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Kenny Neal

The future of Baton Rouge swamp blues lies squarely in multi-instrumentalist Kenny Neal's capable hands. Along with a select few others (Larry Garner, for one), the second-generation southern Louisiana bluesman is entirely cognizant of the region's venerable blues tradition and imaginative enough to steer it in fresh directions -- as his albums for Alligator, Telarc, and Blind Pig Records confirm.

Kenny Neal was born on October 14, 1957 in New Orleans, exposed to the swamp blues sound from day one. His dad, harpist Raful Neal, was a Baton Rouge blues mainstay, whose pals included Buddy Guy and Slim Harpo (the latter handed three-year-old Kenny an old harp one day as a toy, and that was it). At age 13, Neal was playing in his father's band, and he picked up a bass at 17 for Buddy Guy.

The guitarist recruited some of his talented siblings to form the Neal Brothers Blues Band up in Toronto (brother Noel later played bass behind James Cotton; five other Neal brothers also play in various bands) before returning stateside. In 1987, Kenny Neal cut his debut LP for Florida producer Bob Greelee -- a stunningly updated swamp feast initially marketed on Kingsnake Records as Bio on the Bayou. Alligator picked it up the following year, retitled it Big News from Baton Rouge!!, and young Neal was on his way.

Neal's sizzling guitar work, sturdy harp, and gravelly, aged-beyond-his-years vocals have served him well ever since. An acclaimed 1991 stint on Broadway in a production of Mule Bone found him performing acoustic versions of Langston Hughes' poetry set to music by Taj Mahal. His 1994 Alligator set Hoodoo Moon rates as one of his most satisfying outings for that label; it was also his last for Alligator.

Toward the end of the '90s, Neal moved to the blues division of the jazz-based Telarc Records. Among his numerous albums for the label are Blues Fallin' Down Like Rain (1998), What You Got (2000), One Step Closer (2001), Easy Meeting (2003), Double Take (2004), and A Tribute to Slim Harpo and Raful Neal (2005). Three years later, Neal hooked up with Blind Pig Records and released Let Life Flow in 2008, once again incorporating his gritty Louisiana roots with a sophisticated Chicago/Memphis soul approach. A second Blind Pig release, Hooked on Your Love, appeared two years later in 2010. ~ Bill Dahl & Al Campbell
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Kenny Neal Deluxe Edition

1. Caught In The Jaws Of A Vise

2. That Knife Don't Cut No More

3. Outside Looking In

4. Hoodoo Moon

5. The Truth Hurts

6. Caught Your Back Door Man

7. Evalina

8. Baby Bee

9. Neal And Prey

10. Any Fool Will Do

11. Lightning's Gonna Strike

12. Morning After

13. The Son I Never Knew

14. Howling At The Moon

15. Change My Way Of Livin'

16. Believe In Yourself

x

Track List: Hoodoo Moon

1. I'm A Bluesman

2. Don't Fix Our Love

3. Why Should I Stay?

4. Just One Step

5. The Real Thing

6. If Heartaches Were Nickels

7. Bad Memory

8. Hoodoo Moon

9. Believe In Yourself

10. Carrying The Torch

11. Money Don't Make The Man

12. It Hurts Me Too

x

Track List: Bayou Blood

1. Howling At The Moon

2. Right Train, Wrong Track

3. Branded

4. Gonna Put You Out Of My Mosery

5. Lightning's Gonna Strike

6. That Knife Don't Cut No More

7. Bayou Blood

8. Do I Have To Go That Far?

9. Smoke Signals

10. Neal And Prey

11. Going To The Country

12. I Can Read Between The Lies

13. Big City Ways

14. You Ain't Foolin' Me

x

Track List: Walking On Fire

1. Look But Don't Touch

2. The Truth Hurts

3. I Put My Trust In You

4. Blues Stew

5. Moring After

6. I.O.U.

7. My Only Good Thing

8. I Been Missing You, Too

9. Caught In The Jaws Of A Vice

10. Things Got To Get Better

11. Walking On Fire

12. Bad Luck Card

x

Track List: Devil Child

1. Any Fool Will Do

2. Bad Check

3. Our Love Is Running Out

4. Can't Have Your Cake (And Eat It Too)

5. Devil Child

6. The Son I Never Knew

7. On My Way To Heaven

8. Yack Yack Yack

9. Change My Way Of Livin'

10. I Owe It All To You

11. The Further We Go

x

Track List: Big News From Baton Rouge

1. Outside Looking In

2. Caught Your Back Door Man

3. Don't Dip In My Business

4. Bio On The Bayou

5. Evalina

6. Loretta

7. Baby Bee

8. Is It All Right?

9. Cost Of Living

10. Early One Morning

11. Early One Morning (Acoustic Version)

x

Track List: Let Life Flow

1. Let Life Flow

2. Blues Leave Me Alone

3. You've Got To Hurt Before You Heal

4. Louisiana Stew

5. Starlight Diamond

6. Another Man`S Cologne

7. Broken Dreams

8. Bleeding Heart

9. Since I Met You Baby

10. Fly Away

11. If Don`t Make Sense You Can`t Make Peace

Comments

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good stuff....... How come there are so many great blues and boogie woogie musicians from the Delta region of the USA? they come from all over the country as well...howev e r , there are a whole bunch more from the Delta, than from anyplace else.
Pandora has introduced me to so many of them....Just like this one.
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Kenny Neal!
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That's the way they roll. Keep rolling
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Yeah ur right.
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Classic
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Hi kenny I luv u so much, my son luv u as well ,
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jesssmitty4
Kenny neal is the best. can't beat the sound from his roots and just as great as he plays his is that great of a man
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Kenny Neal is the real deal ! Good Old Fashion Blues.
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I like that song Old Friends could you play it often
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I like this kind of blues music Kenny Neal is the best and sue Foly
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LOVE this blues man!
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kenny cookin and good blues are brewin. money dont make the man

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