Boogie Woogie Hall of Famer just does it

Kenny "Blues Boss" Wayne

No one can make the keys on a piano boogie woogie like Kenny ‘Blues Boss’ Wayne.

Kenny learned the club world early on, 1960s-1970s, as a sideman for various pop and rock musicians in Los Angeles.

Later he entered the New Orleans scene, as a solo artist. He had been listening to those he aspired to be akin to, Ray Charles, Floyd Dixon, Big Joe Turner, Jimmy Reed and more.

In the 1980s the blues artist relocated again to Vancouver, British Columbia. “Blues Boss” (his nickname was acquired from the title of Amos Milburn's comeback album with Motown Records) when he undertook a tour of Europe in 1994.

In May 2008, Kenny popped his album, Can't Stop Now. A more recent release, Rollin' with the Blues Boss (2014), included guest contributions from Diunna Greenleaf and Eric Bibb. And his, 2016 release, Jumpin' & Boppin' featured guitarist Duke Robillard.

There’s little doubt his 2020 release, Go, Just Do It! is the seasoned musician’s best. The title cut, the soulful “You’re in For a Big Surprize” and the sassy “That’s the Way She Is,” are some of his greatest moments. He also does some nice covers of the tongue in cheek “I Don’t Want To Be the President,” by Percy Mayfield and the J.J. Cale classic “They Call Me the Breeze.”

“I’m not looking for a different path,” the 75-year old man of the hour asserts. “I love that jump blues and boogie-woogie. That’s where my heart is at. “I’m just trying to keep that style alive,” he adds. “That’s classic stuff, and I’m at that classic age so it all works out.”

There are guests this CD too and they garnish the already greatness with finesse. Wayne’s son SeQuel — Cory Spruell — infuses rap cadence and a fresh verse into Percy’s cover of “Don’t Want To Be President,” and GRAMMY Award-winner Diane Schuur helps create a show-stopping duet in “You’re In For A Big Surprise.” There’s also former B.B. King bassist Russell Jackson, powerhouse horn players Jerry Cook and Vince Mai (both mainstays with Powder Blues, Colin James, and more), plus Boogie Patrol guitarist Yuji Ihara, JUNO Award-winning former Parachute Club-er Julie Masi, award-winning Montreal vocalist Dawn Tyler Watson, and Incognito band and harp ace Sherman “Tank” Doucette.

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