Kenny Neal - Straight From The Heart - RUF Records - 2022


Kenny Neal's first album totally recorded in Louisiana . As Kenny has said , " I try to show the styles of music that I came up with . I just could go and just make a straight up blues album , but then I think I would get bored with that".

Kenny has always been a fan favorite, his l with an audience felt deeply personal. You always feel that Kenny is reaching out to you personally , seeking you out as an audience of one . I still remember hanging out at the Poconos Blues Festival many , too many , moons ago . We had met a few times over the years and knew one another. Both of us were standing in the back of the festival , high on a hill , overlooking the stage . Kenny and I just talked and were hanging out . At one point he took a pen , jotted down his phone number , and said to me that the next time I was in New Orleans , if I ever got there , to call him . I would have a place to stay and we would hang out . I was thunderstruck . Never forgot his kindness and his generosity . Though I have yet to make it to New Orleans I have never forgotten that moment of kindness on that hill.

" Straight From The Heart '' pays loving tributes to his dad , the legendary Raful Neal ; his zydeco and Nawlins roots ; to friend and mentor B. B King ; and heartfelt passion for long-time friend Lucky Peterson , whose untimely death in 2020 at age 55 deeply affected Kenny emotionally and personally . Lucky was on every Kenny Neal album right up until his death.

" Bon Temps Rouler " and " Louise Ana '' features musicians who performed with the late Buckwheat Zydeco's band and the sons of the late Rockin; Dopsie Sr.

There are two tributes to his late-great dad Raful Neal - " It's Been So Long" and Junior Parkers`` Someone Somewhere" . Junior Parker's song brings back childhood memories , a song Raful lovingly sang to his young son. Kenny remembers playing bass and singing backup for his legendary dad , playing in his fathers band at the age of 13!

" Blues Keep Chasing Me " is a celebration of his close friend , the late Lucky Peterson , dying all too early at age 55 in 2020.

Special guest Tito Jackson sings on `` Two Timing " , and Christone " Kingfish" Ingram shares guitar and vocals with Kenny on ' Mount Up On The Wings Of The King" , a tribute to B. B. King.

" It Don't Cost Nothin' ' showcases Kenny Neal's often-overlooked prowess on that " Mississippi Saxophone".

" Straight From The Heart " will make your spirits soar . Kenny's return to Baton Rouge is worth celebrating .Kenny serves up a zesty concoction bursting with flavorful heapings of soul , blues , rhythm and blues , and highly infectious ' Big Easy " boogie . Enjoy!!!!

Side Note : DEFINITELY - DON'T WAIT - check out the video for " New Orleans " , a rosing , rambunctious celebration of the Crescent City , This party-ready video features Kenny and his " Mississippi Queen " band members , dancing on the streets of " the Quarter" , second-lines bursting out all over , a fun-filled celebration of New Orleans.


Author: John Muller


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