to mind Fats Domino via 2014, guests Diunna Greenleaf blows the roof off the gospel Baby, It Ain’t You and Eric Bibb shuffles up the ante on Two Sides.

My fave track is the killer horn charts and groove to You Bring The Jungle Out of Me.

It’s Vancouver uptown blues, meets New Orleans.

Powder Blues front man and producer Tom Lavin completely captures Wayne’s essence and then some with some focused playing from some very hip  players on this session.

They don’t make records this warm anymore so bravo to everyone involved.

JOHN EMMS is a veteran music journalist, hosts a blues/roots/ rock online radio show and is the singer-songwriter with Canadian Blues Rockers THE SHAFTMEN


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August 2014

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