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Index of Artists

Kenny 'Blues Boss' Wayne


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Inspiration and perspiration. That’s what it takes to be a genius. And a blues boss.

Kenny ‘Blues Boss’ Wayne is living proof. With decades of playing, countless globe-trotting tours and a slate of acclaimed, award-winning albums under the belt of his flamboyant zoot suit, the 74-year-old piano master might be the hardest-working bluesman in show business. And this true original isn’t changing his tune on his top-notch 10th album Inspired By The Blues.

“I’m not looking for a different path,” says the Kelowna-based performer. “I love that jump blues and boogie-woogie. That’s where my heart is at. I’m just trying to keep that style alive. That’s classic stuff. And I’m at that classic age, so it all works out.” Indeed, it does.

Inspired By The Blues, out Sept. 28 on Stony Plain Records, finds the Boogie Woogie Hall of Famer applying his deft touch and tremendous talents to another slate of top-notch originals, with the help of special guests like harmonica player Billy Branch, guitarist Duke Robillard and B.B. King’s long-time bassist Russell Jackson. With 11 originals — including a tribute to Fats Domino — plus a bonus track of Georgia on My Mind cut live in Mexico, the self-produced set serves as a throwback to ‘50s rhythm and blues while putting a fresh spin on the genre.

“It’s almost like travelling down the same highway over and over,” says Wayne of his song writing approach. “What do you see? A lot of it might look familiar, but you can probably find something a little different if you look for it.”

If you’re looking for variety, Inspired By The Blues has plenty to offer. “I Knew I’d Be Playing the Blues” is Wayne’s life story set to a 12-bar shuffle. “Start Rockin’” hits the sweet spot between blues, boogie and rock ‘n’ roll. “How ‘Bout That” brings in the funk. The jumping, Louis Jordan-style Jimmy and Johnny is a tale of a love triangle. “Mr. Blueberry Hill” celebrates the slow-rolling style of New Orleans legend Fats Domino. And the harmonica-laced blues of “That Girl Needs Help” was inspired by a news report on troubled youth. “It’s kind of a message song,” Wayne says. “I usually try to put in a few songs like that. I like to mix it up.”

It’s an approach he’s honed over the course of six decades in music. Born in Spokane but raised in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New Orleans, Wayne was a child prodigy in his minister father’s youth choir. Eventually turning from the Lord’s work to the Devil’s music, he took up the blues, borrowed his nickname from legendary influencer Amos Milburn, got a few fashion tips from Jim Carrey in The Mask, and the ‘Blues Boss’ was born.

He’s been large and in charge ever since. Wayne released his first album Alive & Loose in 1995. It was followed by Blues Boss Boogie in 1998 and four albums for Canadian label Electro-Fi Records: 88th & Jump Street, the Juno-winning Let It Loose, Can’t Stop Now and the live Piano-Rama. Since joining Stony Plain Records in 2011, Wayne has released An Old Rock On A Roll, 2014’s Rollin’ With The Blues Boss and Jumpin’ and Boppin’ in 2016.

In keeping with those energetic titles, Wayne is a man in constant motion. He’s built a stellar reputation within Canada and abroad for his colourfully energetic shows, and regularly performs everywhere from Europe and Israel to Russia and South America, selling out 800 to 1,000-seat venues and headlining international festivals.

And the charismatic performer plans to keep boppin’ as long as he can. “I’m gonna go until the chariot comes down and opens the door and I jump on,” he says. “It’s like a friend of mine says: You gotta make the landlord happy.”

Spoken like a boss.

(September 2018, written by Darryl Sterdan)

Inspired by the Blues

Inspired by the Blues
SPCD 1401
Genre: Blues
Released: 28 September 2018
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Purchase the CD, download, or stream it from numerous sources.

Boogie Woogie Hall of Famer Kenny 'Blues Boss' Wayne's new release includes guests Billy Branch on harmonica, guitarist Duke Robillard and BB King's long-time bass player Russell Jackson.

The zoot suited 'Blues Boss' tours Russia, South America, and Europe, in addition to playing various North American clubs and festivals.

Living Blues Magazine named him the "Most Outstanding Musician (Keyboard)" for 2015.

"There's no boogie-woogie-blues piano man out there today who pounds the 88s with his conviction." - Chicago Sun-Times

  1. I Knew I'd Be Playing the Blues (5:04)
  2. Start Rockin' (5:02)
  3. How 'Bout That (3:19)
  4. I Like That Woman (3:51)
  5. Jimmy and Johnny (4:27)
  6. Make Up Your Mind (3:48)
  7. Lake Country Boogie (3:23)
  8. Mr. Blueberry Hill (3:30)
  9. An Old Brick Wall (3:12)
  10. That Girl Needs Help (3:43)
  11. That Raggedy Shack (2:42)
  12. Georgia on My Mind (Live) [Bonus Track] (6:05)
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Start Rockin' - Single

Start Rockin
SPCD 1401S1
Genre: Blues
Released: 21 August 2018

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  1. Start Rockin' (5:02)
This disc is no longer available to order physically.
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Jumpin' & Boppin'

SPCD 1389
Genre: Blues
Released: 3 June 2016
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Living Blues Magazine named him the "Most Outstanding Musician (Keyboard)" for 2015.

Kenny ‘Blues Boss’ Wayne’s third CD for Stony Plain is firmly rooted in the joyful jump blues style of Louis Jordan and Amos Milburn. Special guest Duke Robillard is the perfect guitarist and Russell Jackson, BB King’s long-time bassist, locks in the rhythm section.

The zoot suited 'Blues Boss' will be touring Russia, South America, and Europe this year, in addition to playing various North American summer festivals.

  1. Blues Boss Shuffle (2:13)
  2. Bankrupted Blues (3:09)
  3. Jumpin' & Boppin' With Joy (2:27)
  4. Blues Stew (3:35)
  5. You Don't Know Me (5:38)
  6. Blackmail Blues (4:46)
  7. Look Out! There's A Train Coming (3:00)
  8. I Need Your Lovin' (2:59)
  9. Ciao, Ciao Baby (3:34)
  10. Back To Square One (5:18)
  11. I'm Comin' Home (3:31)
  12. Rock, Rock Little Girl (3:20)
  13. Boogie To Gloryland (2:11)
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Blues Blast Magazine
By Steve Jones

"Kenny "Blues Boss" Wayne flamboyantly jumps and bops through this fine new swing recording on Canada’s Stony Plain Records.

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Rollin' With The Blues Boss

SPCD 1371
Genre: Blues
Released: 22 April 2014
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With special guests Eric Bibb and Diuna Greenleaf, Kenny hammers out rockin' boogie woogie, deeply felt blues, and puts a fresh coat of paint on good old-fashioned roots rock and roll. A multiple award winner, he is a monster pianist, and soulful singer, who captures the essence of old school blues and boogie while sounding totally fresh and contempory.

  1. Leavin' In The Morning (3:23)
  2. You Bring The Jungle Out Of Me (3:48)
  3. Hootenanny Boogie-Woogie (4:00)
  4. Roadrunner (3:18)
  5. Baby, It Ain't You (feat. Diunna Greenleaf) (4:27)
  6. I Can't Believe It (3:25)
  7. Two Sides (feat. Eric Bibb) (3:05)
  8. Slow Down (3:45)
  9. Ogopogo Boogie (3:00)
  10. Keep On Rockin' (2:59)
  11. Out Like A Bullet (2:35)
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Living Blues
By David Whiteis
"a roots-rich celebration infused with a powerful spirit of adventurism"
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An Old Rock On A Roll

An Old Rock On A Roll
SPCD 1355
Genre: Blues
Released: 21 June 2011
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Kenny's song, "Heaven Send Me An Angel," was nominated as a finalist in the International Songwriting Contest's Blues category for 2011.

  1. Searching For My Baby (Listen to mp3 clip) (04:10)
    * free full length download *
  2. Fantasy Meets Reality (03:57)
  3. Heaven, Send Me An Angel (04:58)
  4. Devil Woman (04:50)
  5. An Old Rock On A Roll (03:47)
  6. Don't Pretend (05:22)
  7. Run Little Joe (03:06)
  8. Howlin' (03:17)
  9. Wild Turkey 101 Proof (4:05)
  10. Bring Back The Love (05:59)
  11. Way Overdue (04:11)
  12. Rocking Boogie Party (02:24)
  13. Give Thanks (03:56)
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Crossroads Blues Society
By Mark Thompson
This one is a contender for best Blues recording of the year and should not be missed.
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