Multiple international award-winning pianist singer-songwriter Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne (Spruell) has put together an all-star band with a dream list of guests to highlight his new songs. The Vancouver native is the foremost modern practitioner of the West Coast piano sound pioneered by players like Amos Milburn and his continued success is assured with this album. That band is Hall of Fame bassist Russell Jackson, Boogie Patrol’s Yugi Ihara on guitar and Joey “The Pocket” DiMarco of Chicago’s Studebaker John’s band on drums. Kenny wrote most of the songs including the rousing opener and first single “Go, Just Do It!” with another multiple award winner, Dawn Tyler Watson. This funky horn-led rocker encourages you to follow your dreams with Kenny’s father urging him on as does Dawn’s mother – quite an attractive way to start. “You Did A Number on Me” is another fine rocker that does indeed feature numbers and Parachute Club’s Julie Masi on multi-tracked BG vocals. The pace slows down a little bit for “Sittin’ in My Rockin’ Chair”, our narrator has done everything he wanted to do in his life and this is all he wants to do now – a wonderful performance. Percy Mayfield’s “You’re in for a Big Surprise” is a lovely slow duet opened by Grammy Award-winning jazz vocalist Diane Schuur, who did an entire album with BB King some years ago. Tenor ace Jerry Cook adds a lovely solo. Dawn Tyler Watson returns for a rather surprising slab of contemporary R&B: “Sorry Ain’t Good Enough” features a full horn section on an original breakup song. Another Percy Mayfield song is “I Don’t Want to be President” which gets a delightfully funky arrangement. Kenny’s son Cory Spruell (aka SeQuel) raps rather effectively on what he would rather do. JJ Cale’s easy going “They Call Me the Breeze” gets an attractive acoustic treatment with just the basic band plus harmonica ace Sherman Doucette. Kenny’s “T&P Train 400” finds him hoboing, riding the rails heading to Marshall, Texas to see his girl. There’s some excellent horn work to accompany the train rhythm. The concluding, swinging “Let the Rock Roll” is the third and best instrumental and a fine way to close. Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne is one of our hardest touring artists, just check his web site, www.kennybluesboss.com,  to see when he starts up again. The album will be released June 12.

June 2020 - Michael Kaeshammer
June 2020 - Top Blues