With decades of playing, countless globetrotting tours and a slate of acclaimed, award-winning albums under the belt of Kenny ‘Blues Boss’ Wayne’s flamboyant zoot suit, the 74 year-old piano master might be the hardest-working bluesman in show business. And this true original isn’t changing his tune on his topnotch 10th album Inspired By The Blues.
Kenny ‘Blues Boss’ Wayne released his Inspired By The Blues album on Sept. 28, and he’ll be performing at The Valley First “New York New Years” is set to be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Dec. 31 at Stuart Park, bringing with it a host of fun activities and great live music. Let me know if you’re interested in having an advance phoner or in-person interview and/or in-studio performance with the man himself.
“I’m not looking for a different path,” said Wayne. “I love that jump blues and boogie-woogie. That’s where my heart is at. I’m just trying to keep that style alive. That’s classic stuff. And I’m at that classic age, so it all works out.”
Indeed, it does. Inspired By The Blues, out Sept. 28 on Stony Plain Records, finds the Boogie Woogie Hall of Famer applying his deft touch and tremendous talents to another slate of top-notch originals, with the help of special guests like harmonica player Billy Branch, guitarist Duke Robillard and B.B. King’s long-time bassist Russell Jackson. With 11 originals — including a tribute to Fats Domino — plus a bonus track of Georgia on My Mind cut live in Mexico, the self-produced set serves as a throwback to 50s rhythm and blues while putting a fresh spin on the genre.
It’s an approach he’s honed over the course of six decades in music. Born in Spokane but raised in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New Orleans, and now based in Kelowna, B.C., Wayne was a child prodigy in his minister father’s youth choir.
He’s been large and in charge ever since. Wayne released his first album Alive & Loose in 1995. It was followed by Blues Boss Boogie in 1998 and four albums for Canadian label Electro-Fi Records: 88th & Jump Street, the Juno-winning Let It Loose, Can’t Stop Now and the live Piano-Rama. Since joining Stony Plain Records in 2011, Wayne has released An Old Rock On A Roll, 2014’s Rollin’ With The Blues Boss and Jumpin’ and Boppin’ in 2016. In keeping with those energetic titles, Wayne is a man in constant motion. He’s built a stellar reputation within Canada and abroad for his colourfully energetic shows, and regularly performs everywhere from Europe and Israel to Russia and South America, selling out 800 to 1,000-seat venues and headlining international festivals.
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