There's no boogie woogie-blues piano man out there today who pounds the 88s with the conviction of Kenny "Blues Boss" Wayne.
Hailed as "an artist bringing the piano back to the front ranks of contemporary blues," multiple-award winning blues, boogie-woogie and jazz pianist Kenny ‘Blues Boss’ Wayne is called “Blues Boss” for a reason. His musical career began as a child prodigy in the 1960s and has continued to flourish for over 50 years with Wayne at the forefront of modern day blues piano practitioners.
Born in Spokane, Washington, raised in New Orleans and now based in British Columbia, Kenny ‘Blues Boss’ Wayne has built a stellar reputation within Canada and abroad for his lively attire and energetic concert performances. The zoot suited Wayne will be returning to Russia, South America, and Europe later in 2016, where he regularly sells out 800 to 1000 seat venues and headlines many international concerts and festivals.
Kenny ‘Blues Boss’ Wayne released his first solo album Alive & Loose, which featured Shuggie Otis, on Andy Griggs’ Real Blues Records in 1995. It marked the start of Wayne’s blues journey and was followed by four albums for Canadian label Electro-Fi Records: 88th & Jump Street, JUNO Award winning Let It Loose, Can’t Stop Now and the live recording Piano-Rama. Wayne also recorded in Paris for Isabel Records at the same studio that Memphis Slim frequently recorded. Since joining Stony Plain Records in 2011, Wayne has released An Old Rock On A Roll, which earned him a Blues Foundation nomination for the Pinetop Perkins Piano Award, and Rollin’ with the Blues Boss.
Jumpin’ and Boppin’ is his third recording on Stony Plain Records. “While I’m making this wonderful journey through life and having the opportunity to record my own songs, I try to make every recording better than the last,” says Wayne. “This most likely won’t be my last but I am very proud to present this recording to the world and hope that you enjoy it as much as I did writing, recording and producing this album.”
A throw-back to classic, rollicking blues of yesteryear, Jumpin’ and Boppin’ is firmly rooted in the jump blues style of Louis Jordan and Amos Milburn. It could have easily been made in the 1950s, which is a further testament to Wayne’s immense talents, staying power and stature as one of the genre’s foremost jazz/boogie-woogie pianists.
Special guest Duke Robillard is the perfect guitarist and Russell Jackson, B.B. King’s long-time bassist, locks in the rhythm section, alongside Charlie Jacobson, Joey DiMarco, Sherman Doucette & Dave Babcock who contribute their talents to this recording as well. There are many highlights among the 13 tracks on the album including the opening instrumental “Blues Boss Shuffle.” Featuring Wayne’s deft piano playing and Duke Robillard’s sublime soloing, it is the perfect introduction to the vibe of the album.
“Jumpin’ & Boppin’ With Joy” is exactly as the title suggests – a joyful noise that will get toes tapping. “You Don’t Know Me” is a slow and forlorn lovesong showcasing Wayne’s soulful vocals. “Look Out! There’s A Train Coming” is a cautionary tale, while “Back To Square One” is another slow number about searching for the perfect love and starting over. The jubilant “I’m Comin’ Home” details a soldier on his way back to his family and features lively harmonica from Sherman Doucette. The final track on Jumpin’ and Boppin’ is “Boogie To Gloryland”, another magnificent instrumental, set to remind the listener just who’s boss when it comes to blues piano playing.
As a one-man cheering section for the days when blues and jazz met the roots of rock and roll, Kenny ‘Blues Boss’ Wayne is an artist who’s got it all: talent, charisma and showmanship. Oozing with class and sophistication, Wayne is a throwback to the golden age of classic rhythm and blues while offering a fresh approach to the genre.