Multiple Grammy nominated, triple threat swamp boogie master Kenny Neal from Baton Rouge takes the Redwood Coast Music Festival Muni Stage on Saturday, April 1 from 8:30pm to 10:00pm. The 2015 Jus’ Blues Bobby Rush Blues Entertainer Award winner comes to the Redwood Coast on the wings of his 16th CD Bloodlines produced by Tom Hambridge who produced two Grammy-winning Buddy Guy albums, Skin Deep and Living Proof. Bloodlines features “Thank You B. B. King.” The title cut is swamp blues at its best, a funky Dr. John meets Ray Wyllie Hubbard tour de force featuring Kenny’s patented raw harp and lyrics about his large family: “Down in Louisiana where the blood lines run deep/Daddy sings the blues and the blood lines run deep.Mama told me the story how she planted the seed.”
The eldest of 10 children and the son of Louisiana blues man Raful Neal, Kenny Neal was handed his first harmonica by Slim “Scratch My Back” Harpo as a baby to stop him from crying. He toured with his dad at 13 and left home in Baton Rouge to be Buddy Guy’s bass player in 1979 at 18.
In 1991 Kenny played a lead role on Broadway in Mule Bone, a play by Harlem Renaissance’s brightest writers Langston Hughes and Zora Hurston, with music by blues legend Taj Mahal. For his portrayal Kenny won a Theatre World Award, the oldest award given for a debut theatre performance on or off Broadway. Previous award winners include Whoopie Goldberg, Julie Andrews, and Robert Redford. Kenny Neal is known for his incendiary stage performances and his improvisational skills.