Kenny Neal

Year 2017 - 38th Blues Music Award winners! 

Contemporary Blues Music Male Artist of the year

&

Contemporary Blues Album of the Year "Bloodline" 

 

 

Kenny Neal is an acclaimed multi-instrumentalist and is widely renowned as a modern swamp-blues master. Born in 1957 in New Orleans and raised in Baton Rouge, Neal began playing music at a very young age, learning the basics from his father, singer and blues harmonica player, Raful Neal.

Family friends like Lazy Lester, Buddy Guy and Slim Harpo contributed to Kenny's early musical education. At 13, he joined his father’s band and, four years later, he was recruited and toured extensively as Buddy Guy’s bass player.

Through the years, Neal has shared the stage or worked with a who’s-who list of blues and R&B greats at one time or another, including B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt, Muddy Waters, Aaron Neville, Buddy Guy and John Lee Hooker. Since signing with Alligator Records in 1988, Neal has released a series of consistently lauded albums featuring his laid-back, Baton Rouge blues, with a modern spin on the Louisiana sound he grew up with. In 1991, Neal branched out into the world of acting when he starred as the lead in the much-acclaimed musical, Mule Bone, a lost play written by the famed African-American poet Langston Hughes and folklorist Zora Neale Hurston in 1930. Featuring music written by Taj Mahal, Neal’s performances garnered a prestigious Theater World Award for “The Most Outstanding New Talent On and Off Broadway,” and he concurrently set two Hughes poems to music on the album Walking With Fire.

The Chicago Tribune pegged Kenny as “one of a mere handful of truly inventive young contemporary guitarists, Neal has something fresh to say and the chops with which to say it,” while AllMusic said his “gruff-before-their-time vocals retain their swamp sensibility, while assuming a bright contemporary feel that tabs him as a leading contender for future blues stardom.” Blues Revue agreed, calling Kenny "one of the brightest young stars on the blues horizon, and a gifted artist."

 

http://kennyneal.net

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