Kenny Neal – KTBA Blues Highlights!
What a wonderful musician Kenny Neal is…Mainly because he’s the real deal when it comes to his music. Whether it’s the traditional blues or better yet when he’s playing some good Baton Rouge Swamp Blues! He can play to any crowd he comes across. Furthermore, he’s a second-generation southern Louisiana bluesman who is cognizant of the region’s venerable blues tradition and imaginative enough to steer it in fresh directions. Most likely it’s because he starts playing music at age thirteen in his father’s band and by seventeen, he’s playing bass for Buddy Guy. which leads him later to performing with his brothers as the Neal Brothers Blues Band.
In 1987, Kenny Neal cuts his debut LP for Florida producer Bob Greenlee. Which releases through Kingsnake Records as “Bio on the Bayou”. With his projects and his debut album, he’s getting noticed in the music world and receiving offers from record labels. A year later he signs with Alligator Records! With his new label, over the top guitar work, and his harp skills, he becomes one of the strongest modern proponents of Baton Rouge swamp blues! He changes labels and works with Telarc, then Alligator records again and onto Blind Pig. Starting off 2022, he signs on with Ruf Records and records his upcoming album “Straight from the Heart” which features several special guests and is set to release May 20, 2022.
“Straight from the Heart”
“It’s like a family reunion,” says Neal of the good-natured sessions. “It’s excellent because I have all the musicians that grew up under me here in Baton Rouge. And just being in my own studio, not worrying about the clock.” “Straight From The Heart” is a fitting title for a record that salutes the many loves of Neal’s life. There’s the brass-driven opener “Blues Keep Chasing Me,” which tips a hat to his recently departed friend, Lucky Peterson. There’s the touching piano-led “Someone Somewhere,” which salutes the beloved father who put him on this path.
Elsewhere, Neal’s deep love for every side of his home state is underlined by the zydeco chop of “Bon Temps Rouler” and “New Orleans,” whose lyrics reference everything from “sippin’ on Hurricane” to “sittin’ on the Bayou catching catfish”. Faced with such an open-hearted record, it’s impossible not to reciprocate. And as the world opens up and Kenny Neal embraces his natural habitat of the road, this Louisiana icon will bring a little bit of that Baton Rouge spirit onto every stage he treads. “It don’t cost nothing to share a little love and a little respect,” he says. “And we can all rise above…” Kenny Neal via – “New Releases Now”
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Video Credits: Cleopatra Blues & WWOZ 90.7 FM – Kenny Neal: “Blues Leave Me Alone” – Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival (2015)
Quote: Kenny Neal “Straight From The Heart” – New Releases Now.