INSPIRED BY THE BLUES
Kenny ‘Blues Boss’ Wayne (Stony Plain/True North Records)
There are many rollicking piano players out there, but Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne shows us once again how being a boogie-woogie master does not come easily. He’s got that something extra that sucks you in and makes you wanna dance or, at least, connect with something deep down inside.
This latest album, released Friday, has some pretty hard-hitting and uptempo harmonica solos, no doubt because harmonica great Billy Branch is on the disc as a special guest. So is guitarist Duke Robillard and B.B. King’s longtime bass player, Russell Jackson.
Wayne recently finished an extensive tour of Russia, South America, Europe, and North America. The music is fun, sweet, charming, and even a bit zany at times.
Wayne closes with a likable version of “Georgia on My Mind” that he recorded in Mexico. It won’t make you forget about the classic Ray Charles version, but that’s OK. Also included is a song called “Mr. Blueberry Hill” that’s a nod to another one of his idols, Fats Domino.
Wayne, who split his time between Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New Orleans growing up, has lived in Vancouver the last 30 years or so and is a three-time nominee for the Juno Award, Canada’s answer to the Grammy. This is his fourth release on Edmonton-based Stony Plain Records since 2011.
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